Monday, February 4, 2019

A Growing Family

One of the funny things about following Jesus is that sometimes you beat your head up against the wall repeatedly trying to make something happen, and then, as soon as you throw up your hands and release it to God, He makes it happen. Those moments are precious; they are both humbling and joy-filled.

Recently, I've experienced this pattern anew. My hope and prayer when we launched Burning Bush was that we would grow as a network of local missionaries. (When I say local missionaries I mean men and women who are intentionally living on a mission to reveal God's love and Kingdom with their neighbors who are hurting and disconnected from the church.) I knew that in the long run it was our job to develop local missionaries, but it would really help us get going if we had a core of them to start with. The problem was, I had no idea where to find those people. I talked to all kinds of ministries, pastors, and churches, but I didn't get anywhere.

Eventually, after the head-banging had produced nothing but headaches, I got the message that our job was just to lead the people we had into mission and stop worrying about gathering other local missionaries. And so we got busy, and the headache went away.

And then, seemingly out nowhere, God started bringing local missionaries our way. Three local missionaries joined us in October and November, and then three more joined us in January. We're actually starting to look like a network!

Today, it is my honor to introduce you to one of our new teammates, Permon Thomas. I met Permon through the Pine Manor Community Center, where he leads a weeknight ministry in the community kitchen for guys who are recently out of jail and prison. Permon was incarcerated himself, came to faith in prison, and is completely on-fire for loving incarcerated men and helping them make life work when they get out. Permon also has a heart for equipping others, and we are working on a plan for him to launch a discipleship and missionary training ministry to complement his ex-offender ministry (which is more basic, and focused on integration in society). So, welcome to the team Permon! We are blessed to have you on board!  

Permon participating in the work to give some ex-offenders the right to vote in Florida.

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