My good friend and fellow Florida Baptist Theological College (now Baptist College of Florida) graduate Richie Allen invited me to the board meeting of LINC-UP Ministries. LINC-UP is a non-profit ministry designed to mobilize churches to start new churches in a remote area off the Amazon river in Brazil. The theological and philosophical work that LINC-UP does is really sound and the results have been simply extraordinary. Last year alone LINC-UP had 110 students enrolled in theological education. These men and women will be the future evangelists, church planters and leaders in local congregations. To quote from their newsletter, “the motivation behind it all is to see God glorified among those who have never heard (the Quilombolas of Brazil).” God is doing some amazing things through LINC-UP. Please pray for them as they continue to connect churches in the states to help facilitate a church planting movement in Brazil.
The Lord also had another blessing in store for me while I was in Florida. Doug Kearnes serves as pastor of First Baptist Church of Hilliard, Florida. Doug and his wife Lynn have been friends of mine for over 25 years. God graciously allows our lives to intersect every so often. It was a blessing to share breakfast together and find ourselves leaving the restaurant with the lunch crowd.
On Sunday I attended First Baptist Church of Orange Park, Florida. I have known David Tarkington, the Senior Pastor, since 1997. When he was Student Pastor at the same church we shared in several youth camps together, and he also brought his youth group to Stafford, Virginia, to do mission work with Stafford Baptist. David and his family took me out for lunch after the service and we had a great time catching up. Let me take this moment to encourage you to listen to David’s sermon from Sunday (December 5, 2011). It was a tremendous challenge that cut deep into my heart over my own selfish ministry desires. It really is a must-listen for church leaders! http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/get-real-david-tarkington/id135822490
A shout out also to our friends Ryan and Stacie Rouse. Ryan serves as student pastor to FBC Orange Park. I was thrilled to meet Piper their little girl. She is adorable!!
LINC-UP Ministries and FBC Orange Park will be partnering with us in Iceland on multiple levels. We are excited to see what develops in 2012 and beyond.
From the northernmost capital in the world, Reykjavik, Iceland, we are praying for and believing in a church planting movement that will impact the world.