Over the past year Kristen and I have been discerning how the Spirit of God was leading us. Just before the birth of our son, God was making it clear that it was time to prepare for something. Although I was sure what it was, I was not ready to face it. In mid-January it was very clear what the Spirit of God was directing us to do, it was time for us to step out and plant a church.
For me this was quite scary. I knew what that would mean, and although I knew that the Father would care for us and provide everything we needed to accomplish the task, I held a level of unbelief. However as Kristen and I worked through this I came to my senses and received what the Lord would have for us. I knew that our call to plant a church would take us to an urban unreached area of the U.S.
As we began to understand the leading of the Spirit further, we never imagined where He would lead us. Portland, OR.
In a stroke of genius one morning as we were talking about what the Lord was doing in leading us to plant a church, Kristen says to me, “what about the Northwest?” As any good husband would respond, my reply was “are you nuts?” See that was not my plan. My plan was for us to head to California, I had it all worked out, and although in any church plant there are big elements of faith involved moving to California had the least possible risk in my mind.
As I stepped back from the conversation and began to ask the Spirit to lead and guide our family, it was very clear what we had to do. We were going to the Northwest to plant a church. Now growing up under the influence of the wonderful decade of the 90’s much of my tastes have been shaped by music, style and culture that have come out of the Great Pacific Northwest. Needless to say how the Spirit was leading us intrigued me greatly.
As we looked at the two urban areas of the Northwest, Portland and Seattle, the Spirit simply began to burden my heart for Portland. The glaring need for the Gospel in the city became incredible evident. The need for the church in Portland was magnificently clear.
Through a chain of random relationships I was connected to people in the Pacific Northwest, and Portland to begin exploring how the Lord would use us there. We made our first visit ever to the city in April 2014, and that was the final confirmation for us. We knew that this was where the Spirit was leading us, and we knew that we had to come and make disciples there.
As we walked the streets of Portland, saw the people there and experienced the culture our hearts burden for the people. As Jesus send out the seventy-two he said: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2). I don’t think that this scripture has ever been made more real to me than while I was in Portland.
The harvest in Portland is so ripe, but the laborers are so few. The city is so wonderfully close to the Kingdom. People there are spiritually sensitive, they have an incredible love for humanity and justice. To introduce the Gospel into this and see it take root, is the beginning of something magnificent for the Kingdom of God.
So this is the adventure we are going to embark on in 2015. Kristen and I will be moving to Portland, to start a church. We will move to Northeast Portland, and begin to embed ourselves into the Mt Tabor area. We covet your prayer and support in this adventure. You will be able to keep up with what we are doing through the website: http://www.kaleopdx.com.