Through the church, God is showing off all His multi-faceted brilliance to all the powers in the heavens and on earth. Our glorious God does this through His church joined with Him on His mission. What we are seeing at Sugar Creek is a people that feel the heart of God’s passion and desires, and respond in radical obedience. The result is extraordinary…an outcome that far surpasses the means of men.
Sugar Creek sent our first Luke 10 Gospel team to Delhi in March 2013. One year later we saw the first church birth from the fruit of our work. Our teams and partners were disciplined to lay a foundation of reproduction so that disciples would multiply disciples and churches would form and multiply. Through the work of the Spirit we now have over 150 churches with multiple streams of 4th generation church. All the churches are led by elders. There is a council of elders that oversee the vision for Delhi. The council of elders has determined they don’t need our Gospel teams; they are intentionally sharing the gospel themselves. Instead, they asked us to send Foundations teams to equip the elders of the churches to bring health to the churches and make the movement stronger and sustainable. We basically worked ourselves out of a job. We have been asked to begin the Gospel work and send our Gospel teams to Mumbai, India. So we sent our first team in October 2017 with remarkable results. This is rare to see from any seasoned and gifted missionary, but even more rare from a group of local church members.
Sugar Creek partnered with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary when they began the seminary at Darrington Prison in Rosharon. Inmates in the program have to be serving 20 years to life sentences and after the 4-year program get transferred as field ministers to other Texas Prisons. Seminaries do a great job of teaching knowledge of systematic theology but do a poor job of teaching the practical principles to make disciples. The partnership with the seminary gave Sugar Creek a platform to train the practical and reproducible evangelism and discipleship tools that we learned in India. A team from the first graduation class of the seminary was transferred to Coffield Prison in Palestine, TX, the largest prison the state. They were very disciplined in the vision we trained them and began to train broadly at Coffield. When they arrived there were only 4 known bible studies at Coffield. Now there are over 60 disciple-making groups that function as church in every living area of the prison. There have been hundreds of baptisms. There are many streams of 4th generation disciples making disciples. The movement has spread to other prisons from Coffield and also to communities where inmates are being released in Texas, around the US and Mexico. The inmates at Coffield have a vision beyond Coffield and are praying for No Place Left throughout the Texas Prison system and for other state’s prison systems. Back at Darrington, the movement is spreading out of the seminary and into the general population. This summer over 30 men in solitary confinement were baptized. This was the first time baptisms have taken place in solitary confinement in the Texas prison system. What church gets to be part of this? This is not ordinary, but the extraordinary work of God though His church on mission with Him.
The floods from Hurricane Harvey brought devastation to our neighbors. Yet before the water receded Sugar Creek Teams were on the field ready and prepared to help our neighbors. On Labor Day weekend Sugar Creek mobilized over 1300 volunteers, and through the first three weeks of September the church mobilized over 1700 volunteers and performed muck out/ mold remediation for over 200 homes in our region. We were able to leverage about $20,000 investment in materials and tools to bring approximately $1.5-2 million dollars of value to our community and church members in the greatest need. WOW! That is the economy of God – multiplication! Through the generosity of the church and from people around the country we were able to assist those with tremendous financial loss. We built a new simple house for one extremely under-resourced family, and have provided funding to ministries on the front lines of helping our hardest hit neighbors. This tangible presence of grace from our church to the community has opened doors to the gospel. At the September Gospel Conversation Training we sent gospel teams into a predominantly Hindu community where Sugar Creek was first responders during the flood. Where we once had doors slammed in our face, our teams were welcomed, as heroes and many have responded to the Gospel and became worshippers of Jesus. What church does this? A church on mission with God, and they get to see the right hand of God perform miracles.
A church on mission with God is a people that get it! They embrace the Father’s heart, and abide in His presence through obedience to His word. I am amazed by the passion and obedience of our leaders that represent the breadth of Sugar Creek mission both locally and globally. They get it…they wear the Father’s heart. A diverse people not defined by gender, age, or race, but defined by a passion for God’s heart and obedience to His word. The result is fruit that last forever…but it is greater than that…the result is Jesus receives Joy…His glory is made manifest, and the joy of the Lord is our strength. A church on Mission with God…ordinary people doing the extraordinary tasks of God on earth!