Our New Journey 

In January 2011 God impressed on my heart my home state of Hawaii.  Not knowing exactly what that meant, both Layne and I both prayed and sought God for wisdom.  Later, God would connect us and invite us to be a part of our association’s mission team to Waimea, Hawaii.  In July of last year, Layne and I and a few other members of our association traveled to Waimea, Hawaii to serve alongside of First Baptist Church, Waimea.  While serving there, God broke our hearts for the state of Hawaii.  We then returned to Carthage, and I shared my heart for Hawaii with Bro. Tim.  After his counsel and the counsel of other mentors in my life, we continued on in service here in Carthage.  For months it seemed that God was silent in this circumstance as our hearts were broken for Hawaii, but there was no clear understanding of what this meant. As we got closer to Easter this year, the theme for our Annie Armstrong Easter Offering “Whatever it Takes” began to bring a clearer understanding.  Through watching videos of church planters throughout North America and singing the lyrics to “Whatever it Takes” each week, God began to give vision.  The song states  

“Whatever it takes to draw closer to You, Lord, that’s what I’ll be willing to do.”

  Singing those words and truly meaning them from my heart means that my primary goal in life is to know God by drawing near to Him.  As Layne and I became intimate with God the Father by drawing near to Him through prayer and reading His Word, He placed on our heart a mission to reach Hawaii.  This mission would be through church planting.   In Exodus 3, after years of being away from his home, Moses was shown a burning bush where God revealed Himself to him and called him to head back home and rescue his people from Pharaoh’s wrath.  We know how the story ends.  Moses draws near to God, and God gives Moses Godly confidence.  Moses makes a stand in his homeland against Pharaoh, and God faithfully rescues His people out of the hands of Pharaoh.  Like Moses, God has called Layne and me to my homeland to point my people to the saving power of Jesus Christ.  It’s our calling!   A few weeks ago, I shared with Bro Tim all that God has revealed to Layne and me regarding doing “whatever it takes” to follow God’s calling to Hawaii, and with Bro Tim’s blessing, I pursued contacting church planting friends to gain wisdom concerning starting a church.  My mentor Vance Pitman from Las Vegas, NV shared with me about an organization that would assist us in getting the right tools and training in planting a church in Hawaii.  So on June 10-12, we will participate in an assessment training that will be led by an organization called LAUNCH at Hope Baptist Church.  Launch is a church-planting network that is also a partner with the North American Mission Board.  Their efforts and support will help us begin to plant effectively in Hawaii.  Pending the approval of our assessment through LAUNCH, Hope Baptist Church has offered us a Church Plant Internship for six months that could start as early as August of this year.  Following that, we would ask God to affirm our calling, and we would prepare to move to Hawaii with our core team members and start a church in Papaikou, HI (my hometown).   Faith family, God has called us to make much of Him on the Big Island of Hawaii, the South Pacific, and the world through church planting.  With the blessings and counsel of Bro Tim, and our deacons, we are sharing this with you to invite you to be a part of this journey with us.  We understand that this will be a new experience of ministry for both Layne and me, and for you as our church family.  We would love for you to prayerfully consider your part as our faith family in this journey.  At this point in time, this is not a letter of resignation; it is simply my intention to share with you the calling that God has invited us to be a part of as a couple in Hawaii.  My intention is to keep you all informed as God opens doors and makes the path clearer to us after mid June’s assessment.   We truly love you all.  God has used this family to inspire, challenge, and press us forward to Church Planting in Hawaii.  Thank You!  We would ask that you would keep us in your prayers.  Specifically for…   -       Our training in Las Vegas -       Our transition from Carthage to Las Vegas, and to Hawaii -       Our timeline -       For FBC and your direction in Youth and Worship Ministries -       For our continued partnership and advancement of the Kingdom -       For the state of Hawaii -       And mainly our personal relationship with the Lord and each other.  For our highest goal is to KNOW Christ and live out of the overflow of loving each other and those we will come in contact with.   As Romans 15:20-21 says…  

20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, 21 but as it is written,

“Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”

Planting a Church in Hawaii is OUR CALLING!   Glory To God, FOREVER!   Pastor Zeke