In the past couple of months, there have many amazing opportunities that have come up! We are planting a church for all people to discover and deepen a relationship with God and each other through Jesus Christ! We believe God is giving us opportunities to be a refuge for people to discover and deepen these relationships through community enrichment opportunities like English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, trauma support/care, and resume/interview coaching. God has also given us a passion to train and develop future ministry leaders. This begins with a college aged internship program that we’ll begin this Summer!
We are also putting a ton of energy toward launching an online ministry. Many people in our neighborhood still hesitate joining a church physically right now; however, by developing ministries that reach people virtually creates incredible opportunities to connect with new individuals! This can be possible with a great website, online Bible studies, and streamed worship opportunities.
Please be in prayer regarding a potential meeting space we've pinpointed that can be used for Bible studies and hosting of mission teams. To give you some context, we originally found this building right around the corner from our apartment on Google Earth prior to moving to the city. We’ve since found out that it is a space that is used by multiple international congregations. They have been open to us utilizing the space to host Bible studies and mission teams. We are meeting with the church’s leadership later this month to determine logistics of what that partnership could look like. Please pray that God would continue to open this door and provide the funds it would take to cover our expenses!
Also, we are seeing God lead others to join our team. Currently, we have individuals who are excited about helping in children/family ministries, administration, worship, and audio/visual tech ministry. It’s amazing how God is bringing people together for this mission.
All of these opportunities require financial provision from God’s people. Would you consider investing financially into our ministry through a one time or recurring gift?
All of our gifts go through First Baptist Church of Orange Park who is operating as our sending church. This ensures financial accountability.
Life and Family
2021 has been unique to say the least! The city has still been fairly shut down because of the pandemic, we have gotten a ton of snow, I messed up our car’s bumper while trying to pull out of an icy parking spot, we got our first parking ticket, and we all got COVID! It has been a crazy couple of months for the Floros for sure!
Thankfully, with each of those trials, God has provided help to our distress. Our NAMB Church Planting Catalyst, Jeremiah Brinkman, offered his garage and expertise to help repair the problem with our car! We’ve been able to order everything through Seamless and UberEats that we have needed. Some have even sent money through Venmo to help alleviate some of the costs of food delivery. We’ve also had many from New Hope Church, our home church here in the city before we launch, reach out to offer their assistance in getting groceries and medication. While things have been challenging, God has used His people to be a constant reminder that we are not alone. It has been a faith-building experience!
Continue praying for our family, and specifically, our kids, Annie and Judson. They are also feeling the stress of all that’s happening around them. While they are troopers and have had great attitudes, we know that extended quarantines and online schooling takes its toll. Pray for our health so that we can get them back to exploring this great city and its playgrounds as a family!
Church Planting Residency
January began with training in Jacksonville, FL. I am in a church planting residency with the Church of Eleven22, which essentially means they are walking with us through the church planting journey. They are training us through 9 core competencies of church planters: Marriage, Theological Clarity, Spiritual Vitality, Conviction & Commendation • Relationships, Leadership, Maturity, Missional Lifestyle, Disciple Making, Ability to Teach, and Entrepreneurial Aptitude.
In January, we trained around the ideas of ‘Man, Marriage, and Family’. Through their encouragement and support, we were able to identify some areas of growth and development in our personal habits, family rhythms, and personal development. With the help of trained biblical counselors, we’ve been able to dig around various areas of our lives and work through things that we would’ve otherwise just powered through. Knowing that we’re embarking on a very difficult road ahead, having margin to strengthen our marriage and family has been a gift that we are extremely grateful to be able to do.
Also, here in the city, the SEND NYC Network has been a huge encouragement to us! I was able to connect with other church planters in the city for a time of encouragement and support at their offices in Manhattan. I've also been able to take part in prayer gathering put together by George Russ and the MNYBA. This meeting included Pastor Gregg Matte, our Pastor while in Houston, as a special guest! We are so thankful to have a network of other Pastors in the city to have some community!
Beginning in February, I have been given multiple opportunities to teach at New Hope. On February 7th, I preached on the clarity of Scripture as part of a sermon series revolving around the church’s value of ‘Reading Scripture’. I’ve also been able to lead a weekly Bible study for New Hopers about how to better read and understand the biblical genres. Each week, we’ve had a good amount of people join in with more being invited each week! So far, we’ve talked about reading narrative, poetry, wisdom literature, and apocalyptic literature. We have yet to talk about the Prophetic books as well as the New Testament Letters. This Zoom Bible study has been a great opportunity to lead a group of people who are from New York and become a better communicator here in the city.
We Need Mission Teams
We are hopeful about having mission teams come up as early as this summer to partner with us on the ground here in Sunnyside! With the vaccine being fully available by the end of May, we are confident that many of the current travel restrictions will be reduced for visitors. We are also hopeful that many of our neighbors will be more receptive to connecting and having spiritual conversations. You can read more about bringing a team up by clicking here!
Thank you so much for your continued prayer and support! So many have reached out to encourage us! We are so grateful for you and look forward to being able to seeing you again soon!