Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all the nations in Matthew 28:18-20. In Acts 1:8 he said “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” FBC local outreach is what we all do as members of this church to be witnesses of Jesus in our Jerusalem. We have the privilege of being ambassadors of Jesus, witnesses of Jesus, speaking of who He is and what He has done here in Spokane. Each of us have a unique opportunity with our co-workers, our neighbors, our families, and our schools. The Holy Spirit empowers us and gives us courage to speak of Jesus through our friendships, hospitality and normal rhythms of life. This is our primary strategy for making disciples of Jesus in Spokane. Evangelism is not primarily a program; it is who we are and what we do as the Holy Spirit empowers us.
However, there are groups of people in Spokane who have less access to the gospel and who we are less likely to get to naturally spend time with for the sake of loving them and speaking of Jesus. We have specific strategies and programs that we are using to speak the gospel to the less reached people of Spokane, and it is important that we pray and labor together to see Christ proclaimed among them.
One such group of people who need to hear of Christ are the refugees and immigrants who have come to Spokane from other nations. They have unique needs and we have a unique opportunity and even responsibility to love and serve them as they arrive in our city as strangers and sojourners. We have been partnering for years with World Relief as they seek to serve refugees and immigrants. In fact World Relief’s vision is to empower and mobilize churches to serve refugees and immigrants so that we can make Christ known to them. Every month we use the a portion of the Care Fund to support World Relief’s general operations.
We are also partnering with World Relief through the refugee ESL class that meets at FBC every Sunday from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. Mike Sawatsky and Garry Morgan have been leading that effort. They always need more volunteers to be English conversation partners and friends of the refugee ladies, and they need volunteers to care for the children of the ESL class participants. This is a great opportunity for any of you who are free on Sunday afternoon who have a heart to show Christ and share Christ to these precious people. If you would like to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We have also begun partnering financially with World Relief and a group of churches in a venture called the “Friendship Center.” The Friendship Center is a drop-in center located in the same building as World Relief on Indiana across from North Central High School. The idea is that refugees can come to the Friendship Center and get help with things ranging from understanding mail to figuring out homework to paying bills. Our goal is to start friendships with them through serving them and to be able to know and love them and share Christ through those friendships. Eventually other programs for refugees and immigrants could be hosted by the Friendship Center. We are looking for volunteers who can be at the Friendship Center from 10:00am to 2:00pm one day a week on any weekday. Please let Nathan Thiry (email@example.com) or Garry Morgan know if you are interested!
Another group of people that most of us do not have as much contact are unchurched families from Willard Elementary School. A small group of people are volunteering at Willard each week. We put on a camp at UGM camp every summer the first full week of August with about 70 unchurched kids from Willard, the neighborhood around the church or your neighborhood! At this camp we get to speak the gospel multiple times each day to these kids. We need a group of about 30 adults, college students and teens to help with this! Please sign up here if you are interested!