Glimpses

Glimpses
It has been neat seeing some of the ways God has been at work over the last few weeks.  Here are just two stories of many that I could share:
Story #1: Coincidence?  I think not.
My family and I were invited to go Easter egg hunting the week before Easter with some family friends.  We stopped by a home (that was for sale) on the way to pick up another family.  Not knowing who was invited to the Easter egg hunt, I introduced myself to a couple standing inside the house.  I asked them if they were coming to join us in this adventure, and they promptly smiled and politely replied that they actually just purchased the house.  They were going to take some measurements while we were hunting eggs.  During our conversation, I was instructed that the Easter egg caravan was leaving. 
I didn’t think about the conversation on Saturday until the next day in church.  The pastor invited the congregation to stand and greet those sitting around them.  I stood up, turned around, and to my astonishment, I saw the couple that purchased the house standing in front of me!  Words started coming out of my mouth, “I think I know you!”  We learned that they were members of Tim Keller’s church in New York City and were now living in Raleigh.  He was a good friend with the associate pastor there who recently took a call to church planting (sound familiar?).  All in all, we are enjoying getting to know this couple. Making connections with other couples in various places throughout the last few weeks has been a blessing to my family and me.  It's a glimpse of God's grace as we grow in this new community.
Story #2: 3DM
A member of the council at First Reformed Church of Cary knows a United Methodist church planter in Apex.  She connected me to him, and he suggested I check out 3DM.  He said something about a conference happening in Apex (just north of Holly Springs) in the near future.  Not knowing anything about 3DM or Mike Breen who started this ministry, I did some research.  I discovered that the Christian Reformed Home Missions is already using this material in a few areas.  Ten Learning Communities are starting up throughout North America this spring and summer.  One of them is in Apex. 
Apex!  I mentioned this conference to the Home Missions regional Director of the southeastern United States, Drew Angus.  He purchased a $57 round trip ticket from New Jersey to Raleigh on Thursday, and the Learning Community began on the following Monday. Spending quality time with Drew for a couple of days last week was an unexpected blessing. The conference provided a great opportunity to network with brothers and sisters in the United Methodist Church who are aggressively planting churches in this area.  The conference was an invaluable learning experience for me as I seek God’s direction for our church plant.   
I could share other stories that point to how God continues to be at work in our church planting process, which have been affirming.  The challenge for me is to keep my ears attuned to what God is doing. 
Here’s Drew Angus and I enjoying the 3DM Learning Community.
Drew and Mark