Friday, October 24, 2008


It was about 9:00 on Monday morning, my day off. I was in my study not studying when the phone rang. I answered and the voice said, “Hi! I’m Roger Peterson from Tulare Community Church in Tulare, California, and I think you are the answer to our prayers.”

Well, that’s always a nice thing to hear! But I had never heard of this guy or his church so I was a little suspicious. He continued, “Let me tell you what I mean. Tulare Community Church (TCC) has one mission and one mission only, we plant churches. We have planted 18 churches over the last ten years and every one of them has succeeded. We have one group that has been praying for almost two years for a pastor to help them plant a church in their town. I got your resume from the RCA office and I’ve been praying over it and I think you’re the man!”

I hadn’t encountered such enthusiasm in a long time. It’s hard to be negative with someone who is just so darn positive! It had to be some mistake. I was about to close a church plant that never really grew large enough to survive. And when I was in the RCA headquarters we all pretty much agreed that I wasn’t really gifted as a church planter. I was a “teacher/discipler.” I told Roger all of this. It didn’t seem to make much difference to him.

He said, “Yes, I know all that already. Don’t worry about it. We won’t let you fail.” He went on to tell us about the amazing church planting ministry at TCC. He told me about this town of Shafter. (Never heard of it!) He told me about the core group which was made up of Dutch almond growers and dairymen. I started slipping in some questions to try to find out if the six things we asked God for were all there. They were all there and there was much more! To say the least, I was intrigued, amazed, astounded, and blessed by one of the most phenomenal answers to prayer I have ever seen!

Mia and I prayed for a few days and I called Roger back. He immediately scheduled for us to go to California and meet all the people we needed to meet. Throughout our visit Mia and I just kept looking at each other, communicating wonder and God-worship with our eyes! We just couldn’t believe it! If we had created our own situation it would look just like this! God had told us what we could pray for, waited for us to pray, made us walk in faith right up to the last minute, and then given us everything he promised and more!

I accepted the call to go to Shafter and everything took off at once! This is a unique church plant. We have two mother churches. Tulare, which is RCA, and 1st Hanford, CA, which is CRC! Our church planting task force, the group that helps us, is made up of people from the RCA and the CRC! Our new church would be named New Hope Community Church. We began to take steps toward moving. It was the end of June and I was supposed to start on August 1!


At 7:30 AM, Blogger mark pierson said...

May the Lord bless you and your family during this time. You'll surely need to cast yourself on His mercy and find His grace to help here. You will continue to be in my prayers.



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