Outside The Walls (OTW) Church launched last March after the team was equipped and commissioned through the Evangel School of Urban Church Planting. Hope Flask is the lead pastor and shared the stories of God’s life transformations in her congregation.
One story of transformation is of Josh and Charity. They began attending OTW on its very first Sunday. Charity was ready, but Josh was hesitant. Our first Easter service Josh talked to me afterward about how God had grabbed his heart in the service. He was done watching on the sidelines, ready to go all in. My husband Tim, Josh, and I began to meet weekly and Josh was baptized last August. At his baptism were several of his friends who did not believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Josh tearfully shared his testimony of how Christ changed his life and still ministers to these men. Josh, Charity, and their children all serve on Sundays and are part of our small group. They are learning to pray together as a family. It’s incredible to see them grow!
We met Travis and Kady last August when OTW served dinner and led a night of worship at the local mission. Travis had just gotten out of jail and was trying to change his life. His fiancé Kady was seven months pregnant and staying at the local shelter. That night they both sat there captivated in worship to our King. After worship I spoke and prayed with them. I felt the allegiance shift they were making with their lives, coming under Christ and His rule, so I invited them to church Sunday evening. To my surprise they came and brought children from the shelter with them.
Later that week, Tim and I began a small group on Kingdom Community in our home. Travis and Kady came and participated. They have not only been to church every week, but also to small group. Travis shared in our Sunday service about a miracle God had worked in his life. He said:
“I had gotten into some trouble and the week before I came here I had just gotten out of jail. I was supposed to be going to court this last week where I was to be sentenced up to 52 months in prison. But Kady and I have made a change and we’ve just been praying and praying. I didn’t want to leave our first child, to leave Kady. The day before the hearing I received a call from my lawyer saying that they’ve dropped all the charges. I couldn’t believe it. It is really like I’m getting a fresh new start and now I get to be a daddy to my child and Kady’s husband.”
Their baby Tyler was born at the end of December and Travis and Kady are in premarital counseling with Tim and I every week. They are learning for the first time how to love each other the way that Jesus loves them. It’s a hard switch, but pretty amazing to watch!