For God uses the foolish things of this world ...

  This morning I moved my study to the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 1. Realizing the person who was writing this letter, it is amazing that Paul was exhorting the church. Remember the work that Paul did before coming to Christ. My Pastor called him the Usama Bin Laden of the Christian church. He once hunted down Christians and approved of their demise. It is amazing to see that God will use anyone for His glory. I count it a joy that the Lord would call Paul to Himself and that I have been called to Jesus also. God will use anyone to bring about His work. Paul speaks into the the church's life about the work of the cross. It is foolishness for those who are perishing. What we do as Christians is absurd to the outside world. It does not make sense to leave Ohio for a land filled with so much plurality and sin. It does not make sense to sell everything to have to purchase used items in Hawaii. It does not make sense to uproot my family for no promised salary and that we have to rely on the world wide body of Christ to supply our needs. It does not make sense, but it is the work of God. It did not make sense to Paul when he was Saul. It was foolishness to him and he found a desire to destroy it because of its absurdity. However, Paul was changed in his pursuit of the church. In this pursuit to destroy it, he becomes part of it. It is amazing that God would invite him and I am still amazed that God would invite me. I am not qualified by any means. I don't have a degree, I have a large family and we are a committed to keeping my wife home to train our children. Yes, by the world's standards, it does not make sense. However, God doesn't check with the world before making a plan. He is righteous and sovereign. He doesn't make mistakes and is in full control of all things. I am amazed that he would use me, the foolish thing, to do such a great work. I have been set free by Christ to bring His story to the world, so that they might be set free and take His story to the world.

Recently, Urbancrest Baptist Church has set up a way for anyone who feels led to be part of this incredible journey financially. If you feel led or you know someone that the Lord is leading to give to this work, you can send finances to Urbancrest Baptist Church @ 2634 Drake Road, Lebanon Ohio 45036. Checks need to be made to the FAITH PROMISE FUND or Urbancrest Baptist Church. In the memo line write HAWAII CHURCH PLANT. This way there is accountability for the use of the funds and it allows people to have a tax write off if needed.

UPDATE ON FUNDING: Michelle and I (and Nathan) are heading to Las Vegas, NV for a church planters conference in June. We used a large donation made by a family member to afford this trip. Our hope is to be assessed by the Launch Network and eventually be supported by them. If approved by this network (training included) and approved by NAMB (North American Mission Board) we might only lack $1600 of our monthly support needed. The Lord is doing a great work. If you feel led to be a monthly contributor, contact Doss Estep at 513-932-4405. Doss is our missions pastor and can walk you through the process. Michelle and I will also begin to raise our initial support needed to move and equip the church. I recently raised this figure to $42,000. This will cover flights to go over early and make relationships with potential people and locations for Grace Community. It will also allow us to find a place to live. We plan on having a few yard sales before we sell our house. This money will go into the fund. We are going to be selling a ton, so pray we do. Near the end of summer, I will be selling my car and then selling our van just before we leave. Our house will go on the market by mid-July, we hope. God is going to provide and we get to be part of it.

Thanks for Praying for us,

Pastor Shawn Peoples

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