It seemed like an odd time to leave. The day after I ended 2+ years of work searching and negotiating for a new space, having finally secured a place for us, I left for Manila. As work begins on that project I find myself on the other side of the world dreaming and scheming about the other side of this new HUB enterprise. Most of you remember that my hope was to raise $500,000 to renovate the warehouse we are now renting and then over the course of the next few years, repay that fund in order to give that same $500,000 in grants to our overseas partners working with the poor.
This money would kickstart not just our own building needs but do the same for five or six of our most needy friends. As the plans for our space gets underway, it now seems right for me to be here dreaming with Robert (our Manila Underground Director) and his team about how a building grant might be used. We spent some of the day yesterday exploring some possibilities and dreaming about how the microchurches here would be served. Needless to say it's very exciting. The movement here has already grown to 95 microchurches (in two years time), and right now we are only able to afford a "HUB" that is about 2500 square feet. It not only serves as the training, worship, and office space for the whole movement; it is also where two of the staff live, pulling out mats to sleep each night. You would be so amazed at the work they do with such dedication and so few resources. As JP said to me on our first night here while watching the Filipino leaders worship, "they are definitely Underground."
All that to say we have not yet reached our $500,000 goal. So far, we have been able to raise $383,000 (an amazing amount in itself), but in order for us to finish what we have started in Tampa - and to be able to give these grants all over the world - we still have $117,000 to go. Maybe you have been thinking about giving, maybe you were just waiting to see if it all worked out with the contract, maybe you hadn't planned to give at all, but being here makes me want to really urge you to give. I promise you this will be some of the best money you spend all year. What it will accomplish is so much greater than the sacrifice it might require. So will you consider again (if you haven't already) giving to this project? Will you take a minute to ask God if he wants you to join us in making these multiple projects happen? In case you have forgotten some of the details of the plan, or if you are ready to make a gift online you can find what you need here.