NewPointe: Bringing Hope to the World
March 13, 2019
About 20 years ago, Patty and I had dinner with our friends Blake and Lori Woods in the St. Petersburg’s area in Florida. They are delightful people, and I knew before we went that the evening would become a highlight in my memory. But I never dreamed what God had in mind for that night. As the meal time progressed, our conversation changed from what was happening in our personal lives to what we felt God was saying to each of us, and where we believed He was leading us in this season of our lives.
Blake directly asked me, “What is God speaking to you about? What do you feel is the next great thing He wants from you?” I mentioned something that God had been impressing on me repeatedly. I felt God was asking me to step out in faith and influence others who would be willing to reach the world by giving a million dollars. It sounded incredible, but I felt certain it was God. What Blake said next confirmed my belief.
He said, “That is very interesting to me. Lori and I believe that God is calling us to go to the Middle East.” At that time the denomination we both belonged to didn’t have the vision or the resources to go to the Middle East. We talked and prayed and thought together, and then I asked if we could come underneath their umbrella and partner together to bring hope and healing to that area God loves so much. They agreed. Soon after that, Blake and Lori resigned from their church and came to Sugarcreek for six months of partnership building. We commissioned them to go to the Middle East with us, then Sugarcreek Free Methodist Church, supporting the effort 100%.
So here we are almost 20 years later. The stories are endless of what God has done through Impact Middle East. Thousands of lives have been changed, Jesus’ name has been made known and famous in new areas. Right now, as I write this, Blake and I are in the Middle East together coaching, training, and encouraging national leaders to spread the good news through their communities. Earlier last week, NewPointe had a team serving in Egypt with children and youth along with a medical team that treated and served hundreds. Blake and I were able afterward to head to Iraq to meet with leaders there. Iraq Christianity is not dead! Despite difficulties, we see a resurgence of faith and a move of God.
On this trip, Blake was sharing this story I just told you to a group of leaders. I had to tell them that it is really like the mouse (me) saying to the elephant (Blake), “We sure shook that bridge!” I am proud and honored to serve with Blake. His passion and love for the people of the Middle East is evident and compelling. God has used him to lay an incredible foundation that others are building upon and expanding.
Today I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I want to say to you, “Hey, NewPointe! Thanks so much for being FOR the world. I am proud to serve our incredible God with you, sharing His love and forgiveness to all people.”
I encourage you to learn more about what your gifts and prayers are doing. You will be thrilled and blessed to be part of this effort. impactmiddleeast.org
IME empowers national leaders to proclaim the grace and truth of Jesus, and plant reproducing house churches among the underserved.