One of the fastest ways the Christian Reformed Church in North America is growing, both in numbers and in diversity, is through ethnic minority church plants. Resonate Global Mission partners with more than 15 ethnic minority church plants and more than 10 multiethnic church plants in the United States and Canada.
Ethnic minority church plants are uniquely equipped to provide meaningful faith communities for people to worship and learn about God in their own culture and language.
The coronavirus pandemic made it difficult for churches to host Advent and Christmas gatherings, but because of your support, two church plants were able to connect with new people in their communities and share the hope of the gospel with them.
Finding a home church to plug into as a university student can be challenging. That’s why mosaicHouse East, a Resonate Global Mission church plant partner, is investing in students and equipping them to be leaders.
Vladimir and Valentina were atheists—and they raised their four children without faith too. But your Resonate Global Mission missionary is witnessing the Holy Spirit stir hearts within this family in Eastern Europe.
Belief in a Country
Living in a communist country, Vladimir and Valentina put their faith in their nation. Vladimir was dedicated to his job working for the state and was eventually promoted to village administrator.
Thanks to support from mission-minded people like you, a Christian Reformed church planted 15 years ago is having ripple effects in Christian leadership and church planting.
A Call to Ministry
Shortly after graduating from college, Brian Na started attending Grace Community Chapel, a Christian Reformed church that Pastor Jae Park planted in 2005 with support from Resonate Global Mission (Home Missions at the time). Na was moved by how God was working through the church and quickly got involved.
Bawer (not his real name) moved to Berlin, Germany, alone—but he found community through the church planted by Resonate Global Mission missionaries Mary Buteyn and David Kromminga.
He’s also finding new faith in Christ.
Bawer comes from Kurdistan, Iraq, where many people practice Islam or at least come from a Muslim background. Kurmanji Kurds, of which there are 15 million in the world, are considered “unreached” because very few are followers of Christ.
New York City was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic early on, and Manhattan Vertical Church felt the effects. A Resonate Global Mission COVID-19 relief grant helped keep ministry thriving.
Manhattan Vertical Church launched in partnership with Resonate in the spring of 2019. With worship services and discipleship opportunities in Korean, the church plant has become a home for Koreans in the area, especially young families and college students.
A village in Sierra Leone dismissed the idea of starting a church—not just once, but twice. Today, a church plant is growing and raising up strong leaders.
A New Approach
In Heremakono, a village of about 500 households in Sierra Leone, people come from a Muslim background. Years ago, Catholic believers tried to plant a church, but faith in Christianity didn’t take root because of the people’s strong beliefs in Islam.
Due to security concerns, we cannot share the names or locations of the people or ministries mentioned in this article.
Many immigrants were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. A COVID-19 relief grant from Resonate Global Mission helped make it possible for your church plant to provide relief and show the love of Christ to immigrants from a Muslim background in West Michigan.
Three congregations you support through Resonate around the world
Iglesia Cristiana El Sembrador
Pastor Harold Caicedo and Iglesia Cristiana El Sembrador in California have a mission to build unity in the body of Christ. Their diverse church is made up of people from 14 countries across Latin America, working together to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their community.
The church in North America is shrinking. People are leaving. People are identifying as religious “nones.” Church doors are closing.
But as we learned during the COVID-19 crises, church matters. The community church provides makes a difference within and without the four walls of a building.
“Church is a living illustration or picture of an alternative life—one that is focused on following Jesus and his ways,” said Kevin DeRaaf, who directs ministry in North America for Resonate Global Mission.
In late March, Bridge Church—a CRC church plant in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta—submitted an application to Resonate Global Mission requesting $3,000 to host a drive-in Easter worship service in their community.
“This is a HUGE opportunity to reach people in the COVID-19 crisis,” wrote Pastor Ryan Pedde.
Daniel, Joy, and Lydia* didn’t know Jesus before moving to the United States. All three of them lived in a country where the government keeps a close eye on religious activities. As a result, many Christians have renounced their faith or keep it underground. Daniel, Joy, and Lydia didn’t have many opportunities to hear the gospel.
You helped make it possible for Yogesh to place his trust in Jesus.
Growing up in India, Yogesh was raised in a family that practiced Hinduism. Many of his neighbors were also Hindu, but he had friends who lived a short walk away, and they were Christians. Yogesh spent a lot of time with them and went to church with them sometimes. He started to wonder if Jesus was real, but then he moved to the United States.
Carrie Rodgers didn’t think she had the skills to plant Alive in Grandville, a Resonate Global Mission church plant, and Allix Hutchison wasn’t sure how to step up and serve—but God equipped both of them to be leaders that the new church plant needs.
Healthy congregations need healthy leaders—but all too often, church planters find themselves on the brink of burnout. This fall, Resonate Global Mission gathered church planters for a spiritual formation retreat so they can thrive in their ministries long term.
“The Indo-Pak community is scattered in Southern California,” said Eric Sarwar, pastor of Artesia City Church, a church plant supported in part by Resonate Global Mission.
That makes it difficult for believers to gather in one space to worship together. As a result, many believers don’t have the opportunity to worship God in ways that express their heart—and those seeking faith don’t have the opportunity to hear the Word of God in a language that speaks to their heart.
With Sarwar’s leadership, Artesia City Church is changing that.
The Bridge, a church plant in Fergus, Ontario, supported in part by Resonate Global Mission, is passionate about engaging with the community. When the members learned about a recent need, they stepped in.
A Desire to Serve
As Pastor John Vanderstoep sought to partner with other churches in the community, he learned of three in the area that each hosted a community meal on Friday nights. They were looking for another church to fill the other Friday spot each month.
Hauwa was never especially interested in religion—until her 10-year-old daughter Kadiatu insisted on attending church.
The daughter of an Islamic leader and wife of a Muslim man, Hauwa had always practiced Islam. But as a determined women’s activist, her daughter’s education came before her Islamic ties. She enrolled Kadiatu in Kabala Christian School, a Resonate Global Mission partner in Kabala, Sierra Leone.
More and more Christian Reformed Church pastors are bivocational—they work another job in addition to pastoring. For many pastors, a second job is a way to pay bills. For others, a second job is part of their ministry.
“What does it mean to be a pastor? They embody Christ, and they share God’s love with conviction and with reverence, and they usher you into the space before God. It’s beautiful,” said Sam DeJong McCarron, who works as a ministry vocational consultant for the CRC’s Pastor Church Resources.
Shamshadeen Mayers felt God call him to be a church planter 10 years ago—he just wasn’t sure when, where, or how to plant a church. But God lined up the perfect opportunity to partner with Resonate Global Mission and plant City on a Hill Church in Bloomfield, New Jersey.