February news from Florida Church Planters!

"Take the Bike Out!" - Naples Project Update

This Fall a brand new church will launch in Naples, FL. Sy Huffer is the Lead Planter and is joined by Monica Huffer, Aaron and Melissa Smith and Cesar and Gisela Sardinas. God has already been working in powerful ways as they are building relationships with their neighbors throughout the community! In January they launched 3 Home Groups and 35 adults are participating in those groups. 

Recently they also celebrated their first baptism! Here’s the story behind that baptism that they shared in a recent newsletter:

"It all started with a need for speed! Actually that is not true....it started with Sy needing a way to get around after leaving his beloved pickup behind in MO in order to move to FL. He upgraded from a fiery red Chevy Silverado to a 2000 Harley Davidson Heritage Softtail. This wasn't the only bike he looked at, but it was the one God had planned for him. 

Fast forward a couple weeks and Sy is sitting in his "Cloffice" (that is a church planting term for your new office now located in your spare closet) and felt an urge from the Holy Spirit to simply "Take the Bike Out!" Excited to ride, Sy loaded up on his 'new to him' hog, turned the key to let that famed Harley rumble rattle the garage, and then took to the streets with no destination in mind. While riding, he was talking with the Lord and said, "God you wanted me to have this bike, I need you to send me people to ride with." With the frustration of riding alone, Sy pulls into a gas station where unbeknownst to him, God was about to answer his prayer.

While filling up the gas tank, Sy was suddenly approached by a guy similar in age who maybe fits the Harley Rider stereotype better than Sy and his white tennis shoes. (For confidentiality we will call him Josh). Josh walks right up and said, "Dude I have that exact same bike! I just moved here recently, and am looking for someone to ride with, would you want to ride with me?!" After picking up his jaw off the concrete, Sy responded "absolutely!" After exchanging numbers and some text conversations later they started their weekly riding group that heads out every Wednesday night around different parts of Naples. 

What was cool was God answering that prayer. What was unexpected was when Josh told Sy he was very interested in what he is down here doing starting a church. Josh is a single father, ex-marine, and grew up Catholic having some mixed feelings regarding religion. Josh asked when the church would start because he might want to come. Sy responded with "Not until next year, but would you want to study the Bible with me?" Very enthusiastically Josh, accepted the invitation. Now Sy and Josh meet to study the Bible together every Wednesday before heading out on their weekly ride. It is also turning into an invite for other men to join the study on Wednesdays as well, whether or not they ride motorcycles. 

We wanted to share this story to show a really cool way God connected us with an amazing individual outside of our community through Sy answering the Spirit's prompt to simply "Take the the Bike Out". Since their providential first encounter, Josh has now attended our neighborhood Labor Day party, joined Sy and Aaron's Fantasy Football League, volunteered time to help Sy move furniture, and just been a wonderful presence and encouragement to our team." 

A few weeks ago Josh was baptized and began his journey following Jesus. We are praying this story will be repeated hundreds of times in Naples!

Bunnell Church Launches

On February 4, nearly 200 people gathered at Bunnell Elementary School to be part of the launch of a new church, led by Kyle and Deana Holmgren. This plant is a partnership between Florida Church Planters and Tomoka Christian Church, and is currently a campus of Tomoka. 

Bunnell is a very low income area in Florida and there are tremendous opportunities to love people. This plant grew out of work that was being done in the elementary school to care for hurting families. As the ministry grew, so did a dream to start a church that could lead people toward true hope in our Savior. Please pray for this new church as they continue to gather weekly and point people to Jesus!

FCP is committed to starting new churches that can spread the message of hope found in the resurrection of Jesus!

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