Summer LINK Testimony: Miami, FL
By: Margaret Huggins These past 4 weeks in Miami have been intense, sweet, stretching, fun, HOT, and even stress provoking at times. We are working with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) in a program called Generation Send. GenSend partners with local churches in urban cities throughout the United States in order to allow the opportunity for college students to learn what it would look like to pick up their families and move to an unfamiliar city in order to plant a church and make disciples for God’s glory. We have had the opportunity to taste and see the difficulties of church planting up close and personal, and to work alongside The Brook church. The Brook is a 1 year old church plant here in North Miami, led by planter and pastor Muche Ukegbu who was sent out by Blueprint church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Our first two weeks in the city were overwhelming to say the least. We do not have cars down here in Miami, so we take public transit (trains and buses) everywhere we go. This turns a 30 minute car ride into a 2 hour bus ride – boy were we shocked!! The Lord taught us very quickly those first weeks about planning ahead, patience, communicating well with one another, bearing with one another in love, persevering in the heat and stress (running after missed buses became the norm), and can I say patience again??
Thankfully, The Brook has served us above and beyond what is asked of them. They have given us rides all over the city on their own dime and spare time, let us borrow their cars, fed us meals, encouraged us with God’s word, and welcomed us with open arms. We have also spent some of our free time serving alongside Pillar Network's church, Providence Road. As well as doing socials with PRC, we have joined them in passing out granola bars and water bottles at train stations, and doing surveys and evangelism in the Coral Gables area.
We also have had our eyes open to many different cultures. Miami is the ultimate melting pot – with Haitian, Hispanic, African-American, Cuban, Caribbean, French, Asian, and more! Speaking Spanish has become a daily occurrence and we are thankful for the 3 people on our team who are learning Spanish in college and have led the way in this area!
The Lord has been growing us immensely in boldness! As we study through the book of Acts this summer, a common theme has been boldness. As we are confronted with the realities of the vast lostness of the city of Miami, and learn about all of the different neighborhoods and counties, and the different cultures of each respective area, we are pressed to share our faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone we meet. Our typical weeks consist of over 20 hours on public transit, and we have tried to commit the majority of that time to meeting people, forming relationships, sharing the gospel, and inviting people to church. By the Lord’s grace, we have had 6 people that we met come to church with us so far!
As a team, we have been learning a lot about dying to ourselves and serving one another. As we learn about biblical manhood and femininity and practice serving one another consistently, we have been pushed towards Christ and even faced some conflict amongst our team. The Lord has been gracious in allowing us the work through our differences together, seeking scripture and prayer, and addressing one another as Matthew 18 describes.
We are pumped for this final week in Miami to finish up our church prospectus, present it in front of pastor Muche and the other GenSend Miami teams, and continue to press into our ministries here. Please pray for unity in our team to continue and for our team to persevere this final week and a half. We can’t wait to see everyone in Boston!!!!