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  • Writer's pictureBradley Bell

Moving Upstream: April 2024 Newsletter

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"I'm so excited to have this book. I want to read it right now."

That's what Pastor Roger said to me when I presented to him the very first copy of The Sending Church Defined in Spanish (pictured above). But let me back up.

A few years ago a missions pastor named Mike was deeply impacted by the book and began giving copies to his missions team and other pastors. Then he caught a vision for making it available to Spanish-speaking churches. This was motivated in large part because of his church's relationships to a pastor in Honduras named Roger. Mike then mobilized his church to fund the Spanish translation.

Months later when the translation was finished, I wanted to personally deliver the very first copy to Mike and his church. And it just so happened that they were hosting a missions event with Roger as a guest. To his surprise, I came on stage, told the whole story, and handed him the book. It was a really beautiful moment. 🥲

May God use this translation to help Spanish-speaking churches send their people with the gospel!

Preaching Again

After a four-month break from preaching regularly, I was given the opportunity to preach three weeks in a row at various churches:

Elk Spring Valley Baptist Church in Monticello, Kentucky, my childhood church where I became a Christian, now pastored by fellow Cumberland alum and friend, Anthony Jolly

First Baptist Church Eastwood in Louisville, which is pastored by my friend Sean Corser

Hy Vong Church in Louisville, which is pastored by my friend Jeremy Shelton

It has been a joy to preach again, though I do admit being a bit rusty. I expect to continue preaching on occasion, some for Upstream and some simply to serve churches. Let me know if you need a Sunday filled!

Sending Church Cohort in Cameroon

The part of my job I'm most excited about is serving and learning from other parts of the global church. It's wonderful to see American churches begin to send their people well. But imagine the exponential impact (and multiplied joy!) of seeing cross-cultural recepients of the gospel become senders themselves.

Last week I was privileged to begin a new Sending Church Cohort with six missions pastors in Cameroon (one of them, Chofong, is pictured here). In months to come we will be reading through The Sending Church Defined together and I'll teach through the Sending Church Elements.

As these pastors apply sending to their own unique context, I expect to learn much that I can share with other churches around the world. Perhaps later this year I can even visit these brothers in their homes, neighborhoods, and churches. I still love Africa so much! And I believe African Christians will lead the way into the future of global missions.

Join Us in Prayer

You can be part of what God is doing in and through us by praying in the following ways:

  • For a highly debated webinar I am co-leading next week. Alongside my colleague Nathan Sloan we are braving the topic "Is the People Group Paradigm the Only Way to Think About Missions?" Pray for this to be beneficial rather than argumentative.

  • For a missionary care event I am co-leading later this month. I will be traveling to Knoxville to help facilitate "Churches Caring for Missionary Families" along with Larry McCrary and Lauren Wells. Pray for fruit as we address this much-needed topic.

  • For peace and pace (I have been a bit overwhelmed learning my new role). To give an analogy, I have stepped into co-piloting the Upstream "plane," but I don't yet have a grasp on all the dials and buttons. Pray for me as there's much to learn and much to do.

As always, thanks for your support!


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