On the day of the visit, what I assumed would be a small group turned out to be a great majority of Shiloh Restoration’s membership who caravaned up to our neck of the woods. It practically doubled our attendance that day, but there wasn’t time to by Linda Jones, CBFNC Missions Coordinator count. I was whooshing up and down the church halls helping their kids get to Sunday School classes, helping their band get plugged On November 7, 2007, at 4:30 pm, Iglesia Cristiana into the speakers, and helping encourage our amazing cooks who Sin Fronteras held their inaugural worship service. In an were preparing lunch. Everything that day was wild, chaotic, and invitational letter to area pastors and leaders, Daniel Sostaita wonderful. Unlike usual, nobody was falling asleep in worship that wrote, “I am convinced that together we can work for the day. There was too much excitement, and you didn’t want to miss Kingdom of God ‘so that at the name of Jesus every knee anything. I’ll have to check with our older members, but I’m pretty should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and sure that was the first time the Bible’s been read in Swahili at our every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of little country church. God the father.’” All the many languages in our worship that day—English, I first met Daniel and his daughter, Barbara, ten years ago French, Swahili, Lingala—reminded me of Revelation 7, when at a little coffee shop in King where he was planting a new God is worshiped by “every nation, tribe, people and language.” church start. Barbara, 16 years old, was there to translate the So I noted that the day was a preview of heaven. And one thing’s discussion of connecting his work with CBFNC. Daniel was for sure, heaven includes a covered dish lunch with sweet tea and smart, passionate about ministry, and dedicated to sharing the chocolate cake, so our day did too. During lunch, the children love of Jesus with his community. played outside—on swingsets in the breeze and shooting basketballs Over the years, Iglesia Cristiana Sin Fronteras has grown– as the fall leaves blew by. It was a beautiful day, inside and out. more people, more ministry to the community, and deeper Before they left, our guests asked to see the horses that live next spiritual roots. My friendship with Daniel, his wife Irene, and door. Fortunately, the neighbors were outside and were fine with a their three daughters has also grown; we are family. horde of bouncing Congolese kids coming into Much has their yard to pet the horses and take selfies. changed over the So now the next visit is our turn. We’re last ten years, but planning to go back during Christmas to say hello. not his commitment We want to deliver some Christmas presents to to God, to his the kids in their church. Instead of our usual family, congregation, practice of giving shoeboxes of random items to and community. He an organization that sends them to faraway places took a step of faith in the world, now we’ll know exactly who needs three years ago and what and where. Instead of mailing a present transitioned from and never seeing a face, we can exchange gifts as bi-vocational to a part of a real relationship with a child, a family, a full-time pastor. church. They will be gifts between friends. Daniel graduated I look forward to many more times of from seminary. friendship and fellowship with our new sister Irene, his wife, is church of Congolese immigrants. We might speak always a support different languages, but smiles and hugs transcend Iglesia Cristiana Sin Fronteras’ anniversary celebration. by his side. Barbara language barriers. With more visits in the future, has been busy, I’ll need to keep the Wyatts on retainer as international ministry graduating from Salem College, then a master’s degree from consultants. I know that’s not as important as their refugee ministry Yale University, and now pursuing a Ph.D. at UNC-Chapel at Welcome House, which provides a safe home and good food, Hill. Their second daughter, Daniela, graduated from Elon but we certainly appreciate their guidance and their ministry of College last May and is working. Their third daughter, Vicky, introduction. That was another reason we decided it was high time is graduating high school and will enter college in the fall. Sin to put the Offering for Global Missions in our church budget. Fronteras continues its long-standing outreach focus to their We’ve supported CBF’s mission work for decades, but now we’re community, working with Faith Action and Faith Health, delighted to find ourselves the recipients of that mission work. providing music lessons, gathering back-to-school supplies, Through the Wyatts’ ministry, Pastor Felix and his wife Nicole were hosting soccer camp and “neighbor days,” and on and on! commissioned last summer as field personnel who build Christ’s Iglesia Cristiana Sin Fronteras’ tenth anniversary was beloved community around Raleigh. We now realize that they have celebrated November 12th. It was a joyous occasion with ministered to us, opening the arms of their heart and welcoming meaningful worship, great music, many guests, and delicious us in, letting the love of Christ break down barriers and divisions. food at their celebratory lunch. Congratulations and “well Their mission work brought them all the way to Louisburg as they done faithful servants” at Sin Fronteras! I’m looking forward to extended the beloved community to us, and we are thankful. We are what the next ten years will bring. excited for that community and these new friendships to grow.
The Gathering – January/February 2018 • 9
Published on Dec 14, 2017