And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. – Matthew 4:23
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. – Jeremiah 29:7
Just 6 months ago, our SMI Philly planning team held its first meeting in the dead of winter. Should we even attempt to restart SMI here after a ten-year absence? We had no infrastructure, no students, and (in my opinion) not nearly enough time.
But thanks to God and faith-full others, tomorrow 10 students and 7 staff (myself included) from Philadelphia and the Eastern seaboard will converge at an out-of-the-way, nearly-invisible home in Northern Philadelphia to begin the adventure God has placed before us.
Although we have a schedule, we know that God is not bound to it, and we expect to be surprised as God does “more than we can ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20).
Our mission is to partner with God Himself in teaching and healing the city. Our team will be doing free health screens, sharing the gospel, receiving instruction, and worshiping and living together.
Even as we minister to the community, we will receive its ministry to us. People here understand their brokenness and many have learned to deeply rely on God. Relationships are more important than stuff and efficiency.
As for me, I’ve helped with planning and strategic thinking for the project, and will serve as one of two on site pastors. I will go on several of the outreaches, handle part of the instruction, help make needed adjustments and keep a pulse on the “spiritual temperature” of the project. Sharon and the kids will be joining me as often as possible.
And so, I’m writing to beg you for your prayers.
Pray for protection from the enemy, who is real but subject to Christ. Pray also for my family and I to remain connected to the Lord and each other during this intense time.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to open the hearts of the community, and our own, to Jesus. And, that He would make our efforts “stick” as local churches follow-up.
Pray for our team of students, staff and medical faculty. Not only for our ministry, but for us, for our dependency and transformation.
Pray for our students by name: Dave, Dave, Dave & Lauren (married), Chris, Zach, Jenna, Casey, Johanna, Danielle and Kelli, and for Sharon and I as we minister to them.
Pray also for our staff team: ChrisAnne, Jose, Karen, myself, Steve, and Susanna. We will need wisdom and endurance.
Finally, pray for God to multiply our efforts well after the project ends. In many ways, its end is just the beginning as we hope to build on SMI throughout the year and expand the project next summer.
THANK YOU for coming alongside us as the journey begins. I’ll keep you posted along the way!
For the Kingdom,
Bryan & Sharon