The week of November 18th has been one to remember. Here in the southtowns of Buffalo our house is buried deep in snow and our belongings packed deep into boxes. We’re ready to move into our new home, but circumstances such as these put a damper on our plans. That has been the case with us Johnson’s over the past year. Our plans have not worked out remotely close to how we expected them to. I’m sure if you’re reading this you also know full well how frustrating and difficult it can be to be patient. Stranded during Snowvember eventually gets old. Growing in God’s patience and trust does not.
Maybe you know our story, maybe you don’t have a sense for where we’ve been recently or where we’re headed. To sum things up: we are two impatient, imperfect people trying our best to follow Jesus and the call we believe he has placed on our lives. We can’t exactly explain how we ended up pursuing church planting in North Buffalo and we have no way of describing the feeling we get when we walk down Hertel Avenue. Lindsey grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo and Steve, somewhere in between the cornfields of Indiana. Somehow our hearts have collided with Buffalo’s urban streets and the new found hope growing in our city.
These past few months we’ve been looking at homes, introducing ourselves to business owners, driving our daughter back and forth to her new preschool and better understanding the culture of North Buffalo. The people we’ve met are die-hard Buffalonians - a mix between young professional families and old-world Italians who make unbelievable deli sandwiches. We’ve connected with couples looking for good schools for their kids and singles eagerly forming monthly cleanup events to bring the community together. These are good people.
We are still waiting to move... better said, waiting for God to move. As we get ready to load up the U-Haul, we’re also getting ready for a new season of ministry. With each setback or interference we continue to come back to the incredible love God has given us for our city. The good people of North Buffalo love their families, take care of their properties and want to see this world a better place. It is our prayer that they would also come to know the God who loves them and their neighborhood in a vastly greater way.
We have been warned that church planting is hard. We are still struggling in the patience and trust departments. But with your prayers God has been refining us. We choose to pursue Anchor Church for our soon-to-be neighbors - for the unknowing and damaged hearts. May God be glorified and may his people come to know him.
With Love & Gratitude,
Steve & Lindsey