Four years ago Phillip was first approached by his best friend growing up about church planting. I remember the conversation well.
Phillip: I talked to Cory today.
Me: That's good. How are things going for him in Kaufman?.
Phillip: Well, he is looking at planting a church in the next couple of years and he kinda asked me if we would want to go with him and Leslie with plans to plant another church a few years after that.
Me: That's nice. We can pray for them. I will follow you any where in ministry. I will follow you to Africa, but God has NOT called us to plant a church.
You see, I work in the real world. I know exactly what people think about Christianity. They cry out His name, but it is not in adoration and praise. People in Africa already worship God. They worship the rain god, the harvest god, the fertility god, ect... They just don't know it is all one God. The one true God. They are eager to know the story of our Christ and that He died for our sins. Americans on the other hand are so calloused to what God did for us. Sadly, we as Christians have done little to prove their views are wrong. Having experienced how 'loving' Christians treat other Christians first hand, I see their point. We have done little to disprove their views of our own hypocrisy. So, no, I will not be planting a church in America.
Over the next couple of years, God began changing me. Cory kept calling and keeping us informed of what God was doing in Lorena and China Springs and my fortitude began to change. I learned that the US is the 3rd largest mission field in the world and that other countries are now sending missionaries here instead of the other way around. I learned that the population is growing faster than our churches are growing and that it doesn't matter that there is a church on every corner, the unchurched are not being reached. I witnessed first hand that the "church" is not four walls. Its the people that serve God unselfishly to reach the lost through showing God's love through how we love one another. I learned that being comfortable is not what God called us to be.
About a year ago, I was uncomfortable. I was angry about everything. Something was off. I went a couple days without much sleep and God laid it on heavy. I spent 2 days in prayer and fasting and crying...a lot. Even for a girl. I knew that God was calling us to do something I had vowed never to do. I finally said, "God, I am willing to go any where you call us to go. Even if its to plant a church. Even if its to stay where we are." Neither option was what I was hoping for, but I knew then and there that total surrender is what God was asking of me. So I told Phillip to get some more information. Let's talk about it. So we did. We were not in a rush. We didn't want to make a hasty decision. We had our girls to think about too. But ultimately, God has called us to reach the unchurched. Over the next few months, God's plan was becoming much more obvious. We had prayed that God would firmly close doors and open others and he very well did. Some closed harder than others but the ones that He had opened were like following the yellow brick road. There will be lions and tigers and bears. (Oh, My!) But God has already given us all the tools to find our way home. We just have to be willing to be to get out of our comfort zone and have an "I surrender" attitude.