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ReBuilding Broken People, One Person at a Time

This week, Pastor John hands over the TAGD keyboard to Pastor Kimani Gathere of Northpoint’s church plant, ReBuild Fellowship-IE, in Riverside.

ReBuilding Broken People, One Person at a Time

Hello Northpoint Family,

As a young believer in high school, I was exposed to many missionary biographies, which I read more out of a lack of options than a choice. I did not have access to many books and so I read whatever I could find. This led me to the biography of Adoniram Judson, whom I later found out, was the first American missionary to foreign lands. His “audacious faith” and prayers held me captive then and to the present.

As a student at Rhode Island College (Brown University), he lost his faith and through a series of events, ended up at Andover Seminary, and there came back to his father’s faith. (His dad was a pastor in New England.) As he prepared for missions in India, he met and fell in love with 19-year-old Anne Hesseltine, the daughter of a church elder. He then wrote a letter to her dad, seeking permission to marry her. Here is part of that letter:

“I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world? Whether you can consent to her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall resound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?”
Both the dad and the daughter were crazy enough to say, “Yes,” and Adoniram and Anne were married, and in 1812 left for India. I confess that as a dad, this scares me to death. Would I have the courage to consent to this obvious death sentence for my daughter? Anne’s work with Adoniram resulted in the multiple Bible translations in Burmese. Adoniram Judson lost two wives, six children, and left 100 churches and 8,000 believers in Myanmar and India. Today, there are over seven million Christians in Myanmar alone! Audacious faith. Heavenly mathematics.

Riverside and the hinterlands of Moreno Valley are not a source of “every kind of want and distress; degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death,” but neither offers any hope to Dani, a homeless woman who shared her story of brokenness with me last Sunday. Our team at ReBuild continues this conversation with I***, a Muslim refugee from Sudan; Tony, who walked away from faith; Fabian, dealing with the occult (Santeria); and many other broken people seeking to be rebuilt by the gospel of Jesus. We have given about 50 Bibles in our outreach in Riverside alone. We meet on Sundays at University Heights Middle School at 11:00 a.m. for worship.

You do not have to go to India. Indio is 90 minutes away and desperately needs the gospel. Riverside is even closer. Our Sunday school teachers are exhausted; we need substitutes at least once a month. We need help with the sound board. The worship team needs voices or guitar players. Are you ready to brave the challenges of SR 91 on Sundays and some Saturdays? Can you spare one Sunday a month? Come see what is happening. Encourage us and then ask God some hard questions. He can take it. Pray for ReBuild Fellowship to remain focused on the gospel. Read John Piper’s ebook on Judson here.

In him,

Pastor Kimani & Team ReBuild Fellowship-IE