“We’re Not Moving to Vegas!”

In 2017 our church had a missions event on a Sunday night that showcased the mission opportunities and partnerships that West Jackson is involved in. It was at this event that my wife Julie and I met Michael Horner. We made several connections with one another, being raised in the same city, we had attended some of the same events, and most of all we both had a new desire in our hearts to follow Jesus in a new way. Michael had spoken earlier that morning in our church service. He spoke on a verse in Isaiah 6 “Here am I. Send me!” My wife and I had being reading that exact verse the night before. When he quoted that scripture Julie and I made eye contact and her words were something like “We’re not moving the Vegas”.

He spoke on a verse in Isaiah 6 “Here am I. Send me!” My wife and I had being reading that exact verse the night before. When he quoted that scripture Julie and I made eye contact and her words were something like “We’re not moving the Vegas”.

She was right about the moving part. However, that didn’t mean we couldn’t take a mission trip to Vegas. Michael’s wife Micah also recently came to Jackson and was the lead speaker at a women’s retreat at our church. Like many of us at our church, Julie and I both found a new brother and sister in Christ when we were able to spend time with Michael and Micah and come to know their story and how God is using them now in Vegas. This couple has a strong desire to not only share the gospel through their testimony but to also love people and build disciples through this new ministry that God is building through them.

In March of this year my son Austin and I had the opportunity to travel out west to Las Vegas, Nevada on a mission trip with several other members from our church. We spent seven days in Vegas with the Horner family and served the people in their community through a sports camp for children ages K-6thgrade. The camp provided various sports, crafts, and cooking for the children to choose from each day. Our days consisted of serving at the camp during the morning until lunch and praying over the differing neighborhoods in the area during the afternoons. We also provided ministry opportunities through New Thing church to anyone that we came in contact with while praying through the neighborhoods.

After hearing several members of our team talk about their experience I know that the home church experience was one of our favorite times during the week. The New Thing church family is currently meeting in a member’s home for worship. To me, this had to feel like what the New Testament church experienced. We sang, we prayed, we testified, and we witnessed the baptism of two believers all in the home and the backyard swimming pool! This is not the “norm” for Southern Baptist church members, at least not for me anyway.

To me, this had to feel like what the New Testament church experienced. We sang, we prayed, we testified, and we witnessed the baptism of two believers all in the home and the backyard swimming pool!

The realness and closeness of the Holy Spirit was experienced throughout the week in a new way and this had a huge impact on me and our team. God’s word says in Galatians 5:25 “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” I was encouraged as a believer by the Horner family and the New Thing church family to keep in step with what God is doing and how He’s working. I pray that during the next mission trip to Las Vegas that you will join us in keeping in step with the Spirit!