Summer is finally upon us, and as school is letting out and we’re gearing up for vacations, picnics, and all of the fun of the next few months, I think it’s important to take a minute to reflect upon the awesome things God has been doing in and through Pleasant Valley Community Church this Spring.
This Spring saw the launch of our Missional Communities. Response to these groups has been overwhelming, and we have had eight groups meeting weekly in homes throughout our city to grow deeper in community and to missionally engage their neighborhoods with the Gospel. Last week, one group had a simple party and invited all of their neighbors, and by just spending a little time getting to know one another over a burger many of them began to open up and share stories of hurt, abuse, divorce, death, imprisoned children, and the darkness of living in a fallen world. People around us long for community, and it has been amazing to see how the Lord can use the simplest of things to break down barriers and allow people to truly share one another’s burdens and speak the hope of Jesus Christ into each other’s lives. After taking a break for the Summer we will be launching a number of new groups
around Owensboro in the Fall. If you are interested in joining a Missional
Community Group, shoot us an email and we’ll get you on the list.
God has been especially good to us this Spring as we have seen tons of growth in the church. Numbers aren’t everything, but they do represent real people who have experienced real life-change, and we want to celebrate when the Lord is working in a clearly discernable way in our body. This Spring we’ve seen around 15 people place their faith in Christ, 24 people be baptized, and 52 people go through the New Member Class. We’ve also welcomed Dan Haire and Andy Norris as our Missions and Communications Coordinators, and Aaron Grant as the new Director of Student Ministries. Easter was the largest service ever held at Pleasant Valley with 837 people coming through our doors, and last week we had our second-largest gathering in history on Mothers Day as we worshipped with 742 people. God has sent a ton of new people our way recently and we’ve been really blessed to get to know a lot of new families and individuals who are quickly becoming a part of the ever-growing family of Pleasant Valley.
In addition to growth through new families, God has blessed our church through new life as we have had many new babies born and adopted in the last few months. On Mothers Day, 23 babies were dedicated, setting them apart as the parents covenanted with the congregation to work together to train up these children to love the Lord and to ask God to bless them and to save them. It was a touching moment and a great reminder of the unique role parents and churches have in the shaping of the next generation of believers.
New Circle Church
In February, Pleasant Valley sent Barry and Amy Rager to Indianapolis to plant New Circle Church, the first of what we hope to be many new churches planted out of our body. While we had high hopes for what the Lord would use the Ragers to do in Indy, we couldn’t have expected just how quickly God would work. In just a couple of short months, New Circle Church has grown from a dream into a thriving community of new and old believers. Two community groups are gathering weekly at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and in the Mapleton-Fall Creek Neighborhood with nearly 50 people plugged into gospel-centered community, and last week the church held its first corporate worship service with 2 baptisms and 43 people in attendance! God is quickly building his church in Indianapolis through drawing people to himself and gathering faithful believers who are passionate about seeing their city transformed by the Gospel, and we are really excited to be a part of what is happening up there.
There has been a lot of progress in our work with the Thai Nyaw people in Thailand as we continue to lay the foundation for our long-term adoption of this unreached people-group. We are still several months away from having everything in place to be able to begin sending mission teams, but a major breakthrough happened this Spring when a follow-up vision team returned after our initial contact last fall. When they returned to the villages that they had visited before, the Thai people were blown away that they had returned and welcomed them with open arms. The Thai people are generally skeptical of Americans, as mission teams will often come, spend a week, and never return. The fact that our team came back like they had promised won them much favor and trust with the Thai people and has opened up some exciting doors for our future work with them. We pray that the Lord will continue to give us favor among the Thai and will use this to give us opportunities to proclaim the Gospel boldly to them for many years to come.
Stay tuned for more information about our work in Thailand and ways that you can get involved.
As Spring draws to a close, we have much to celebrate and be thankful for at Pleasant Valley. God continues to blow us away with his goodness and blesses us beyond all that we could have imagined. From changed lives to new ministries to an ever-growing family of people who love the Lord and seek to see his name made famous across the planet, God is doing something special at Pleasant Valley. We are so excited to be able to serve God with you guys, and we’re looking forward to seeing in what unexpected ways he moves next as we glorify God, grow, and go for the Gospel together.