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03.24.2011 / Colby Ivey

Spokane – Near Nature. Near Perfect.

That is how the city’s slogan reads on all the visitor brochures.  However, the pervading attitude toward the city of Spokane does not seem to match up quite so well.   A good number of the people we talked to from Spokane, or who have lived in/around Spokane, encouraged us to find a better city to move to, often referring to the city as Spokanistan or Spokompton.

And to be honest, Spokane does not have an overwhelming amount of curb appeal compared to some of the other cities we were considering.  Cities like Bellingham, Missoula, and Portland seem to be far superior and enjoyable.  We had really marked Spokane off the short list, until just a few weeks ago when the Lord began to change some hearts regarding Spokane.  I say the Lord began to change hearts because in our rational mind, this was not the city for us.

So for spring break, we left for a week long trip to Spokane to get to know the city we felt like God had for our team.  We began to pray that God would give us His eyes for the city and show us how He feels about Spokane.  The first few days those prayers did not work.  Mackenzie spent most of Sunday crying that we were going to spend the foreseeable future in Spokane.  But (thank God) the week did not end that way.  We were able to meet with a few pastors from different churches in the city, and hearing their heart for the work there began to change some of our perspective.  The more we got to know the city, the neighborhoods, and the people our dreams for the city began to develop.  We began to see how Spokane is, perhaps, the perfect place for us.

Opportunity abounds here.  It is the 3rd largest city in the Northwest, 6 significant colleges, relatively little Gospel work compared to its population, reasonable cost of living, large economic diversity, and fun things like 4 distinct seasons and an abundance of recreational opportunities.  Above all of that, we have the confidence that this is God’s leading and not our best human efforts.  I am so thankful for that sense of calling, because I know that when it gets hard God will continue to perfect what he is beginning here.  I’m excited to see what that will look like!

We have much more to say about Spokane and details about what we think this will look like.  And we would love to tell anyone about it who will listen.  Throughout the next 3 or 4 months before we move to Spokane, our team will be coming back to Texas to meet with churches and individuals about joining in what is happening in Spokane.  If you are a part of a missionally minded church or organization that would be willing to listen to us, speak wisdom into what we are doing, partner with us, or pray for us, we would love to hear from you and set up a time to meet together!  Leave a comment, email us, or call any of us.

Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement.  We love you all.

Prayer requests:

1. Thank God that He has given us momentum and vision for a city!

2. That details would continue to fall into place, as we still have lots of decisions to make.

3. Jobs and housing and such.  (We have also started praying for a free meeting space/building in downtown Spokane, so join us in that bold prayer!)

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One Comment

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  1. Jeff Larson / Apr 14 2011 12:08 pm

    Colby,

    Hey. We’ve never met but I got talking to your dad the other day about what you all are doing and he pointed me to your blog. I told him I’m always glad to hear what God is doing through His people wherever they are.

    I’ve been in the role as minister of missions here at FBC Frisco for a few years now and we’re starting to look at the idea of home groups – reaching out to un-churched people who will probably never land in a traditional church. I think a notable demographic of those type of people live in Frisco.

    I don’t know if you all are heading toward a house church kind of idea or where things are taking as you head to Spokane but I’d love to hear how things are going, some of the challenges you’re facing, some of the good things that are happening. Shoot me a note if you get a second or give me a call.

    We love your folks.

    Jeff

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