Redeemer City to City is hosting 16 church planters and 7 church planting trainers for four weeks of intense training, church plant site visits, prayer, and of course, fun. You, Redeemer, have been welcoming these leaders year after year into your church, coffee hours, and your apartments. And every year, the Intensives have been overwhelmed with your hospitality and generosity.
Due to the editorial cycle of the Redeemer Report, I’m writing this article about the International Intensive before they arrive in New York and you’re reading this article as the Intensive is underway. So I’m sure each church planter and church planting trainer is having an extraordinary time learning about gospel renewal, ministry design, and observing center city church plants. Below are a couple of snippets from the planters’ bios explaining their backgrounds and some of the work they’re doing leading up to the Intensive.
Will you stop and pray for the 16 church planters and 7 church planting trainers joining us this month? And will you join Redeemer City to City in our work to help leaders build gospel movements in cities by giving to the CTC Special Offering? You can give by texting CTC to 45777 or online at redeemercitytocity.com.
Eli Birnbaum, Tel Aviv, Israel
For the last 6 years we have been leading a discipleship program for young adults that focuses on engaging Israeli Backpackers with the gospel in India and South America. For three years we have been developing a multi-purpose venue in our neighborhood with a variety of activities to engage and interact with our community like art galleries, music shows, second hand sales etc. A year ago our son Shalev was born, keeping us on our toes from day one!
Bilge Ileri, Global City in the Middle East
Although I had a secular upbringing, I always searched for God. During a time of personal crisis in 2002 I was introduced to the Christian faith by a friend, started reading the Bible, and going to church. My calling to full time ministry happened after years of studying and working as a physicist and postdoctoral researcher in the field of quantum optics at the University of Hamburg. Witnessing the plausibility of the Christian faith among my atheistic, secular friends soon became an integral part of my daily work.
Shebu John, Melbourne, Australia
I approached a church to see if there was an opportunity to serve on staff while I began some theological studies. I was given a part-time role while I studied. It was during this time our church went through some internal changes and the senior pastor decided to move on. I too wanted to leave, but God called me and another pastor to stay and begin the journey of re-planting. We have been in that journey for seven years now and by God’s grace we have seen the church grow in various ways.
Sebastian Lopez, Santiago, Chile
We are leading a church plant project called ‘Ciudad Nueva’ in the east area of Santiago; praying and working toward launching in 2017. I love outdoor life and good coffee. My best friend and I have started a coffee roasting business here in Chile called Peregrino Coffee Roasters. The vision for the project is to foster coffee culture in our country, build community and also create means for missions and ministry. I feel blessed and excited to be able to participate in 2016 intensive in New York.
Collins Ouma, Nairobi, Kenya
In our African situation church planting is also strategic because it is a self-sustainable, contextually relevant model for our resource-stressed context. New churches grow rapidly, reach out to new people, self-support, develop leadership and self-perpetuate over time. It is from this background that we initiated a school for Church Planting since 2012, where I have been providing leadership towards the task of preparing those that we are launching into our various communities.