Tag: antioch missions

Mercy House –
Hope, Healing and Restoration

Mercy House is our addiction recovery home for men. Each year men enter the program, and are invested in and empowered to live free from addiction, rooted in their worth and envisioned to make a positive impact in the community around them.

This biblically-based program has four phases:

  • Phase One: Orientation // Individuals are oriented into a new life of structure, accountability and healthy living.
  • Phase Two: Foundation // Individuals experience a holistic approach to recovery that addresses the mental, physical, spiritual and relational health of a man.
  • Phase Three: Reintegration // Individuals re-enter the work force and begin to practice financial skills they have learned, while preparing to transition into independent living.
  • Phase Four: Transition // Individuals live the last two months in independent living, outside of Mercy House with high accountability, while practicing the skills necessary to live a healthy life free from addiction.

The Mercy House is a non-profit organization and is able to operate based on donations and partnerships with people from around the community.

One way you can partner with Mercy House and support the work they are doing is by attending their annual banquet this Thursday, April 12th. Come enjoy dinner and hear powerful testimonies of the healing power of Jesus. Last year, we raised $60,000 at the banquet. Funds went toward programming and house operations.

By partnering with the Mercy House, you get to be a part of allowing men to learn who God has called them to be, and you’re giving them the opportunity to be fathers, sons, brothers and friends once again. Click here to learn more about their upcoming banquet and to buy tickets.

CHECK OUT SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM LAST YEAR’S BANQUET:

2017 Year in Review

2017 WAS  A GREAT YEAR, AND HERE’S WHY:

We completed our Kids Ministry renovation in 2017! The renovation included 11 new classrooms, an outdoor playground and a Kids Auditorium for our elementary students.

 

Lifegroups are at the core of who we are as a church. Between the Youth Ministry, College Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, Families and Caleb Zone, 244 Lifegroups met weekly throughout the year.

 

UnBound, our anti-trafficking ministry, has seven chapters world-wide. Through STARS Mentoring Project, 1,400 books were read in Book Clubs. Mercy House and Grace House continued to see men and women set free from addiction.

 

In 2017, we launched four international churches. The Antioch Movement is now working in 39 countries and in 77 locations.

 

CHECK OUT THE FULL 2017 ANNUAL REPORT HERE.

A Faith That’s Steady

In Exodus 17, we’re told of an epic battle God’s people had to fight against the Amalekites. But there was something peculiar about this fight: As long as Moses held his staff high, the Israelites would win. But if he became tired and had to lower his arms for a rest, the tide of war turned and the Amalekites would begin to route Moses’ people. Finally, Aaron and Hur joined Moses and held his arms up for him and in verse 12 we’re told that, “his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”

HAVE YOU EVER HAD TO FIGHT FOR SOMETHING IN YOUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY?

If you haven’t, you should teach me your secrets because I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t! But seriously, have you ever had to believe God for something over a long and difficult period of not seeing the promise fulfilled? Maybe you’ve been waiting on the Holy Spirit to heal you. Perhaps you’ve needed Jesus to reveal Himself to a family member who is far from God. Or maybe you’ve been begging the Father for provision. This is the position in which my wife and I found ourselves not long ago. Having made the hard transition to overseas life, we finally felt it was time to grow our family. But the negative pregnancy tests began to roll by month after month, until those months turned into years of empty-handedness.

We sought God for advice on how we should grow our family and where we landed as being the best option for our unique situation was to fly home for a procedure that we felt confident the Lord had led us to. The only catch that was that it was by no means a sure-fire procedure and—living overseas on a budget—we would not be able to return home for some time to try again. It was now or never. We shared vulnerably with friends and family about how nervous and scarred we were and it wasn’t long before we were told by many well-meaning people what I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of times in your struggles: Just. Have. Faith.

JUST HAVE FAITH.

It sounded so easy and yet try as I might, I just could not conjure up the feeling that everything was going to be okay and not worry about anything going wrong. But that is when I read about the battle against the Amalekites. Specifically, I learned that ‘emuwnah—the Hebrew word used to tell us that Moses’ arms were steady—is also one of the words used for faith in the Old Testament. Indeed, verse 12 could be translated to say that Moses’ arms had faith. But this story isn’t about a feeling that Moses fought to conjure up. It’s about an action that he continued to do over a long period of time.

What if we viewed faith this way?

WHAT IF HOW WE FELT DIDN’T MATTER BECUASE ULTIMATELY, THE DEEP BELIEFS AND VALUES THAT DICTATE OUR ACTIONS ARE MORE IMPORTANT TO US THAN OUR FEELINGS?

Wouldn’t we be able to understand passages like, “faith without works is dead,” or “if you love me you will obey my commands” so much better? So, my response to just have faith began to change. I didn’t try to make myself experience emotion or avoid the fact that I was scarred to death. Instead I held my head high and said, “I do have faith. Because no matter how I feel, I’m getting on that plane to go home and obey what God said to do.”

So if you find yourself in a fight to trust God for a promise, my question to you is not “how are you going to force yourself to feel about it?” My question is, “What are you going to do about it?” Because it doesn’t matter how scarred you are.

WHAT MATTERS IS THAT YOU CHOOSE TO OBEY GOD OVER THE LONG HAUL, NO MATTER WHAT.

As for my story, it really doesn’t matter how it ends. Because the point was never really for us to see if we would actually have a baby. It was to learn how to activate a real faith that shows itself through actions, not feelings. Although if you must know, we’re currently in the market for a baby stroller!

By an Antioch Missionary

Getting a Heart for the Nations When You Don’t Have One

At first I followed Him because of what He saved me from, rather than what He called me to. I just knew I wanted to be saved from the consequences of my sin. But, as I grew in my relationship with Jesus, I started to see more and more of what He had called me to. Instead of just giving me a ticket away from the place no one wants to go to, He also offered to be my companion on the journey and to give me His heart.

Over time, I grew to love our times together. I loved sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to His words. There was no place I would rather be than with Him and with those who love Him. My relationship with Jesus was characterized by me saying, “Come and be with me,” rather than following the call to come and follow Him.

In Song of Solomon 2, the Beloved is caring for the one He loves. He gives her the choicest of foods and meets her every need. She is aware that He goes out to the mountains and the valleys, but is content in the comfort of her home, as long as He comes to visit. As their relationship continues to grow, He invites her to join Him. She delays because she has just cleaned up and doesn’t want her life to get messy, but eventually she realizes she would rather be in His presence than in her neat and tidy home. He is what she wants, not comfort or familiarity, but Him.

This is my story too. I knew of others who were invited to go out on adventures with Jesus, which was great for them, but I was glad to stay home with my children, my western toilet and clean water. As the years have passed and my relationship with Jesus has grown, my love of security has been dwarfed by my desire to be with Jesus wherever He is in whatever He is doing. It has never been about the adventure for me. It has always been about being with Jesus and sharing His heart.

HIS HEART HAS ALWAYS BEEN FOR THE LOST, THE SICK AND THE BROKEN.

Years ago, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. We had a busy ministry to match our busy home and I was hurting for my six children, wondering if their faith would make it through the challenges they faced. I remember praying, “Lord, will you please send people to minister to my children during this time?” The minute I prayed, I felt like the Lord said, “Now you understand my heart.”

I was identifying with Jesus in Matthew 9:36-38; “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to the disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.’” I understood the passage in a whole new light.

THERE ARE SO MANY  PEOPLE WHOM HE WANTS TO KNOW HIS LOVE.

And He is asking us to follow Him in order to draw them in too.

I’m so thankful He kept asking me to join Him. As I’ve followed Jesus I’ve had front row seats to see prostitutes who felt their lives were worthless be given worth by the Creator of the world. I’ve seen HIV positive children given hope for a life and a future. I’ve watched lepers lift their hands in praise to a Father that has given them value and purpose. We have rejoiced as we’ve seen alcoholic fathers set free and returned to care for their families. The joy of seeing the poor in villages that had never heard about Jesus be transformed by Christ, is a joy far greater than I could have ever imagined when I said, “yes,” to come and follow Him. I am so thankful for what He saved me from, and what He called me to!

IN RESPONSE //

Has Jesus asked you to follow Him to places you didn’t think you’d ever go? Do you follow Jesus because of what He saved you from or for what He has called you to?

We also encourage you to join us this weekend for World Mandate. Whether you live in Waco or move to the remote corners of the world, God has called all of us to carry His heart for the nations. World Mandate will be an incredible weekend to hear more about what God is doing in the earth and how you can be a part. Even if you didn’t get a chance to get tickets for our live location here in Waco, we still want you to be a part! Jump in with one of our nearby satellite locations or  Register today at worldmandate.com.

By Julie Steadman

God Wants You to be A Part – A World Mandate Testimony

World Mandate is more than a conference. It is a catalyst into the dreams of God. Year after year, peoples’ hearts are captured as they learn more about what God is doing in the world around us, and they are invited to be a part.

A few years ago, two missionaries from Antioch Norman had their lives changed by encounters they experienced at World Mandate. We had a chance to connect with them and hear their story. Check it out:

Tell us a little about yourselves:

Ashley: Adam is from Fort Worth, Texas and I grew up in Mexico City since my parents were workers with the IMB (International Mission Board). We both grew up in Christian homes and our parents loved Jesus a lot, so we both came to know Jesus relatively early in our lives—Adam in his youth group when he was 13 and me at home around Christmastime when I was eight-years old.

How did you get connected to Antioch?

Ashley: We both went to school at the University of Oklahoma in 2009 and that same year, Antioch planted a church in Norman. I had an older friend invite me to attend Antioch Norman my first Sunday in town and I loved it.

Adam: I hopped around a few churches during my first semester, but one Sunday I attended Antioch and the pastor talked about Lifegroups, the lifeblood of the church. He shared about how Lifegroups are based on Acts 2:42-47 and that surprised me. Years before, I felt like God said Acts 2:42-47 were verses that would mark my life. So, I decided that Sunday that I would get plugged in with Antioch.

So, your family is currently living in Southeast Asia. When did you decide to move there, and how did World Mandate play a part in your journey?

Ashley: We had separate encounters with God at World Mandate in 2011. While asking God about the nations, I saw a picture of Southeast Asia in my mind, but I didn’t really know what it meant.

Adam: For me, I had a vision of jungle mountains, villages and people. It was so detailed that I could see the specific structure of the houses and the type of clothing the villagers were wearing. I saw various encounters in this vision occur: villagers worshipping God on a mountaintop, people eating around a low-sitting table and a skin disease being healed. It ended with a strange two-syllable word; I had never heard these syllables before, nor seen anything like this place. I continued to worship until the service ended, and when I returned to my hotel I searched for the things I had seen and heard. As I searched, I learned about an ethnic group living in the mountains of Southeast Asia. They were unreached and unengaged, according to Joshua Project. When I searched images of this people, amazingly, the images matched those of what I saw during worship, right down to the style of houses and the type of clothing.

Ashley: When we got married, we decided together that we would look into moving to Asia. At the time, no one was in the area we wanted to go to, but Antioch Norman was looking to send people to a different country in Southeast Asia, so we jumped on board. We’re still not in the nation we hope to ultimately be in, but we’re believing that our time here will be fruitful, we will learn helpful strategies and meet people who will partner with us in the future.

That’s amazing! Living in the nations isn’t easy, but what makes it worth it?

Ashley: One of the things we both love seeing is people grasp small truths of God. We have many friends who are unbelievers and have no real grasp of Biblical truth or understanding of the Good News of Jesus. In these instances, we try to identify ourselves as followers of Jesus by inserting truths about God, stories from the Bible or testimonies of His goodness in regular conversation.

Adam: One example was with our neighbor, Amorn. During a conversation we were having, he asked the meaning of my name, Adam. I proceeded to talk about how it means, “of the Earth” and how God created Adam from the dirt of the earth and His breath. In our country, it’s very common and important to have a nickname, usually one syllable, partly due to the fact that full names can be very long. A few weeks after my conversation with Amorn, he approached me and asked if I had a nickname yet. I said that I did not have one, at which point he said, “Good, I have the perfect one for you. Your nickname can be ‘dirt.’” I asked him why he chose such a strange name, and he responded like this: “Well, you said that God made Adam out of the earth, and since your name is Adam, your nickname should be dirt, because God made you from the dirt.” It was amazing how inserting a simple spiritual story in our conversation caused our neighbor to grasp something about God that stuck with him weeks later, and opened up the opportunity for further conversation.

What would you tell people considering going to the nations?

Ashley: Orient yourself to be a servant and a learner. If you come in with all the answers and a desire to lead others, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to identify with important aspects of Jesus’ character—He was God in the flesh; He had all the answers, and still He came not to be served, but to serve. If you only want to teach, but not learn, you may overlook or neglect what Jesus desires to do in you. Lastly, examine your motives — come onto the field because you have received a Great Commission assignment from God. Do it because it’s what He’s telling you to do. Don’t do it because you feel like as a believer, or even as a member of Antioch, it’s what you’re “supposed to do.” It’s definitely not easy to be overseas, working cross-culturally, away from family and things that feel comfortable. But if God has called you to go, He’ll give you the grace to walk out each day, come whatever crazy situations.

We believe God has something for you at World Mandate. He wants to dream His dreams through you. Will you take a weekend to learn more about what God is already doing and allow Him to speak about how He wants you to be a part?

Tickets for World Mandate are selling out fast, visit worldmandate.com and get yours today. 

Reset // Embracing the Mission of God

Today Drew Steadman wrapped up our Reset series with a message about living on mission. The world tells us that who we are is defined by what we do, but in the Kingdom of God, it’s actually the opposite. When we are confident in who we are, we are free to live out the mission God has called us to without hesitation. Check out some of our takeaways from today’s message:

  • The world’s equation says, “What I do determines who I am.”
  • God’s equation says, “Who you are determines what you do.”
  • When we live under the world’s equation, we block out the what God actually has for us.
  • If you are compelled by anything other than the love of God, you will always end up off course when it comes to your calling.
  • When we understand God’s love for us, our natural response is to stop living for ourselves and to start living for Him.
  • You’ll never discover your life’s purpose if your primary purpose is you.
  • We’re a church that embraces the mission of God. Whether it’s the nations or the broken of our city, we’re all in because it’s God’s mission.
  • The beauty of the body of Christ is that it isn’t one person doing everything, it is everyone doing something.
  • Mission happens when we all say, “yes” and do our part.
  • God has given you a specific place where only you can be an ambassador in this season.
  • Ambassadors change the atmosphere.
  • There are no second-class citizens in the Kingdom of God.

IN RESPONSE:

This year we all want to embrace the mission of God. Throughout the week, take some time to pray and process through these questions:

  1. What are you doing to embrace the mission of God?
  2. What does it mean for you to be an ambassador in this season?

By Drew Steadman – Executive Team and Adult Pastor

Antioch Sports Ministry Impact Trip – Dominican Republic

During the Christmas break, Antioch Sports Ministry went on an outreach to the Dominican Republic. The team consisted of students who are a part of a little league baseball team here in Waco and other volunteers. Even before leaving Waco, our team saw the faithfulness of God through His provision of finances and passports.

The team spent the week partnering with our long-term team in the Dominican Republic and other organizations through baseball games and other outreaches. After each game our team played, they had the opportunity to share testimonies and the Gospel with everyone who attended the games. Many people decided to accept Jesus! Four students on our team also decided to get baptized at the end of the trip.

Despite language barriers, our team had the opportunity to connect with many other players and introduced them to the hope of Jesus. We are so encouraged, and we’re believing for God to continue to move throughout the Dominican Republic! Check out a few photos from the trip:

 

 

Six Weeks in Budapest: A Recap of The Discipleship School Outreach

This spring the day Discipleship School spent six weeks in Budapest. During our time there, our students partnered with our long-term team in hosting Lifegroups, starting Discovery Bible Studies and sharing Jesus with the people they encountered each day.

CHECK OUT A FEW STORIES FROM THEIR TRIP:

  • “ I met a professor that teaches American culture and history at a Hungarian university in the city. I asked this professor if I could attend one of his classes, and the professor contacted me two weeks later with an even greater invitation. The professor heard I had studied religion at Baylor so he invited me to not only attend the class but to give a lecture on religion in America. I had the amazing opportunity to present a 45-minute lecture on the role religion has played in the history and culture of the United States throughout the years. At the end, I led the entire class through a short Discovery Bible Study and finished by asking them if they could see how reading and obeying the teachings of Jesus could be beneficial for a society.”

 

  • “I was at the nearby coffee shop spending time with God, and the barista asked, “Are you reading the Bible?” She then remarked, “I have a Bible at my home, but I don’t know how to read it. Can you recommend a place in the Bible where I could start reading?” I told her she could read John 1 that night, and then we could discuss it the following day. The next day, I arrived at the coffee shop and the barista was sitting outside at a table. I sat with her and she pulled out her Bible along with two pages of notes that she had taken on John 1. She spent the next 15 minutes sharing what she understood about the chapter and about who she perceived God to be based on what she read. She asked me what I thought, and I was able to give her a brief overview of the Gospel and explain the truth of Jesus’ character as seen in John 1. She seemed awestruck as she began to understand who Jesus truly is, and I was blown away by her excitement. At the end of our time she asked if I had any friends in Budapest who would read the Bible with her and help her to understand the Scriptures. I was able to connect her with one of the members of our long-term team, and I believe she will be a person of peace that can reach her co-workers and others in the weeks, months and years to come.”

  • “One morning, I felt a prompting from the Holy Spirit to visit a specific clothing store and look for someone wearing white headphones. I did not completely understand why I felt led to go there, but I went to the store with two of my teammates. While looking around I saw a man wearing white headphones. I began engaging him in conversation, and he asked what I was doing in the city. I explained I was with a group from my church, and that we wanted to tell people about Jesus. When I said this, he lit up. I soon found out he was a Christian, but had no church community. He asked if my friends and I ever met together, and I explained that we were planning to do so that very night at a Lifegroup.  He essentially invited himself to Lifegroup and gave me his contact information. He came that evening and seemed to have a genuine encounter with the Father. He expressed that he was eager to come back to Lifegroup the next week and invite his friends.”

  • “I was in line at a grocery store and met a man who is originally from Southeast Asia but now lives in Budapest and works for a large financial consulting firm in the city as a language instructor. The man asked me what I was doing in Budapest, and I briefly explained how our class was there to learn how to read and obey the Bible and teach other people to do the same thing. The man then explained that he had once read the first two books of the Bible but was not able to understand what it meant. He asked if I would be willing to meet to study the Bible the next day. Throughout my time in Budapest, we were able to meet consistently to do Discovery Bible Studies and discuss God’s character as revealed in Scripture.”

We are believing for God to continue to move powerfully throughout Budapest! Today, take a few minutes to pray for our long-term team. Ask God to refresh them and lead them to people with a hunger for more of Jesus.

*Special thanks to Jordan Brown for the great pictures!

Engage The Crisis Update {In Pictures}

Over the weekend, our Engage the Crisis interns and base staff arrived in Amsterdam for training. It has been a powerful time hearing from our movement leaders, connecting with our teams and praying for the summer. Check out some pictures from our first weekend together:

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Our Unbound interns arrived early for training. They will be working with local communities and refugees in four different cities to prevent and identify human trafficking.

 

Our Thessaloniki interns headed to Amsterdam on Sunday. Throughout the summer, they will be leading small teams and helping the base staff.

Our Thessaloniki interns headed to Amsterdam on Sunday. Throughout the summer, they will be helping the base staff lead impact trip teams.

 

It has been a powerful time coming together to worship at the beginning of training.

 

Along with hearing from speakers, we have also had a blast playing games with our teams.

Along with hearing from speakers, we have also had a blast playing games with our teams.

 

Throughout the weekend, our teams also had some time to explore the city.

Throughout the weekend, our teams also had some time to explore the city.

 

Prayer is powerful! We had the opportunity to pray for one another as we were commissioned to take up the baton and run the race in Europe this summer.

Prayer is powerful! We had the opportunity to pray for one another as we were commissioned to take up the baton and run the race in Europe this summer.

 

As our teams wrap up training and head out to their bases at the end of the week, join us in praying for:

  • A move of God like never before to spread across Europe
  • For the needs of the refugees to be met practically and spiritually
  • Refreshment and envisionment for each of our leaders
  • Safe travels for our leaders and impact trip teams as they travel throughout the summer

For more updates throughout the summer, be sure to follow Engage the Crisis on Facebook and Instagram.

Special thanks to our photographers: Arden Beckham, Kim Martinez and Sam Goff.

#AntiochYA Tijuana: Days 1 & 2

Our Young Adult team landed in San Diego Saturday morning for their mission trip to Tijuana. Days one and two were all about building community as a team and serving the church!

On Sunday, day two, the team helped set up church at All People’s San Diego and then attended the service. Then they headed to Mexico where they spent time meeting people on the streets and inviting them to All People’s Tijuana.

It’s been a great first two days and everyone’s excited for day three!

We started our first full day of the trip attending Antioch’s church plant, All People’s San Diego.

We loved getting to worship at All People’s San Diego. The unity among the Church is so encouraging.

After church we headed to Mexico to invite people to attend All People’s Tijuana.

Worshiping at All People’s Tijuana.

We got ice cream down the street from our hotel and got to share the Gospel with the shop owner.

Please join with us in praying for our Young Adult trip today!

  • Pray for the team as they have an outreach in Tijuana and spend time at an orphanage.
  • Pray for them to love others well and share the Gospel with boldness.
  • Pray for the team to continue to encounter God in powerful ways and experience deep community with each other.