One of the biggest gifts God has given me is my family. Not only do I have great wife and kids but I have great extended family as well.
Recently, we had a family get-together to celebrate a new birth in the family. My cousin, a pastor (What can I say? It runs in the family) in North Carolina was home to show off his new daughter. During the get-together we chatted about being fathers and how awesome our wives are. Eventually we got on the topic of ministry. He reminded me of one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible. John 17:20, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
After we talked about this verse and what it meant to us he began to lament the division he deals with on a daily basis in the city he serves. He talked about how there isn’t the unity in his city that he knows in his heart, the Lord intended in his prayer in John 17.
My heart mourned for him because I can truly say I know what he is missing. I began to think about the churches of the Plateau and how united we are. As I sympathized for my cousin in his situation, I quietly gave thanks for the pastors we currently have here on the Plateau and the pastors who paved the way before us.
The Plateau is a special place in that the majority of the churches here love one another and many of us partner together to accomplish great things. As I thought about this, I began to thank the Lord even further because of all the work each church does here – not in competition with each other but in obedience to the call Jesus has on each of our congregations separately. Here are some examples. A few weeks ago this city was full of Vacation Bible Schools. I was so excited to hear the great news that roughly 300 kids were at EMS as Northwest Bible Church served them. At New Life we had a little over 50 special needs kids and siblings and friends being cared for and loved. That same week I walked by Calvary Presbyterian and watched youngsters running around City Hall park laughing playing together.
I know there are still more VBS to go this summer.
Not only have our churches reached out to the children of our community but to the expectant mothers as well. I’m so thankful for MRCC for doing the community baby shower for those in our community who need it. I so appreciate Hope Lutheran as they have opened their land and have done the back-breaking work of starting a community garden that will feed those who have need of our food banks, providing them with fresh vegetables in the near future. I love that The Summit is partnering with others to host a 5K in September that will provide much-needed funds for our special needs programs in the Enumclaw School District. Not to mention all that Plateau Outreach Ministries is doing for us. These are just a snapshot of all that the churches are doing here.
I wish I had the space to tell you all the amazing things Jesus is doing on the Plateau through his body. The ones that I’ve mentioned just happen to be off the top of my head, so please don’t be offended if your church wasn’t mentioned. I know there’s far more going on in this community than I am aware of. Let’s celebrate the goodness of our Jesus and how he loves us.
We are an incredibly blessed community and I am proud to be living and pastoring here.