It is unbelievable how time flies! As we look back over our time in ministry, events that seem like yesterday are suddenly three years in the past. God has really stretched and grown us in amazing ways. Here is a brief recap of the last four years!
June of 2014 – We joined World Indigenous Missions and then moved back into the Cleveland area to begin searching for ways to gain new ministry experience.
May of 2015 – We left to spend three months with the Jarvis family in Kenya. God stretched us as we had the opportunity to minister to both kids and adults. (We cannot believe that this was 3 years ago now!)
August of 2015 – We partnered with Reaping the Harvest Ministry on the Westside of Cleveland and began to train in church planting.
January of 2016 – We began working with the Youth Group at Abundant Life Community Church. By the month of March we were attending the regular events and creating lasting relationships.
August of 2016 – We attended our first International Conference for World Indigenous Missions. We also began to heavily focus on getting more involved in children and youth ministry in both Reaping the Harvest Ministry and Abundant Life Community Church. We always knew we had a passion for Children and Youth ministry, but this was the point in time we invested heavily in learning and developing our ministry skills in this area.
Over the next two years we’ve had times of joy and sadness, hope and frustration, growth and decline; and through it all we’ve seen God work out his will. It has been amazing to serve him throughout the many situations that we have been in.
Now, after many months of prayer we have felt God leading us to another transition after these two years of ministry. So without further adieu…
July 2018 – We will begin a more formal time of ministry working with the youth at Abundant Life Community Church. This means that we will no longer be splitting time between two locations of ministry, but will be focusing full time on pouring into the youth at Abundant Life Community Church. We will continue to stay connected with our church family in Cleveland, but we felt God leading us to really focus in on one area of ministry and give it our full attention.
While this may not seem like a drastic change, it is going to allow us to focus exclusively on growing in youth ministry and forming lasting relationships that impact the lives of young people. This is what we love to do and feel passionate about, reaching the next generation with the gospel and discipling them! We are so excited for this new chapter of our lives!
As we begin this transition period, we would encourage you to continue to be in prayer for us, specifically that the transition would be smooth and peaceful. In addition, pray that we would be able to form lasting relationships with the students we have an opportunity to minister to, and that God would open doors so that we could reach them with the gospel.
Benjamin and Rachel
(p.s. Sorry about the lack of pictures! Additional update to come later this week that has pictures and more specifics about what we’ve been doing the last month!!)