For several months now Ben and I have been praying for God’s direction regarding our future. Ben will finish his classwork in April, and our lease is up at the end of May. We believe that God has the “next step” for us around that time period.
Ben surrendered to the ministry at age 13. He feels called to be a church-planter. During Bible college Ben spent a summer in New York City with a Jewish ministry internship called Shalom Ministries. Since that time Ben has had a desire to work in a city ministry. When we were dating we talked and dreamed a lot about going to New York City. For the last year we have been praying seriously as to whether God would call us to the City.
Last semester, Ben contacted Pastor Jim Bickel at Bethel Baptist Fellowship in Brooklyn, New York. Ben was at BBF for the summer of his internship with Shalom Ministries. Pastor Bickel has trained other men who have then started churches. Bethel has a Russian church that meets in the same building. They also reach out to the Jews in New York City, believing that the Gospel is to “the Jew first and the Greek equally.” Pastor Bickel told Ben that he was willing to work with Ben as an assistant with the end goal of Ben leaving to start a church-plant. We have been praying for “unmistakable Holy Spirit guidance” in this matter.
Last weekend we visited Pastor Bickel in Brooklyn and attended services at Bethel Baptist Fellowship. We further discussed the possibility of Ben working as Pastor Bickel’s assistant. Pastor Bickel told us that he wanted us to come, as long as it is God’s will for us to come.
We have told Pastor Bickel that we will give him a definite answer by the end of February. If we go to Brooklyn, we would plan to arrive at the beginning of June. God will have to show us very definitely that He wants us in Brooklyn. Ben will need to work a full time job. God will have to provide that job, as well as an affordable apartment. We are committed to dedicating ourselves to prayer between now and the end of February
We would covet your prayers on our behalf in this matter. We need God’s clear guidance and direction. As God brings us to your mind, please pray for this clear direction, and that God will provide a job and an apartment if this is His will.