Pittsburgh Testimonies

We had a great week of ministry during our spring break trip to Pittsburgh! God moved in a great way as our team shared the Gospel, served, ministered and worshipped. We saw seven people profess faith in Christ through our various outreach events and services and reached out to many hundreds more. Continue to pray for Ken and Paula as they minister in this difficult city and check out the video below to hear a few testimonies of what God did in and through our team!

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Pittsburgh Day 4: Community Outreach

What an awesome day of ministry here in Pittsburgh! Yesterday afternoon our team hosted a community outreach carnival and Easter egg hunt for a local inner city community. By the time we finished, we had been able to minister the Gospel to over 150 people on the north side of downtown Pittsburgh. The carnival consisted of face painting, a cornhole game, crafts, a cookie walk and free snacks for anyone who came out. Every aspect of the carnival was structured to provide an avenue to share the Gospel with the people who participated. Our students fearlessly shared their faith with almost everyone who came out for the “carnival.” At least six people made a profession of faith and we may not know the true impact we had on this community for some time.

After the carnival, our team gathered for one last time at West Hills Baptist Church to share what God is doing in each of us. Student after student shared about their renewed burden for the lost and a fresh passion to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ with the people God has placed in their lives. Please pray that God will continue in Charlotte the work he has begun in Pittsburgh. We’ll see everyone tonight!

Pittsburgh Day 3: Canvassing and Prayer

Day three of our Pittsburgh mission trip started off with our team out canvassing local neighborhoods for our community outreach this Saturday. Several students also spent time in preparation for our various community outreach programs that will take place today and tomorrow. After a quick lunch our team headed into downtown Pittsburgh to check out the city and spend time in prayer for the people, the city and the church. Our team arrived back at West Hills and had dinner with the Living Faith Community Church family where we had the opportunity to get to know our brothers and sisters here in Pittsburgh and continue building those relationships. Our students were challenged last night to be in focused prayer about what God is showing them through this mission trip and how their lives will be altered upon their return to Charlotte as a result of what they have seen here.

God has opened up a great opportunity for our team today that was not originally on our itinerary. This afternoon we will host a carnival and Easter egg hunt in an inner city neighborhood in north Pittsburgh. The housing project we will be working in has not had much of an investment by many churches and we are trusting that God will be glorified as we reach into this community with the Gospel. Be in prayer for our team as well as the people that we are going to minister to. Pray that God would speak clearly to the hearts of the people through the mouths of our students and that he would change lives for eternity through our ministry there.

Pittsburgh Day 2: Canvassing, Laundry Love and a $1 Car Wash

And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. – Acts 2:47b

What an awesome day of ministry yesterday! The morning was full of canvassing local neighborhoods with information about Living Faith Community Church and our community outreach coming up this weekend. After a quick lunch we headed out again to three different ministry sites. One of our teams traveled to a local Pep Boys who graciously donated all the necessary supplies and their parking lot for our team to host a $1 Car Wash. The concept behind the $1 Car Wash is that we advertise a car wash for a dollar and when the “customer” pulls up we pay them a dollar. This causes them to ask the best question ever: “Why?” From there it is a natural flow into a Gospel conversation and the story of Living Faith Community Church. Our other car wash team went to a local Applebee’s and between the two locations we washed dozens of cars and told scores of people about the good news of Jesus Christ and what God is doing here in Pittsburgh. Our third team went to a local laundromat where we hosted a Laundry Love Project. Several people were served and shared with during that event. One of our team members was able to share the Gospel with a mormon lady who listened intently as the seed was planted. We will continue to pray for her salvation.

After a long day of ministry, our team traveled back to our hotel where we gathered with members of LFCC for a time of worship, preaching and prayer. The middle school worship band led a powerful time of worship and our own Aaron Peters boldly proclaimed the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ. During our prayer time one of the men who has been attending LFCC for several months gave his life to Christ! Continue to pray for Jason that God would strengthen his faith and his commitment to being a disciple of Christ. After worship we had a time of sharing and debriefing on what God did yesterday through our students. Be in prayer that our team would continue to shine a light for Jesus Christ as we go throughout neighborhoods and downtown Pittsburgh today.

Pittsburgh Day 1: Travel and Orientation

Pittsburgh 2012 is off to a great start! Our team arrived safely in Pittsburgh last night as we began our spring break mission trip. After a quick dinner at the “almost famous” Primanti Brother’s our team headed to West Hills Baptist Church where we are staging our activities for the week. Pastor Ken Cordray of our partner church spent last night orienting our team to the cultural and religious landscape of Pittsburgh. He discussed the twin strongholds of religious tradition and family that are so prevalent in this community and prepared our students for the conversations that they will face during this trip. Our team also spent time in worship and preparation for the events of day two. Continue to pray that God would further unify and embolden our team as they reach out in the city of Pittsburgh with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Pittsburgh Student Team Commissioned

Last night we commissioned 63 of our students and adult leaders to carry the good news of Jesus Christ to the city of Pittsburgh. Our teams are partnering with Living Faith Community Church pastored by Ken Cordray. Ken was led to Christ, baptized, discipled and sent out from Hickory Grove Baptist Church to take the good news of Jesus Christ to the city of Pittsburgh. The first team will depart on Tuesday, April 3rd and return on Saturday, April 7th. Their time in Pittsburgh will be spent canvassing neighborhoods, participating in community outreach and Easter egg hunts all for the purpose of sharing the Gospel with those they come in contact with. The second team will depart on Tuesday, April 10th and return on Saturday, April 14th. This team will be coordinating follow-up with the contacts made the previous week as well as various projects throughout the community. Please be in prayer for these teams as they prepare and go to incarnate Christ in this dark city.

Prayer Requests:
– Pray for God to be honored in all we say and do.
– Pray for the Gospel to be spread to everyone our teams come in contact with.
– Pray for unity for our team and servant’s spirit for each team member.
– Pray for protection during our travels and our time in Pittsburgh.
– Pray that the people of Pittsburgh would know that the kingdom of Heaven has come near to them.

Check back here throughout the trip for updates on what God is doing. You can also follow the week’s events on Twitter and Facebook.

Imagine how much more we could do elsewhere in our Nation and across North America

The heart of Hickory Grove Baptist Church beats strongly with the desire to partner with works that are already in progress as well as to be pioneers to plant the church of Jesus Christ in areas where people do not yet know Him.

Teams from Hickory Grove have already had a significant role in spreading Christ’s love through mission projects in Alabama, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and beyond.

In cities as diverse as Pittsburgh, PA, to Providence, RI to the Pacific Northwest, and places in between, our church wants to reach into this nation and proclaim the true Gospel of Jesus Christ to people in all walks of life.