Saturday, June 14, 2008

The beginning of a new journey

This is my first blog about our future plans for South Bay Church.  It feels good that it is now 'officially' public and we can openly talk about our dreams with friends and family.  Here's what's going on:

We have been serving at Northwood Assembly Church since we met during college.  I've worked as the assistant pastor for the college ministry (www.genesischarleston.com) for many years, and currently as the youth pastor for 6-12th grades. 

Last fall, we were approached by some close friends, Andy and Stacie Wood. They asked us to consider joining them in a vision to start a church in one of this country’s largest metropolitan areas.  We were in a great season of our lives--ministry was going great and we were expecting our second daughter. At first, we were close-minded and hesitant to the idea of moving, but as they shared the vision, we felt a tremendous stirring in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that we should be a part of this.  These are some of the facts about this area caught our attention:

  • 95% unreached with the Gospel
  • One of the strongest liberal and anti-God forces in America
  • A technological hub of the world: the home of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Apple, EBay, HP, and dozens of other multinational companies.

If you haven’t guessed yet, it is the San Francisco Bay Area--more specifically, the Silicon Valley.  Our hearts were captivated by the magnitude of the vision and the tremendous potential in this area.  It is one of the most diverse, affluent, and influential metropolitan areas in the world.  It is a mission field that has been ignored by many.  Can you imagine the impact a multiplying evangelical church could have if it reached the people who most influence the world?

Well, after many months of prayer, we believe God is calling us into this journey and we’ll be joining the staff of South Bay Church.  Archie and Rebekah Jackson are also part of the team. We’ll be moving to California in August 2008.  

Our current church, along with many other churches, have committed to support us in this vision.  However, we are now beginning the process of raising our personal salary and building a support team, who is a group of people who partner with us by offering their prayers, encouragement, and finances (www.southbaygiving.com).  The goal of this team is to support us during the early years of South Bay Church--until it is self-sustaining.

If any of you are interested in joining our support team, let us know! Please be in prayer for our family as we enter into this exciting season of our lives!  

Believing BIG,

Filipe, Mandy, Lily & Cailyn Santos

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