We gather in small circles in a corner of the Boston Common to pray for the people of the city. Despite the 91-degree heat, I get goosebumps as I stand in that circle, knowing that our presence here is an answer to previous prayers, and thinking about the day when I’ll be able to look back on our prayers today and see them answered.
God has been teaching me about his sovereignty and the power of prayer in the last few years. In 2016, a group of CLB pastors in New England started to gather and pray together. Eventually they formed the group “Cultivate New England” and started to plan for a church plant in Boston. I remember hearing about their plans and feeling excited for this area of the country where I have roots. At the time, my husband was a pastor at Triumph Lutheran Brethren Church in Moorhead, Minnesota, and we felt very settled in our ministry there. But I followed Cultivate’s Facebook updates, and joined them in their 2019 prayer focuses as they posted each week about a different Boston neighborhood to pray for. I watched the videos and heard about the prayer walk that the supporting churches held in Boston, to pray for a future church plant, and for who God would call to plant that church. What I didn’t know yet—and neither did they—was that they were praying for my husband and me.
It’s been an amazing journey to see how God has answered the prayers of these people to call us to move across the country in the midst of a pandemic, to live in Connecticut for a time, as we prepare to move into Boston next summer. Hence, the goosebumps. Some of these very same people gathered in the same area several years ago, praying in faith that God would call someone to this city. And he has!
Now we enter a new stage of prayer. Where in the city is God calling us to settle? Who is he calling to join us in ministry? And who will he put in our path to become the future members of our church?
I don’t have any of those answers yet. Sometimes I feel like we’re way out of our depth here. But that’s where I can rest in God’s sovereignty. If we were moving to Boston intending to make something happen in our own strength, counting on our talents, then we certainly would be out of our depth. But I know that this is God’s church, not mine. And I can go back to prayer, trusting that he will guide us in this process.
WMCLB has always been a mission-supporting organization. Will you support us in this mission? Pray for open hearts in Boston, a true mission field where only an estimated 3% of people have heard an authentic presentation of the gospel. Pray that God would call several couples or individuals to join us in Boston to be the core team to start this church. And pray that we’d follow his leading every step of the way.
Mary Anderson and her husband Rev. Kristian Anderson have been called by Cultivate New England and the Church of the Lutheran Brethren to plant a church in Boston, Massachusetts.