Dear Partners in Ministry, It has been too long since we have communicated with our supporters and it feels good to catch you up on our global-church planting efforts in Boston. Our March prayer letter detailed the ministry of the International Baptist Fellowship (IBF). This letter will chronicle what God is doing in the other areas of our global-church planting endeavors. As you may remember, the goal is to help facilitate a church-planting movement originating in Boston and, Lord willing, flowing to other world-class cities. We hope to accomplish this by developing networks on the local, regional, continental, and international levels. By reviewing these networks in reverse order, you will hopefully get a sense of how God is leading in our service to Him.
International Two of our disciples, whom we baptized, recently contacted our church family after having returned home to China. Both Jay and Kai miss our church fellowship terribly and plan to stay in contact with us. They are only two out of a number of disciples with whom we hope to continue discipling by means of web-based technology.
Last week we joined several friends for supper with the parents of another one of our baptized disciples. These parents have become our friends and we have the opportunity to not only share the gospel with them, but also to visit them when they return to China. These examples are but a few of the many that could be provided. Although in its infant stages, the international network is growing. We are working for the day in which we will see churches planted in China (as well as other places) which will become disciple making centers in their civilizational context.
Continental We had the opportunity to minister at Central Seminary in early February. Bill’s topic for the Mac Donald Lecture Series was Global-Church Planting. This event was an excellent opportunity to network with seminarians, educators, pastors and others concerning the need to network together in an urban church-planting movement.
Earlier this month, we traveled to Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary where we were honored to receive Alumni of the Year award. Receiving this reward was an indication that our message concerning the importance of an urban church-planting movement is resonating with our constituency.
We returned from Iowa to greet a missionary team from Piedmont Baptist College. We spent the week with them ministering across Boston and introducing them to some of the elements of urban church planting.
We hope that our continental network building efforts will result in a network of institutions, churches, and individuals committed to global church-planting in urban areas. This effort is important due to the fact more than 50 percent of the world’s population resides in cities, and world- class cities have the innate ability to influence the whole world for good or ill.
Regional In addition to participating in missionary conferences and speaking in church services, we also ministered at the Trinity Leadership Conference in April and attended the Northeastern Regular Baptist Fellowship meetings. In all of these instances, we continued to explain our call to urban church-planting and the need to network our efforts on a regional level.
Local The network on the local level is beginning to grow. Evan and Natalie Collier are church planters with Biblical Ministries Worldwide and they will soon be moving to the Dorchester/Mattapan area of Boston to begin what they hope will be the first of many church plants. They will be joined by a family from our fellowship—the Adam and Heather Brandt family. We are excited to watch as our God forms this team that will minister the gospel to this very needy area of Boston. This new ministry formed partially as a result of a prayer meeting held in our ministry home on a Sunday afternoon. This example is what networking is all about—working together to strategically build the body of Christ.
The International Baptist Fellowship Our fellowship continues to slowly grow and the goal is to become a church sometime towards the end of 2011 or in early 2012. As the number of our redemptive relationships grows, decisions must be made concerning space needs. Two weeks ago the IBF had an exceptional business meeting. We had a major problem in our children’s ministry—our administrators and teachers had moved away, and we did not seem to have replacements for them. I explained to our group that I didn’t know who would fill the positions, but whoever did would need to be qualified and willing to be used of God by ministering to children. It was amazing to watch as God helped us work out the problem with a very good solution. Things are moving forward in the ministry of the IBF—our God is making Himself known in our midst.
Prayer Request In addition to the prayer request generated from the above report, we have two other needs to place before you. First of all, we need help with our ministry home. It is a well used home and it is in need of maintenance and repair. If you would like to read more about this please go to our supporter’s website and click on the Needs and Wants tab. You will find information about our home maintenance needs under the heading Ministry Home.
Secondly, please pray for my daughter Linda who has just finished her first year of Bible College. She needs work that will enable her to pay her school bill for next year. She has been diligently and creatively looking for employment and devising ways to make money, but she has not come close to finding or creating what she needs. Please pray for her.
Serving our Savior in Boston, The Edmondsons