September 3rd, 2011

Published on 09/03/11

Zeal for Your House is

Consuming Me

Our Savior discovered that His temple had become a place inhabited by unjust merchants. His response was appropriate, controlled rage. The idea that sinful human beings would be so corrupt as to pollute the house of God is incredible. According to the Apostle Paul, the Christian local church is now the house of God. The local Christian church is the organism that is able to extend uncorrupted life to the cities of our world. Yet our cities wait for Christians who tend to minister in suburbia or rural areas. What is needed are strong urban churches who, by design, minister to the full demographic of the city in a way that honors God by rescuing people—all kinds of people. This is my zeal, and I hope it consumes me. Thank you for joining us as we seek to build such a church in Boston.

Past Prayer Requests

In our last prayer letter, the Bostonian Bible Study group was highlighted, and I asked you to pray for the members of this segment of our fellowship. It has been a tumultuous two months since we last corresponded. A heated argument erupted over illegal immigration. It was intense, and the possible ramifications for the group disheartening. Yet, you must have been praying, for God brought us a great and awesome victory. It took most of two months, but our God has brought the group back together, and the Christian bond is stronger than ever before. One of the main protagonists made this statement in our gathering last Saturday, “I have run from many churches before, but I’m done running.” Praise the Lord! We finished our study that day with united prayer. Together we asked God to help us reach a thousand immigrants from all over the world in Boston. From possible fragmentation to spontaneous supplication, what a powerful God we serve. We believe that these kinds of volatile situations are bound to increase as the diversity of our fellowship increases. We are not concerned, but rather, embrace these confrontations. We hope to demonstrate to the non-Christian world that the strength of Christianity to build a unity is stronger than the forces that seek to divide us. This is part of our authenticating ministry.

Our Chinese congregation continues to mature, although it is going global. We now have several baptized members who have returned to China with whom I am endeavoring to maintain contact. In fact, I have an on-line live video Bible study with one of these friends. This friend lives along the coast in China, and, in one meeting, he showed me the skyline of his city. How exciting it was to realize that our God has brought us one step closer to seeing churches established in urban areas around the globe, by ministering in Boston. This young man greatly desires to live a consistent Christian life and to be an effective Christian testimony. Please pray for him. Back in Boston, Jianwei and Xiuhua still desperately need to find employment suitable to their education. Despite their tough work situation, this couple continues to grow in the Lord and are therefore a great edifying influence in all of our lives. Another disciple’s parents recently returned home to China after spending several months in Boston with their academically gifted daughter. This young woman is thankful that each time her parents come to Boston, we are able to introduce them to more of the Christian message. The gospel is making its way to China by means of Christian discipleship in Boston.

In the last prayer letter, I also asked you to pray for our vocational workers: Toby and Susan Stevens and Andy Scott. Toby and Susan are making application with a mission agency. They are a great blessing and very well suited for urban ministry, divinely prepared. Andy is having difficulty finding appropriate work. Andy has been nothing but a complete blessing here. He has his Master of Divinity degree at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, and has been an intern twice in this ministry. I have had the privilege of participating in Andy’s education by means of internships, but also as an instructor of several of his courses necessary for graduation from Faith. It has been edifying to watch Andy steadily grow in his ability to minister effectively to the urban community. He is a life-giver, making the spiritual difference in the lives of people in Boston, and thereby, impacting the world. Andy finished his undergraduate and graduate work in only five years, but now has a large school debt to pay. We need Andy full time, so I am praying that God would providentially help Andy pay off his school debt, allowing him to be one step closer to full-time vocational ministry. Will you pray with me? At the very least, Andy needs a good job in Boston.

Our daughter, Linda, is now back in college at Maranatha. She called tonight to report that they did well in her soccer game, winning 4-0. Through her hard work at seeking out employment and working many hours, she was able to pay her way through the first semester. It is likely that she will be back in Boston after Christmas. Thank you for praying for Linda.

Thank you for praying for Deb. She is feeling much better and continues to be all-out engaging individuals in evangelistic relationships. We have now engaged several of these individuals in evangelistic Bible studies. In fact, there are a large number of ongoing evangelistic and discipleship studies throughout Boston being hosted by several of the members of the IBF. Our congregation is being equipped to effectively minister the gospel to the world which is in Boston.

I (Bill) have one major request. I need to discipline myself to do the work of urban pastoring. Our membership needs shepherding, and, if we are to accomplish our God-given goals, it will partially be because I do well as a pastor of the IBF. This means more disciplined time in administration, sermon preparation, and the discipling of young Christians to maturity, and a little less time circulating in the city as an evangelist. I have always viewed myself as Philip the evangelist—free to move at God’s leading and minister the gospel in many different and interesting places. Pastoring is not like that. It demands more regimentation and less freelancing. You may think it strange that this change of emphasis seems a bit claustrophobic to me, but it is not funny to me! Please pray that my love for the city and my great desire to join my Savior in His urban work will motivate me to become an effective urban pastor.

Finally, there is the opportunity for some to financially join our Boston ministry team. We recently revised our support estimate. While we were able to reduce some areas of our support estimate, other areas were adjusted upward. Although our support level remains about the same, we are $1000.00 short of our monthly support estimate. We are able to minister and live within our current budget, but, if we are able to raise the additional amount, it would greatly enhance our ability to minister in Boston. Thus, you could join us in this blessed ministry by supporting us monthly. You can find more information about supporting us at Bill and Deb’s Website for Supporters . Click on the Financial Support Information tab on the right side of the page. On the bottom of that page, you will find two links: one to our support estimate and another to the BMM missionary support page.

Financial supporters or prayer supporters, we are thankful to God for you,

Bill and Deb Edmondson