Thank you so much for your partnership in the gospel.
I am so proud to be one of your pastors and to have had the honor of planting Quest Church almost 10 years ago. This past Sunday, while Pastor DeAnza was preaching a spirited message at Quest from our ongoing study through Philippians, I had the joy of visiting and preaching at the Burmese Karen Churchplant in Kent, Washington. On their behalf, I pass on their sincere greetings.
Several years ago, Quest helped plant this church and it is in part because of your prayers and generosity that allowed us to have a small part in birthing this beautiful church through our Quest Churchplanting Foundation.
This church and community did not exist 3 years ago. In fact, the majority of them are recent refugees and have entered this country in the past couple years. This past Sunday, I asked – before my sermon – how many of them had arrived to the United States in the past year and it appeared that over half of the nearly 150 people raised their hands! Many of them were living in refugee camps…and how amazing it must be that a church community was here to be their fellowship and support.
But for a second, I want to encourage you to think about what it would feel like to be completely new, foreign, and lost in a new country. Asides from the people they see at their church, there is absolutely nothing familiar at all about anything. My heart goes out because I lived through the ‘immigrant’ story. I understand what it feels like to feel “dumb”, useless, and completely lost simply because the language and culture is entirely ‘foreign’ to me.
Want an example? Read this from an email I received from one of the folks helping with this refugee community:
M and W went to meet four newly resettled families in Tukwila and found the agency that brought them in had left them with money, but left no instruction how you get food in this country. The families hadn’t eaten for four days…
My “favorite” aspect of worshipping with them was the children’s choir. While I did not understand exactly what they were singing, I was most encouraged by the smiles of so many children. You see…when I last visited couple years ago, this church was meeting in a very small community center (emphasis on: small). Their space was so limited that the 16-18 children had nowhere to gather for Sunday School and had to meet in the janitor’s room.
What great joy to see so many children:
- worshipping Christ
- reunited with their families
- seeking a fresh and new start in the United States
- and able to go to their own classrooms!
Many challenges remain for this community. They’ve been dramatically affected by the economic recession; Many have lost their jobs and are currently unemployed but to see this community care for one another is a fresh and vital reminder to all of us about the beauty of the body of Christ.
Thank you Quest for your commitment to the Gospel.
Thank you for believing that the Gospel is not just merely for your personal salvation, for your own spiritual health, and for our own church depth and growth. Thank you for caring for one another – in both the highs and lows. Thank you for your partnership in birthing The Bridge Care Center to reach and build relationships with the homeless and refugee community and more deeply engage our passion for mercy, justice, and compassion.
Thank you for playing a small part in being a source of blessing and grace to this new Burmese church.
Thank you for not only loving Jesus but for living in a way that demonstrates that the Gospel matters…
– Pastor Eugene
PS: Here’s a picture from couple years ago…