#GivingTuesday

 

For a weekend in October, the whole city of Liverpool and loads of the surrounding area flooded into the city centre to watch the Giants as they made their final journey before saying farewell. It was a weekend that saw 1.3 million people, including us, gathered together to watch this spectacular display of theatre take place on a scale that still defies our imaginations.

While at the same time on the final day of the event, small churches across the city gathered around a message and an event that far surpasses anything we could ever hope to imagine, the gospel of Jesus Christ which sees sinners forgiven and brought into relationship with a holy God. But in our corner of north Liverpool, there are only a small handful of churches that are faithfully preaching this gospel. In fact, if we wanted to reach just the people in Everton through churches the same size as Trinity Church, we would need nearly 300 more churches.

On this #GivingTuesday, we are asking you to prayerfully consider partnering with us as we work to try and grow the church in this part of the city. It is an area with some amazing people, but it’s also an area with a lot of hurting people who need Jesus.

The work that we are doing in the church, through discipling and supporting the staff and ministries here in Everton and Anfield, is only possible as God provides through the generosity of individuals and churches in America partnering with us. Please consider becoming a ministry partner today.

Pray for us with PrayerMate

For the past couple weeks, I (Dan) have been using PrayerMate for my morning devotions and prayers. It’s a great way to keep everything in one place, enabling me to pray through the Psalms and Charles Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening and my normal list of people and groups that I am praying for regularly.

And now, you can pray for Send The Alcantaras in PrayerMate as well! We’ve set up a feed that will publish new prayer requests regularly.

There are a couple of reasons why we’ve set this up.

The newsletter will be sent out less often

When we are on the field, the email newsletter (which you should definitely subscribe to) will be switching to a monthly schedule rather than weekly. This is due to ministry being both slower and busier than raising support. A monthly newsletter gives us the opportunity to focus on the work of being missionaries while maintaining regular communication with our ministry partners.

We will still have regular prayer requests

As with all of life, things still happen in real time. There may be events that happen suddenly that will need to be prayed over and this gives us the opportunity to continue to do that without filling everyones inboxes with constant emails.

How to subscribe

There are a couple of ways that you can subscribe to the new prayer list. The best/easiest way is to download the (completely free, no ads or anything) app. Then, simply visit this link and you will be guided through the subscription process.

This list also has an RSS feed so if you use something like Feedly, you can see prayer updates there as well.

Where are we going?

One aspect of preparing to go on mission in the UK that has been nagging at me the most is figuring out where it is that we will be going. It’s a normal thing to want to know because people want to know where home is.

I’m excited to say that we will be moving to Everton. Everton is located just north of Liverpool city centre in North West England. It’s home to somewhere between 15-20 thousand people and it is also home to Trinity Church Everton.

TCE is a gospel church that was planted in 2012 by a team led by Peter Roberts and is now a congregation of about 50 people.

Everton is, statistically, one of the most deprived areas of Liverpool. While it once had a population of over 100,000 people, it is now just a fraction of that. Streets that were once packed with houses were cleared and replaced with Everton Park, a beautiful green space that has amazing views of the city, the Mersey and even the mountains of North Wales. It’s an area that struggles with addiction and crime, but most of all they struggle because they need Jesus.

That is why Trinity Church Everton was planted and continues to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this community.

To find out more, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. Also, check out this video that shows what TCE have been doing as a church:

What happens now

First

First, thank you to everyone that’s checked out the new site and liked the Facebook page. We are in the early stages of rolling out our plan for fundraising and building a team of people who will be committed to praying for us daily as we take on this impossible task.

I just wanted to give this quick update to say thank you, to let you know what is next, and to let you know how you can be praying for us over the weekend (If you’re in the USA and you’re in a place with daylight savings, clocks go back this weekend).

Location

For right now, we just know that we will be in the United Kingdom. Over the coming weeks, we hope to be in touch with the churches that may be hosting us. We are excited and eager to find out where it is that God will have us serve. This will enable us to have specific people in mind to pray for as well as help us figure out what our financial goal will be.

$$$

As of now, we are working on a budget but you can still give. Your donations are tax deductible and will go toward furthering the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth. We truly believe that we are called to do this work, but we cannot do it without your support.

Wait, so what are you doing?

For two years, I (Dan) will be serving full-time in a church while doing theological studies part-time. During those two years, I will be gaining important ministry experience in a culture that has long-forgotten the good news of the gospel. Tracy plans on continuing her work of raising our children full-time while also serving the church’s children and young mothers and wives. Three of our four children will be going to school and getting accents.

Prayer requests

Our first requests for prayer are regarding our hearts and the church we will be calling home for the first two years of our time on mission in the UK.

1. Pray that we would be diligent in seeking God’s will and timing for us in this, that we would trust that He has indeed called us to do this work and that, ultimately, it will be only happen by His grace.

2. Be in prayer for the church we will be serving in. Pray that it is a mutually good fit, that they will help us learn as much as we can over the course of two years of ministry partnership and that we will be able to fill in needs that they currently have.

3. Pray that above everything, God would be glorified in this work and that more people would come to know Christ as their only hope and salvation.

Why gain theological training?

As Christians, we have a responsibility to give an answer1 to those that wonder at the hope that we have. But the thing is, many of us can’t. As I examine my own life, at my role as a husband and parent, it is clear that God has taught me a lot. Tracy and the kids have a lot of questions and I have been blessed with enough time in the Word up to this point to answer them.

But there is a point where that knowledge reaches its limits and in a secular, post-Christian culture like the UK, having an answer is imperative. Remember, an agnostic worldview is the default, expected worldview. Being a Christian is a true anomaly. To that end, as a part of the apprenticeship with AT3, I will be pursuing rigorous, theological training from Union School of Theology.

Growing in Godliness

Every single Christian is called to pursue theological training. We are all called to study the Word of God. It is our spiritual food. It is the means by which we grow in our knowledge of and love for God. My hope is that through receiving training, I will have an opportunity to grow in my relationship with my Savior. It’s out of the overflow of our relationship with God that ministry begins. Just after Pentecost, in Acts 2, Peter’s preaching ministry begins because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on God’s people.

When we grow in our knowledge of and love for God, it should lead us to take the Gospel to others and to train them up in the faith as well.

Making Disciples

By pursuing theological training, I will be able to teach others how to become better theologians and I will become a better theologian in the process. We have all been charged with the Great Commission 2 and we cannot make disciples if we are not also being discipled.

I am pursuing training because I want to be able to make disciples. I want to be able to give real answers to real questions so that the people that I disciple are able to do the very same thing.


In the fall of 2018, we will be moving to the UK in order to pursue this goal. Please consider partnering with us today so that we can carry out the work of becoming better disciples as we make more disciples.


  1. 1 Pet 3:15-16 
  2. Matt 28:16-20 

Strengthening ties (or, Why the United Kingdom?)

There’s a sense in which the UK is home. We’re a cross-cultural and international family. I, Dan, am an American while Tracy is British. Our children all hold dual citizenship. Chloe, our younger daughter, was born in England. It is a country that is very much in our blood now, as a family. But we also call America home. My side of the family is here. Our amazing church family is here and we’ve had the opportunity to call it home for nearly a decade. But over the course of the last few years, we have sensed a call to serve and do ministry in the UK.

When you read through the New Testament, you see example after example of fellow workers for the Gospel being sent1 to various churches to serve and encourage the local congregation and, because iron sharpens iron, being served and encouraged themselves. We see a cooperative effort to bring the Gospel to groups of dedicated pagans worshipping idols that they bought from the kiosk where they sell $20 fidget spinners2. By partnering with AT3 and Converge, we will have the opportunity to do the same work as well as create and strengthen ties across oceanic, national and cultural borders.

We’ll be taking ministry skills that we have learned from our time serving at our sending church, Redeemer Fellowship and putting them to use in our host-church in the UK. At the same time, we will be learning how ministry is worked out in a culture where atheism, or at least agnosticism, is the default worldview.

This is an exciting opportunity and, though it is also a hard calling, we are eager to begin this work in the autumn of 2018. We cannot do this work without your support, though. Prayerfully consider partnering with us, either in prayer or finances, so that we can do the work that God has called us to.


  1. Acts 19:22; 1 Cor. 16:10; Eph. 6:21-22 etc… 
  2. Acts 19:24-27 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.” 

Serve the local church

When you look at the ministry of someone like Paul the apostle, it’s immediately clear that the work of evangelism happens best in the local church. Paul’s letters were written to churches like the church in Ephesus or Corinth or Colossae, not to big para-church organisations.

It’s within the local church that you have the regular preaching of the Word. It is where we partake of the Lord’s Supper. It’s the primary venue for baptism. It is where the Christian is cared for and discipled at a personal level. It is where Christians learns how to speak the truth in love to their neighbors.

And it is where we have all been called to serve.

During the two-year apprenticeship , I will be serving full time with a local church. I’ll be assisting in leadership, gaining hands-on ministry experience and taking part in the general life of the church. Tracy desires to serve the local church by serving mothers’ and children’s ministries.

For our four children, this is an exciting time to see their parents involved even more in the work of gospel ministry while having the opportunity to make new friends, learn more about God and experience the culture their mother grew up in.

This mission, to serve the local church cannot happen without your support, both in prayer and finances. We ask that you would prayerfully consider joining with us to enable and empower us to do what God has called us to.