Fall Update ’15 – Starting a Church and Building Relationships

We are starting to feel settled in our home.  As most of you know we have moved from working with a church plant in Pennsylvania to planting a new church in North Overland Park, KS.  The last 4 months have been a roller coaster of goodbyes and hellos, new neighborhood, new school, new job, and some wonderful new friends.

The three major things we are working on all have to do with building relationships.  

1) We are building relationships in our neighborhood.  We have introduced ourselves to the 14 families on our cul-de-sac, and we are excited to have them over.  We have also joined the PTA at our kids’ school, and we love that it is right here in the neighborhood.  One of the other things I (Dave) am enjoying is spending time meeting the local business leaders in downtown OP and hearing their vision for our city.  Another way we want to serve our neighborhood and city is through foster care.  We are half way done with the 10 week course to be licensed in order to be foster parents to provide police protective custody for children and respite care for others foster families. We are thankful to be given so many opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our neighbors. 

2) We are building relationships with pastors and ministry leaders.  We have had the opportunity to sit with experienced ministry leaders, men and women , who desire others to experience the love of Jesus.  .  We feel so blessed with the alignment of the leaders in this apprenticeship with NAMB as we see them pour out their lives to help others see the joy of living out the Great Commission.  We feel hopeful that in this next year through prayer and with the help of these great leaders, we will be designing a missional church that introduces and equips people to love God and their neighbors.

3) We are building relationships with new support partners and churches.  There is joy in sharing what God has done, and is doing.  Our world needs more healthy churches and in our experience church planting conversations often bring life-giving hope.  We are currently in need of $1500 more monthly and are in a season of contacting individuals and churches to see if they would consider partnering with us in church planting.  Would you consider connecting me to your church or someone who might be interested in what we are doing? We are praying for launch team members and church partnerships that will help start a new work in this part of the city.

Rivers, Joy, Lydia, Melody, and Jackson are all doing good as we are all finding our new rhythms this fall. Here are some pictures of the last couple months of our lives.

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Home is Under Contract and Officially a NAMB Church Planter

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Two big things happened this weekend. First, I have completed the process with the North American Mission Board and have been accepted as a lead church planter. I will do an apprenticeship starting in the fall of 2015 at Westside Family Church, in KC.  Second, our home is now under contract!  Thank you for praying for us through all these changes.  We have felt a peace as we are trying to rest in God’s plan and His timing.  We are thankful, as each step has been put before us, God has given us the faith to trust in His power.

Our closing date on our PA home is scheduled for July 9.  We will be spending that first week of July packing and preparing to move to KC.  We would be so thankful for your continued prayers. Here are a few ways you can pray:

  1. Finishing our last month well at Liberti. Our hope is to offer our best as we meet with people and pass things on to others.
  2. Our future KC home.  Our hope is that it will be a place of Christ’s love and mission.
  3. Our next season of fundraising for planting a new church.  We will need the support of churches and families these next 2 years. Our hope is that, as we raise financial resources, this work would be an encouragement to many.

This is a hard and exciting season for us as we experience a lot of emotions simultaneously.  We have many friends and neighbors here that have become family to us, and it is always hard to say goodbye.  We are also excited about more churches being planted, and that God has considered us faithful to appoint us to this service.  Thank you for your friendship and prayers.

Dave and Rivers

Planting a New Church in Overland Park, KS

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Friends and Family,

Rivers and I want to give you an update on what God has been doing in our hearts these past 6 months. When we returned to America two years ago we returned with a burden for new churches to reach the lost. We also longed to plant deep roots in a community. We still desire those things deeply, but God is moving us again. On average everyday in America 10 churches close their doors and only 3 churches are started. Our time at liberti church has taught us so many things. As we have learned more about who we are and our gifts, we are feeling confident in God’s call on our lives to go and plant a new church. These last months have been hard as we have sought direction on how this might unfold. We have been asking a lot of questions: where, with who, what kind of church, what are the needs and many others. In light of these things and a desire for training, we began a Church Planter Apprentice application process with the North American Mission Board to plant in Overland Park area of Kansas City. There is an excitement and a passion to start this new work in a city we have called home and are pumped that we will live in the same city as many of you.

Rivers and I just returned from our vision trip in KC and from my graduation from Midwestern Baptist Seminary. Our prayer times and conversation with leaders in the city have continued to affirm our call there. Our hope is to move in July to help get the kids settled for their new school. We will be working for liberti through June 30th.

Would you please pray for:
– Our kids and marriage as we take these next steps in God’s calling on our lives.
– Our home to sell in the next few weeks here in PA.
– Our financial needs to be meet. We will need to remain on support for another 2-3 years.

Thank you to so many of you who have prayed for and supported our family and our ministry these past years as we have sought God’s will.

We will continue to raise support through the same organization and account. If you are currently giving would you please consider continuing? Nothing will need to change in the way you give.

Our Support Page:
https://www.givetransform.org/church-planting.html

Version 2

Moving Back to America to Help Plant More Churches

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To our most amazing friends and family,

This update is to tell you that facebook group name is going to change soon and why. We are feeling called to local church ministry in America and will be transitioning back in April 2013 to do church planting.

The hard part about this new calling is that ministry is going so good here. Our movement is growing. Students are leading, sharing their faith and new students are getting saved. Also some of our best friends “in the world” live and work here. But we feel that God is wanting us to be more broad in our ministry focus, and I am feeling called to be a pastor.

Of course as we move into local church ministry we will always value and love the strategy of working with students. We have been praying for and processing this new calling for a couple months and want to share with you some important details in 4 areas: Our Calling, An Opportunity, Our Financial Need, Our Timetable.

Our Calling:
We feel called:
* to join a new or young church plant
* to a “less-churched” part of America
* to personally share the gospel often in our everyday lives more than ever before
* to create transferrable methods that will model and train believers in evangelism and discipleship
* to minister to a more broad age group and families
* to design, lead and develop strong community groups with the intention of multiplication
* to lead worship and train new worship leaders

An Opportunity:
God revealed to us an amazing opportunity as we began to talk to others and seek council about this major decision. I talked with my good friend Matt Looloian who planted Liberti Church in Harrisburg, PA in September 2011. I told him about our calling and the type of ministry we were looking for. Over the next few weeks we began to see that the needs at Liberti and our calling were very similar. So we are currently pursuing a pastor job at Liberti Church to work with Matt to help reach the people in the Harrisburg region for the glory of God.

Our Financial Need:
1) We need to raise $15,000 in one-time gifts for transition costs: container shipping, plane tickets, debrief conference: to help us and our kids transition back to living in America
2) Because we are called to and pursuing church planting, we are putting together a 2-year plan to remain financially supported by people like you. At the end of those 2 transitional years, our goal is to be completely funded by the local church itself.
3) We will be EPC World Outreach Missionaries through the summer 2013 as we finish projects and pass on ministry here.

Would you consider giving us a Year-End Gift to help us transition into church planting ministry? We are raising transition funds through Perception Funding. Link to our giving page below: Click “Donate Now” on the page below.
https://www.givetransform.org/church-planting.html

Our Timetable:
We are coming home December 13 – February 13 to share with many of you personally about what God is doing in Hungary and in our lives. We will basically be in Memphis in December and February and in Kansas City in January. We would love to share a meal with you or even visit you at your small group. We plan on moving back to America in mid-April and begin the re-entrance season. We will be looking for a house, cars, schools etc…

If you have never supported us before, would you consider helping us during this transition? Please reply back and let me know if you would be interested in helping us. This information will help us be wise in our fundraising planning. We will be making phone calls and personal appointments for the next few months and are looking forward to talking to you about these changes. Please email or call us. Our USA phone number in Hungary: 913-543-3040. We would love to talk!

We ask that you do not post anything on the internet about this decision because Matt and I are still communicating personally with people. God bless you and your family this holiday season.

enjoying God,
Dave, Rivers, Joy, Lydia, Melody, and Jackson
www.daveandrivers.com
USA phone number in Hungary 913-543-3040 – 7 hrs ahead of central time
Giving – https://www.givetransform.org/church-planting.html

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BHHP and High School Summit – Lots of Evangelism

Every fall we host a short term mission trip called BHHP. This year we have 16 Americans helping us with English classrooms, dorm outreaches, and passing out student survival kits. Pictured left is Gary and Nancy from Atlanta. I worked with them last week and showed them how we do random evangelism on campus. Within 15 minutes they were off on their own meeting students and sharing Jesus with them. Pray that this week will bring major momentum to our movement. Pray that these thousands of students that are introduced to our ministry will be interested in a relationship with their Creator. Maybe we will see you next fall at BHHP. Email us if you want to come.

Gary asking if this student wants to have a relationship with Jesus

I watched Gary and Nancy side-by-side sharing the Gospel with students on my campus in Budapest.

Sometimes they worked together too

Our campus outreach was packed thanks to all the classrooms our BHHP team visited this week.

HIGH SCHOOL SUMMIT
Also this week was a HIgh School Summit where Our team hosted 6 other Eastern European Cru teams to discuss using High School ministry alongside a campus ministry. Each day we got on a bus and went to Vac (Hungarian City with 7 high schools we have connections with) and went to english classrooms. We invited every student to free pizza and great conversation after school. This is where we could share the full Gospel. 120 students came out in these 2 days and 70 of them heard the Gospel from us missionaries over some pizza. It was so cool to see every table with diagrams and 4 laws booklets and questions being asked about Jesus. See Pics below:

The principal of one High School let us use her office between classes and gave us cookies and coffee. These schools are so in need of healthy men and women to pour truth into these students.

Here is the team that I lead at my high schools these two days. Albanian and another American.

These Students were the ones that God gave me over lunch. These 5 freshman in high school heard the truth of Jesus and you can even see the diagram i drew on the table. Pray for these students. They were not ready to give their lives to Jesus YET. But they moved from confusion to truth on this day.

Another eternal conversation from my friend Dan.

Conversations all over the restaurant.

The beautiful square in Vac where the restaurant is.

Here is the Pizza Place.

Pray for Hungarian Students.