WATERTOWN, MA – Church planting in Boston is a family affair. Praise the Lord the family is growing, as more then 200 planters, wives and kids were in attendance for the third-annual Boston Church Planting End-of-the-Year Party on November 30, 2012 in Watertown.
“This is what we are all about,” said pastor / planter Tom Cabral from Fall River, MA. “We drove like an hour and a half to be here. It’s great to be with the guys. It’s great for our wives to get together. And it’s great for the kids.”
It was a great time for everyone involved. The kids all received early Christmas presents compliments of Steve Nerger and the Baptist Convention of New England. And the pastors, apprentices, staff members and their wives, compliments of Micah Millican and the North American Mission Board, all received gift cards as just a small token of gratitude for their steadfast work in one of the least reached areas in North America.
Yet, for all the great food, fellowship, great music and gifts. nothing compares with family. Boston Church Planters have got each other’s backs, and their families’ too.
“This is just something we feel we should do,” said Joe Souza, NAMB Lead Catalyst for the area. “We want our planters to know if you come to Boston, you will never be alone. And Christmas is just the perfect time to love on our guys, their wives, their families and their kids. It’s just awesome what God is doing here in Boston.
“Three years ago, we may have had 25 people at this event. And just look at the way God is growing our family. I am very, very humbled and amazed by the whole thing.”
Amazing indeed. As the kids were grabbing for toys it was Souza, Master of Ceremonies, introducing the band from his own Celebration Church in Saugus, MA. And earlier it was Souza’s wife Patricia, and his sister Anna, with the help of Bree Cobb from the BCNE, serving up all the food. Still earlier, all of their kids got in on the action putting out tablecloths and setting up.
And to think just nine years ago the Souzas were not even in Boston. Neither were most of the families present at the dinner. Souza made light of this fact recognizing the “grandfather” in the room, Curtis Cook, lead planter from Hope Fellowship which was planted in Cambridge, MA in 2003. Other old-timers included James Thomasson who planted in Taunton, MA in 2006.
Since that time no fewer than two dozen planters from all over the world have answered God’s call to come and plant in Boston. And they are starting now to raise up and send out planters from multiple church planting centers.
So, as the Boston Church Planting family celebrated the end of 2012, it was also preparing to welcome in 2013, a year in which it has already more than 20 planters in the pipeline; planters like Shane Colwell who with his wife Amy arrived in Greater Boston just two weeks ago to plant in Worcester, MA; or planters like Brandon Allison who with his wife Miriam and a team from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, TX arrived just three months ago to plant a church in Revere.
They come – all of them – to proclaim what has been called by many the greatest miracle of all, that the Son of God would come and live among them.
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased! (Luke 2:10-14)
“What a blessing,” Souza commented after the party. “It’s great that it’s over and we don’t have to have a heart attack anymore. But, it’s greater that everybody had a good time, and they know how much we really love them and thank them for their work for the Kingdom.”