We continue to be greatly encouraged and strengthened by the friendship, partnership and support of the people and leadership of The Chapel. We wanted to give you a brief update about some things that are happening in Syracuse, NY.
We continue to see growth in the local church. In October, we went to two services to meet the demands of our continued growth. Additionally, we have been able to move our children’s ministry to one of the new buildings we procured and have been very encouraged by the transition. We continue to see our Missional Communities multiply and currently have 12 groups meeting (representing three different churches: Missio, Renovation Church, and Clay Community Church).
Our new residency program, which began on June 1, is off to a great start. We have three young men who have committed one year to training and service. Each week, they spend 10-15 hours serving in the Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse. Every Thursday, they also receive mentoring and theological training from one of Missio’s Elders.
We already have three (all from Florida) that are committed to being Residents in June 2015.
We have been building a relationship with the Westside Academy, a Junior High school in a very poor neighborhood of Syracuse. This year, we have added six new mentors (10 total) who will spend their lunch break, once per week, working with a student in this school.
We have also been able to start an after-school club, which meets every Tuesday at the school.
In addition, we are working toward the goal of placing Christian after-school clubs in all of the Syracuse city schools. In order to reach this goal, we are partnering with other churches and evangelical organizations, including Child Evangelism Fellowship, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Youth Alive.
Jobs for Life
This year we launched a workforce development program in partnership with the Rescue Mission. This program includes an eight-week class that teaches principles on life and work from a biblical foundation. Each student is matched up with potential employers and receives a mentor who continues to meet with him after graduation. We held two classes this year, resulting in 20 graduates from the Rescue Mission and are in our third round right now.
We have continued and increased our involvement in Cuba and India, training church leaders from all over in both countries. We are specifically focused in the cities of Havanna, Cuba and Asansol, India working with indigenous leadership. In addition to that, we have continued humanitarian work in India, specifically providing water filters, which you played a significant part. Additionally, we have strategic partners with ministries and churches we are working with in Ukraine and Italy. In Ukraine we have been encouraging many of our existing partners as the country is ravaged by war. Jordan was there recently meeting with leaders and assessing needs.
I am currently reading a biography about a missionary to China, Hudson Taylor called Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. He was an extraordinary man who trusted our awesome God. He is famous for saying “I never made a sacrifice” and yet from the outside it appears to all that he made many. But he knew where God had called him and it was his joy to serve the Lord.
He wrote before leaving England for China that he didn’t doubt God’s faithfulness, but he did doubt his own faith. So while a young man in his twenties he sought to trust God and to pray consistently and fervently and rigorously. He wrote, “How important to learn, before leaving England, to move man, through God, by prayer alone.” (italics mine). He knew that it was God who moved man. But he also understood the power of prayer. And wanted to utilize this great gift that God commands to see people come to faith. This was so challenging to me as I live and work and play in a context that is depressingly lost. These people need Jesus and need to hear the words of life! So I long for my life to be used by God. And I want my words to be used by God. But I need to PRAY that people would come to faith in Jesus.
Please pray for us. Please pray for our city. Please pray for your place and the people God has placed in your life.
We want to thank you for your prayers, support and commitment to see every man, woman and child in Syracuse and Onondaga county have repeated opportunities to see, hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you.
Levi Pancake, Elder, Missio Church
On behalf of the leadership of Missio Church