When they arrived in their country of service, Joel and Becky knew that most church planting movements began with local followers of Jesus who caught God’s vision to reach all peoples. So they started looking for people who would set aside tradition and focus on God’s Word as their guide for church planting.
In the beginning, very few people were interested to hear what they had to say about God’s vision for his church. During the first four or five years, only one local believer joined them in pursuing a church planting movement.
Then, suddenly, more and more believers joined their team. Their influence grew among local believers who were pursuing evangelism and church planting. Consequently, they were able to train in increasingly larger spheres. Those local believers said they noticed that Joel and Becky stuck around. “Expat (foreign) workers come in and out of our country all the time,” Joel says. “Unsurprisingly, it seems many locals prefer to wait and see who sticks.”
Additionally, while Joel and Becky were proving themselves to be invested long-term, they also gained experience working in local cultures and languages. “We can now serve our local brothers and sisters as trusted servants of God and help them catalyze movements in their own country,” Joel says. “We commonly ask, ‘What’s it going to take to see God’s Kingdom come to these people that God loves?’ Many times the answer is commitment and perseverance.”