Strong Family BMA Missions Update November 2020

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What a month it has been! Praise the Lord with us for what He has done!

PRAISES

  • Now teaching a weekly Bible Study for men in a post-prison release housing program and God has been graciously leading us in great gospel conversations
  • Two neighborhood boys asked us to start a study each week and I got to explain the gospel to one who not only went from confused to understanding, but explained it back to me and another local BMA brother who is planting a church nearby and helped me
  • Our girls Foundations Bible study group is growing in daily habits of grace and saw a special time of growth over the last month in regard to sharing sin and praying for each other
    • We also saw God answer several very specific prayer requests including the return of a member who left for a week
  • I have been able to meet with a handful of men over the last month to share what God is doing with the work here, and despite any formal commitments, we do see God is beginning to draw people to what we are doing
  • New video teaching series are going online including some teaching on Luke and a short break to work through a series on Covenants in the coming weeks (on YouTube and Facebook)
  • God opened the door to allow articles I wrote to be featured in the Baptist Trumpet as well as a special feature in the recent issue of Mission World Magazine. You can access the magazine here: https://missionworldmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2020-6MissionWorldNovDecDownload.pdf
  • We have been spending time with another church plant associated with the BMA that is a bit further along than us and they have been a blessing to us in several ways:
    • One family is letting our three littlest kids come to “preschool” three days a week to learn about Jesus and hang out with other littles so Laura can teach our bigs and I can work on planting
    • The guys who are starting the church are letting me fellowship with them in a book group once a week in the morning
    • We are attending services with them while we focus on Bible studies to build a core launch team which allows us a group of Christians to fellowship with and worship with in the meantime
  • Roughly three weeks away from completing two more classes in my Master’s program in seminary and they have both been a great blessing to me this season
  • We had three birthdays! Felicity turned 12 and Alyssa turned 18 in November! Laura had a birthday in October!
  • I have been experiencing a personal prayer and study movement where God is really satisfying my heart more and more and opening my eyes to see ways He will take care of me through the end of my days, however long that may be, by prioritizing my focus on Scripture, remembering His past faithfulness, focusing on the good of each day, and saturating my day in prayer, as well as using spiritual songs for maturity and refreshment

 
REQUESTS

  • Overflow of my personal experience of the prayer and study movement to crossover to the members of my household in increasing measure and then into the members of our community
  • Gospel growth in the Bible Study groups
  • Committed team members that will become the start of the church
  • Multiplying opportunities for the Bible Studies (taking the studies we are doing and doing them with other people and groups)
  • Wisdom navigating Covid-19 and doing outreach to make disciples in the coming winter months including where and how to meet 

 
I am just really overwhelmed by how gracious God has been to us since we’ve been back. God does everything in His timing and I’ve always known that, but something is different about how that impacts me when I say it. There is still so much to be done before we can say we’ve planted a church. We are at the beginning of it all. There are times I wish I could say we were further along. But we are right where God wants us to be today. I am sure of that. And I am hopeful about where we are headed. Before God builds the house, He gets the details in order. That includes making sure I am ready and the other people that will need to be there to care for it while it is in infancy will be there and where they need to be spiritually. I am waiting on Him to do His work while also listening and watching where He is working and opening doors. I am calling out to neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christ while also trusting He will do the work to draw the right people at the right time. 
 
In the past, I would’ve likely tried to force it. I wouldn’t have known that was what I was doing, but it was what I would have been doing. Now, I believe God is helping me learn to call out and see and then wait and come back and call out again. He has the plan and the means since, ultimately, it is His work and His church. He will complete it. I just get the honor and privilege of joining Him in it. I get to experience the supernatural work of Christ in seeing chains break off of souls when the gospel sets folks free and when His people decide to move to action to serve Him in new ways of obedience in church planting. It’s a joyful opportunity and I look forward to the coming season. I look forward to sharing with you what God has done. I look forward to maybe working with some of you in a new way. 
 
You Brother and Partner in Gospel Ministry, 
Michael Strong on behalf of the Strong Family