“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
When New City Church launched weekly gatherings in January of 2008, understanding, living out and proclaiming the Gospel was at the very core of who New City intended to be in Macon and beyond. Over the past eight years, New City’s vision has never changed - we dream of seeing the gospel transform everything within our reach - ourselves, our church, our city, and the world. Over the years, we have been a part of God’s work in Middle Georgia launching New City Milledgeville and New City Warner Robins (now known as Sojourn Church). These three campuses have been instrumental in proclaiming the Gospel in their perspective city, loving their city, and equipping people to live in light of the Gospel. A passionate preaching and living out of the Gospel through Sunday morning services, missional communities, and local community partnerships have all been at the heart of seeing this vision come to fruition.
But a local focus has only been a portion of how God has used New City’s vision of seeing the Gospel transform everything within our reach. New City has always played a vital role in sending out people for global missions, both short and long-term. A year ago, the Elders of New City asked Seth Ralston and Caleb & Hanna Bedingfield to begin praying and dreaming about how God might use New City in a new way globally. Little did we know that God had a slightly different plan than we had in mind.
Caleb and Hanna Bedingfield are now serving in the Dominican Republic as Student Life Directors with SCORE International. "SCORE is an organization that seeks to evangelize the lost, engage people in missions, equip disciples, and encourage others through serving." Soon after, Seth announced his plan also to enter full-time mission work serving Witness Kicks Foundation as their Director of Global Outreach. "Witness Kicks exists to plant the seed of God’s word and spark a flame of His joy in the hearts of anyone and everyone we can, one pair of shoes at a time."
Other New City folks like Sophie Green are serving on the Campus Outreach staff reaching college students in the Philippines. The vision of Campus Outreach is "Glorifying God by Building Laborers on the Campus for the Lost World." And some folks we can't even mention their name or location because of the danger they face in-country.
Celebrate God's goodness to us as we keep these New City global missionaries in our prayers. I recently asked Seth to share some thoughts on his own journey at New City as he transitions to this new missional focus with Witness Kicks.
People come and go. Opportunities appear and vanish. Doors open and close. After only 14 months, my time in Macon has come to a quick end. However, I’m leaving with countless new friendships, a stronger faith, and a greater understanding of our heavenly Father. It was during my time in Macon that I learned a valuable life-lesson and comprehended just how perfect God’s timing is on everything…literally, everything.
The journey that I’m about to embark on is a complete leap of faith—something I don’t think I’ve ever truly done before. I’ve always been big on routines, making sure everything I do is planned out perfectly and organized entirely. But God has shown me recently that He doesn’t work like that. He is a courageous and unfailing God; asking us to trust in the unknown, serve the unwelcomed, and do the undesirable. This new opportunity has been presented to me solely because of the people that God has placed in my life during my time in Macon, especially at New City.
As I move on from Macon and pursue a career in global ministry, I’m encouraged. I’m encouraged by the work God is doing through the body of believers that make up New City Church. If God didn’t bring me to Mercer, I would have never met people like Hayden Blessing…a friend who is now my partner with the Witness Kicks Foundation. Or Caleb and Hanna Bedingfield…a selfless couple who shares the same passion as me for mission work and are now international connections for Witness Kicks in the Dominican Republic. And even Keith Watson and Patrick McConnell…mentors and leaders throughout the Macon community who lead New City Church on a weekly basis. The list goes on and on with the friends and people who have made an impact in my life this past year.
“…God works so that people will be in awe of Him.” - Ecclesiastes 3:14
I’m writing this because I stand in awe at how God never stops working in our lives. Even if it’s for a split second, God places people and events in your life that can—and will—change your life forever. Regardless of what you’re going through, remember that His timing is perfect, and He has placed you in that very moment for a reason. As I look back on the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met in recent years, I see now that it all led up to this moment and place in time. Being human, my comprehension of things is very limited. But we serve a God who is omniscient and omnipresent. The trials or triumphs that we experience on a daily basis are only a small detail of God’s plan for our life. Cherish those around you, embrace the moment that you’re currently in, and trust that God’s promise is waiting for you at the end of the process.
Thank you, New City Church, for taking me in and now sending me out.