Car Wash

car-wash-fundraiser1Sometimes God has to be a bit creative to get my attention.

I walked by car wash fundraiser taking place in the parking lot next to our building the Opportunity Center. I stopped and asked who they were and why they were raising money (yes, I am THAT neighbor). I spoke to a young woman named Africa (her real name) who told me they were raising money for poor kids in Chihuahua, Mexico where they had family connections. I was excited to tell her that I went to that same area a few months ago and that our church had a partnership with a local group that serves poor kids in that very same place. 

After exchanging information and expressing a desire to get together and see if there were ways that we could collaborate, I was struck by the irony of the situation. A Latina named Africa, raising money next door to us in Aurora, Colorado for kids that we have been supporting and praying for in Mexico.

When we just started this adventure, I felt compelled to name our church “Mosaic” reflecting our desire to work with and for all sorts of people and organizations so that God could put all of the pieces together making the broken become beautiful. God used Africa to remind me to stay on course.

Reid

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God is at work

God is at work in Aurora, Colorado!

At Mosaic, we have always had relationships with neighbors that are homeless. I have learned a bunch about life and God from folks who have very limited financial resources. There has been a number of times that I have challenged some of these friends to be a positive spiritual influence on their friends – I have gotten some good verbal responses, but not much more than that. Last week a Bible Study especially designed for the most economically challenged among us was launched! I am especially excited about the fact that I am not leading the study, it’s being led by a couple who really identifies with that culture. It’s another moment when we see God answering our prayers right before our eyes and in even more effective ways that we were smart enough to pray  for.

There are a couple more things going on that I am really excited about… things that should give us new and improved ministry opportunities.

I have always understood that our ideas and plans for ministry exceeded our local church’s financial resources. Living in a community with huge needs and small incomes makes it necessary for us to find additional revenue streams. We have a number of very generous supporters without which we would not be able to function as a church or serve in our community. For years we have been investigating and praying for ways to connect with Private Foundations and Government Grant agencies. Recently we have been connected with the right people and have three grants in the works. We don’t know yet if we will receive anything… please pray that God will “grant” us favor with the decision makers.

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2. We are so grateful to God for providing us with a building. Very few new churches have a building and even fewer churches in communities plagued with poverty have buildings. One of the ways that God provided for us was to bring us into relationship with The Fields Foundation a non-profit group that we’ve partnered with in order to get the building. Recently they have approached us with a great opportunity… to buy more “shares” in the building partnership. Owning a greater percentage would put us fully in charge of the building (scheduling, usage, etc). We are so excited about the ways that our ministry would be enhanced and could be expanded. Please, please pray that God lead us in the process. 

As you would expect the great opportunity to buy a greater share of the building comes with a price tag. We are working with Wesleyan Investment Foundation to borrow the money we need for the purchase, but there are some additional costs that are really stretching us… there are appraisals, attorney fees and a couple of building maintenance issues that will cost us about $5000. And any additional that we could raise would help us with temporary cash flow or even reduce the amount that we will need to borrow (about $200,000).

Would you please pray about a special gift to Mosaic in the next couple of weeks? Thank you for your faithfulness and willingness to partner with us.

Reid Hettich, Pastor
Mosaic Church of Aurora
P.O. Box 6225
Aurora, CO 80045
303-870-6055
http://www.MosaicofAurora.com

 

 

 

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Mt Carmel Style Prayer

It was an odd prayer time. “Frank” asked if I would unite my heart with him in prayer… silently. He wanted my prayer to somehow intersect with his self described “Native American prayer”. I asked him if there was something specific for which we’d be praying. In between his labored, oxygen aided breathing, his one word response was ”dying”. 

With tears beginning to form in his eyes, Frank grabbed my hands and we prayed. I don’t know what words or in what language or to what God/god Frank prayed. I prayed that my all powerful, always loving God that Frank had in some way chosen to encounter, would be present in that moment. I prayed that the one true God would penetrate our hearts, our souls, our minds and bring forgiveness, peace and hope. I prayed that because life or death could not separate us from the love of God, we’d choose to accept and follow Him and the realize the peace that only He brings. 

the_test_on_mount_carmel_elijah_1I don’t know if we were having a Mt Carmel (1 Kings 18) style prayer competition. But in that moment, I was completely confident that our God was able to more than handle the simultaneous, maybe even contrasting prayers. I don’t know when, where or if I will see Frank again. I do know that although there wasn’t any taunting of any lesser gods and I didn’t see any fire falling from heaven, just like on Mt Carmel the powerful Creator of the universe was at work and continues to be at work in all of our lives. I do know that my God loves Frank and will continue to be at work in his life.

Please join me in praying for Frank. Please pray for us at Mosaic as we strive to be the feet , hands and voice of Jesus in Original Aurora.

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Global vs Local

global-local-300x300-1Churches face the often difficult decision of how much time, money and energy to devote to global missions vs local mission. That is always an interesting and important conversation, one that is and should be unique to each congregation.

At Mosaic that conversation takes a bit of a different twist. All of our global ministry opportunities have come from our local relationships. As I got know Moses Thang Hung, we became acquainted with his brother James’ ministry in Myanmar — there are now four “Mosaic Churches” in Myanmar that we encourage and support. Pastor Carlos is from Juarez, Mexico and has a relationship with Samuel Cordova who leads a dynamic network of churches and ministries in that region, I had the privilege of spending a few days with them in June. We are committed to stay connected and involved in that ministry. A couple of months ago I met Pastor Jemimah Ngatia a native of Kenya who has a ministry in our local community. We are exploring ways of working together (for the moment we’ll be working together with African refugees living in Aurora… but I know how things often evolve to a global scale).

There is an incredible amount of ministry that is needed in our local community, but here it is hard to keep that from expanding globally (and I have to admit, I’m not trying too hard to geographically limit our impact).

One of the interesting outcomes for us is that whenever we’ve had opportunities outside of our region, it seems to provide us with connections back to great ministry locally. We are praying for the right moment to launch a Burmese congregation in our community. Our Spanish language ministry and community influence is remarkable. We are developing quite a reputation in our local community for connections with ministry  that impact refugees from Africa and Asia.

I don’t have a clear picture of all of our future ministry involvements. I do know that we will continue to prayerfully engage with God as He leads us and give us opportunities to expand His Kingdom.

Please pray for us.

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A few days in Juarez

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At the US – Mexico boarder with Abraham & Samuel

I was privileged to spend a few  days in Juarez, Mexico. I was able to learn about a couple of incredible ministries and be a part of a graduation ceremony of five Worldwide Christian Chaplains.

I could talk for hours about the experience, but let me just share a few of my observations:

  1. The people and the church in Mexico seems to be less effected by the materialism and consumerism that is so pervasive in the US Church. In many cases they had very few resources, but without complaining or lamenting they simply leveraged everything that they have to do more ministry.
  2. There was a deep joy in the hearts of the people that I met. Even though I had very little to offer them, they seemed genuinely excited and happy that I had come to see them. Every place that I went there was contagious laughter… even though I didn’t understand, I found myself laughing with them.
  3. It gets really hot in Juarez.
  4. The church leaders that I spent time with have a passion for ministry that far exceeds much of what I observe in the US. The big time obstacles that our south of the border friends experience (poverty, spiritual opposition, violence, threats) seem to empower their passion even more to go more places and do more in the name of Jesus.
  5. Showing up is a big deal. Similar to my experience in Myanmar last September, the leaders seemed so pleased that I would take time, money and energy to come and spend time with them.

It was an honor to hang out with my new Mexican friends. I’m sure that I learned more from them that they did from me. I’m hoping that by showing up on their turf, by seeing and affirming their significant ministry that I was an encouragement to them.

Our neighbors in Aurora come from all over the globe. Please pray for us at Mosaic as we continue to understand and explore the ways that God is giving us natural opportunities to partner with Him all around the world.

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God is at work

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God is at work all around the world. That shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us… yet (as the saying goes) God works in mysterious ways.

In September I went o Myanmar to train pastors and to see the church and children’s home that had asked to “affiliate” with us. Based on a brief phone call (in which I apparently didn’t say “no”) the church changed their name to Mosaic Church of Myanmar. At Mosaic we had always talked about being a multiplying church, but this really came out of left field – way, way out of left field. It was inspiring to see those committed followers of Jesus doing what they sensed God was leading them to do in spite of all sorts of obstacles and with little or no infrastructure or funding.

So, I came home pretty excited about the fact that in a distant land, a dedicated group of believers in some way “affiliated” with us. I was surprised to get a message from Pastor James Mana Hung on January 20th saying that they had started another “Mosaic Church” about 15 miles away. The new church was/is lead by Pastor Myant Tun. But we are not done, yet. On February 16th in another message from Pastor James, I was informed that a third Mosaic Church had been launched in a remote area far away from the city of Yangoon. Pastor Nay Tun is the pastor of that group. So, right now I am counting three new Mosaic Churches in Myanmar since September, but that number could be inaccurate, I haven’t checked my messages for a few minutes.

I have to admit to being a bit embarrassed and really excited. I have been claiming to be a church planter… two church plants in 30 years. Pastor James and his team have three church plants in about five months! I have to “up my game” if I continue to hang out with these guys (imagine my embarrassment if I go back to see them next year with zero new church plants).

I am excited about the ways that God is at work around the world! I am excited and a bit challenged in seeing the ways that God is blessing those who step out in faith and follow Him in spite of hardships and obstacles. I’m excited to see clearly that God blesses commitment and obedience as much as or more than well put together business plans and funding strategies. I am excited and humbled to be on the same team as Pastor James, Pastor Myant & Pastor Nay.

Would you please pray for us? As you prayer, thank God for His amazing work around the world. Pray, too that God would bless and provide for the work in Myanmar and in Aurora and in every corner of this often dark world.

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Mosaic 2016

I am often asked, “How is the ministry at Mosaic going?”. It has been good for me to take some time and reflect on the answer to that question. Here are some of my responses:

Version 2I continue to marvel at the ways that God has blessed us with a couple of ministry building blocks that very few church plants enjoy. First, God has clearly answered my prayers and brought to us a diverse and incredibly talented group of leaders. I am so thrilled to be able to work with these committed, intelligent, gifted (and sometimes quirky) men and women. Second, we are so fortunate to own a building right in the precise place we want to be. There are hassles associated with ownership, but we are blessed.

There have been some “wins” for the Kingdom of God this year at Mosaic. Here are my top four:

1. The successful launch of Juwon Mosaic. We always expected that this Korean language congregation would launch out from us and while we will always be closely connected it is an independent church, having its own board and structure that work better for them. Its great to see them thrive in a location that is better for them and with additional scheduling flexibility.  14079940_10210821581122310_2026402332328078252_n

2. The successful start of Iglesia Cristiana Mosaico. Spanish is the first language of about 60% of our neighbors, so it is essential that we serve those folks. Pastor Carlos Calandreli is doing an amazing job of leading our Spanish language ministries and the congregation that meets at 1pm on Sundays. I am expecting that one day this group will be the largest single gathering at Mosaic and they have built a great foundation for effective ministry well into the future.

3. We have made great connections with immigrant/refugee churches and pastors in our community. We have close relationships with groups right in our neighborhood that worship in Spanish, Burmese, Hindi, Napoli, French and English. God is providing us with the passion and the opportunity to partner with these outstanding churches and pastors in ways that will strengthen them and help us all advance God’s Kingdom. Our connection and ministry to and with these groups was enhanced by my trip to Myanmar in September. We are beginning to be known as the bridge to and from these groups to the community at large. Most of these congregations will never be officially connected with Mosaic, but they will be and in many cases have already been significantly benefited by our ministry.

4. We have begun a significant focus on leadership development. Its really clear to me that the only way that we will be able to minister to our need filled and diverse community is with a whole lot of caring, competent and Godly leaders in every sector (church, government, law enforcement, social services, non profits, education, business, etc). God is challenging us to accept the call to identify, equip and empower leaders. Its exciting to know that we don’t have to be experts in each of these areas, but we can still significantly impact our community through developing leaders in each of those areas.

As you would suspect, there are also some challenges at Mosaic.

  1. Focus. There are so many needs and so many opportunities to address those needs. We are realizing more each week that in order to make an important impact, we will have to say “no” to many of these opportunities in order to focus on the ones to which God has really equipped us and call us. Please pray that we will have the wisdom to make the right choices and the discipline to follow through on those choices.
  2. Finances. While we operate a very, very lean organization we have roughly $7000 a month in expenses (over 90% of that is my salary and our building costs). We take in about half of that each month in tithes and offerings. That means we are dependent on generous donors from all over the country to make up that difference. God has been amazingly faithful in laying our ministry on the hearts of incredibly generous people and we are grateful. But there is a great deal of time and effort spent and a great deal of stress and pressure felt to make that happen. Please pray that God will continue to provide.

I could tell you hundreds of stories, stories that start with pain, injustice and heartbreak. But its exciting to hear how a bunch of those stories are beginning to change… through the power of God new endings are being written. Endings that now feature the breaking of destructive cycles… stories of transformation… stories of hope. Let me tell you just one story…
It started out as a pretty simple and safe conversation. Pastor Moses Thang Hung and I were talking about ways that Mosaic and I could help equip and support local Immigrant and Refugee pastors. These dedicated men and women have fled the violence and pain of their home countries often spending years in inhuman refugee camps. They come to this country committed to tell their countrymen about the hope and healing that comes from the one true God.

I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out how that innocent conversation about 5 months ago could have evolved into me spending eight days in Myanmar that had me as a guest professor in Theological Seminary, launching Mosaic Church of Myanmar (that includes an orphanage)Version 2, baptizing eight new believers and strategizing with Christian leaders to impact the entire country with the gospel. But the story didn’t end when I left. Part of the conversation centered around ways that Pastor James and the church could leverage their new freedom to proclaim the gospel during the upcoming Christmas season. We prayed and dreamed. In the past few days I have learned that Pastor James and his little church that meets in his house did a community outreach that touched dozens, hosted a Christmas event in their home for 250 of mostly Buddhist neighbors and he was invited to preach the gospel at the home of the Vice President of Myanmar! That’s a pretty productive Christmas!

Thank you. Your support of Mosaic is having a impact in Aurora and around the world. Please pray that God will continue to bless and use us as we follow Him.

Reid

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