There are many things that God has used to propel us to Miami. However, we will start with last year and try to be brief :).
In the spring of 2019, I (Andrew) was approached by our youth pastor at our sending church (Bethel Church) around 3 months before they were scheduled to go on a missions trip to Miami and was presented the opportunity to join. The High School youth group was going to be leading a VBS for one week at a Summer Camp program called KIDZXL. After prayer and consideration with Megan we made the decision that I should go. Leading up to departure we had many things that presented road blocks to keep me from going and we believe the evil one was attempting to stop what God was doing.
After arriving in Miami there was a moment of clarity – when you know that God is clearly speaking to you and there is no doubt – this was one of those moments. There are times when things become so clear that your soul just rejoices at what God is doing. After returning home, I continued to feel compelled by God that Miami and True Vine Christian Church were where He wanted our family to be. Within a couple of weeks of returning I had contacted Pastor Rollo, who leads True Vine, and shared with him that I really felt like God was calling our family to move to Miami and help them in their mission to reach the children and families of the community surrounding their church. A couple of weeks after that we put our house up for sale. We didn’t know exactly what God had for us, but we were certain He wanted us to sell our house so that we could be ready to go when He said GO! I visited with Pastor Rollo from Miami on the phone several times and in the fall of 2019 we took a trip down there as a family to confirm God’s call to Miami.
Often times we think of Miami as a vacation destination. We see palm trees, beaches, oceans, and resorts. However, Miami is a modern day Samaria – it’s right here in our own country, in our own backyard and yet it’s often over looked and neglected of being reached for Christ. There are 3 million people currently in Miami-Dade county. Pre-Covid, 95-97% of the population was not attending any church. That is around a staggering 2.9 million people not attending church of ANY KIND. God has called us to partner with True Vine Christian Church , which is located in Westchester area of Miami. In the 2 sq. mile area surrounding the church, there are over 100,000 people and fewer than 5 evangelical churches to minister to these people. Many of these families are first generation Americans and they are adjusting to living in a new country. These are a people who are underserved and under resourced: poverty is higher, there is a large minority community, and educational opportunities are less. While they are under served they are hungry for the hope and truth of the Gospel, Rollo Casiple, who is the pastor of TVCC, is a teacher, a Shepherd, a disciple of Christ and also a disciple maker. We have been called to serve alongside him and the church as they seek to reach their community and the greater Miami area for Christ!