This time last year my wife and I were attending Ecclesia’s Genesis Church Planters Training in Chicago, Illinois, attempting to soak up every ounce of information presented to us. We were discerning a growing sense of call to plant a church in a community full of people and experiences very different from our own.
Today, one year later, marks our third month on the ground in Albuquerque’s International District, a beautifully diverse, tragically marginalized and wonderfully resilient area of our city. We desire to see a missional community of faith spring up, which we are calling New Creation Albuquerque. We hope to be a people seeking the peace and flourishing of our neighborhood. 25% of our neighbors were born outside of the U.S. and nearly 50% live below the poverty line. It is where people begin when they have nothing or end up when they’ve lost everything.
As we begin our church planting journey, we are sometimes bold, often uncertain and growing ever more dependent on the Holy Spirit for moment by moment discernment. God is on the move and is affirming His call on our lives! He is building the beginnings of beautiful relationships between our families and our neighbors, men, women and children born in America, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, Africa and Mexico. We have attended a Buddhist festival at the invitation of a monk I met while prayer walking. We have prayed for broken marriages, empty bank accounts and hurting legs and backs. We are seeing God move. And, others are joining us! Three families have moved into the neighborhood to be an intentional presence with us. We have had over 35 adults attend the first 3 of a series of 10 weekly interest meetings. These represent a diverse and gifted group of Jesus’ followers discerning God’s call to join us on mission to the International District. God is moving. We are encouraged and are expectant for what the Holy Spirit is bringing about as we strive to bear faithful witness to Jesus’ Kingdom in this place.