I cannot express how proud I am of Great Hills Baptist Church! You were fantastic in the 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting, Cleansing the Temple, and in the commissioning of Cornerstone Community Church. We have been going hard for our Lord over the last few weeks. I appreciate so very much your love for Jesus and His church. Sunday was a remarkable day for us. We sent out Pastor Stu Smithson and his family to go and plant CCC. They have a core leadership team of 34, and we are trusting God to use them in wonderful ways to reach people in the Cedar Park/Leander areas who have no church affiliation. Our God is a missionary God. His heart is for the lost, and whenever we can do anything that aligns with His heart for lost people, then we are fulfilling our mission and destiny.
Recently, I became moderator of the Christ Together Greater Austin group. The mission of CTGA is to give every man, woman, and child repeated opportunities to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am honored to serve our Lord and our city in this way. We are currently working with Austin Bridge Builders Association (ABBA) and Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN) on a joint mission trip to Port Arthur, Texas. The mayor of Port Arthur asked if the church in Austin would come help his city which was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Plans are underway for the churches in Austin to go in mass numbers to Port Arthur on September 30 and spend the day serving the city in a variety of ways. I hope many of our GHBC members will go and be the hands and feet of Jesus to a broken and hurting city. We will show a short video on Sunday, and Terry Hurt will share more information as well.
Ashley and I, along with eight other Great Hills members, are on mission in Maui. I am looking forward to serving at Kehei Baptist Chapel and helping this congregation. Some of our team will assist me in teaching and the other part of our team will be involved in helping paint. (Ashley and I will also put on our painting clothes and help.) It will be a great trip. The local Baptist associational missionary, Pat McAlister, came to me a couple of years ago and asked if GHBC would send teams to Maui. I asked why was he asking us. He said he went to David Smith, the Director of Missions at the Austin Baptist Association, for help and David told him to go ask GHBC because they are a missions-minded church. This will be our church’s third trip to Maui (my first) and we ask that you pray for us as we go and serve.
Our new student pastor, Jeffrey Samplaski, will kick off a new sermon series on Sunday that we are simply calling Blessed. We will be learning and exploring together what a blessed life, home, church, nation, and world looks like. This series of messages will give us preachers an opportunity to bless and build up our church family. I am looking forward to what God will do.
Ashley and I invite you to go to Israel with us May 14-23, 2018. We went ten years ago and it was the most amazing trip! We will walk where Jesus walked, and experience an inspirational and wonderful time together. If you would like a brochure, have any questions, or would like to know more about the Israel trip, please contact Kathy Jones at email@example.com.
Pray for our team in Spain as they will return on Monday, and please pray for our Maui team as we serve.