Boston #2: Birds Eye View. 

Today has been one of those really full days that feels like three days rolled into one. From church at Encounter this morning to orientation downtown tonight and everything in between, the team has experienced a lot today. Each day we are going to let you hear stories from students on the trip. Read below to hear about our day from Alison Moore, an upcoming junior at JJ Pearce.– 

This morning we got to see and experience Encounter Church for the first time. It was really eye opening to see how different church was done in this area of the U.S. The church itself was held within the walls of a middle school in Dedham. It was amazing to see how far this church had come with the little resources they had.
As well as the
physical church being different to what we expected, the way the gospel was taught was also different than we had past seen. Our group was challenged to see how the gospel was contextualized in order to prevent any barriers or obstacles that new learners might face.
Personally, I noticed this contextualization through
several ways. When the service first began, instead of the band saying let’s worship they simply said lets stand and sing. Although this was a small detail to my weekly Sunday, I realized how large a single word can be. The word “worship” could have a different connotation to someone first learning about Jesus that could make them feel uncomfortable. Another example of this was during the sermon the pastor was teaching. He used widely graspable examples to allow everyone to connect to what was being taught such as movie clips and personal stories. 

The next part of our day was spent at the Prudential Center. Our group went up to the 360 degree observatory to look over the city that God is allowing us to share his love in this week. This was our time to take in where we were and the history it has. As we walked around the top floor, we kept certain topics of prayer on our minds. It was such a humbling feeling being able to pray over our group and our time here at Boston while looking over the amazing city and creation God has made.

I prayed for our flexibility throughout the week as well as letting God use us how he intended for the week, for our ability to begin building bridges between the church and the people of Boston, being able to be on the trip to glorify God, and for our ability to plant seeds in the people we meet whether that be by the word of mouth or by our physical actions of love.  

The last part of our day was spent in the Tremont Temple Baptist Church. This is where we received our training before going out the next few days to serve. The focus of the training was Boston’s history and how God has been working throughout Boston so that we can be prepared for the churches we encounter {pun intended} throughout the week. 

The training opened with the head of the North American mission board of Boston. He proposed a question: What is the percentage of fully evhangelicalized Christians of the most Islamic country, Saudi Arabia? The answer was four percent. 

He then asked the same question of Boston; however, Boston’s percentage was only 2-3 percent.

I found this extremely unnerving, but this definitely motivated and inspired me. I know that God has placed me in this mission group for a reason. I know that I have a purpose on this trip and that is to spread the gospel through my actions, joy, kindness, and words. I will begin to plant seeds in the people of Boston. I know that I may not see the end result of the fruit bearing in the person I effect. I may not even know if I have had an impact on a person, yet I know that Encounter Church will see this result and that I was a part in building further godly relationships in Boston. 

*Tomorrow we have our first full day on ministry sites. We are joining Milestone Church to prayer walk over homes and families in the Natick Community. Milestone’s first church service is in four weeks so we get to be a part of the foundational work of prayer, asking the Spirit to stir in every single heart and life in Natick and to build the Kingdom there! 

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