Summer 2015 Update

The spirit of God is alive and well in North Buffalo, and Anchor Church is chugging along in our planting process. It’s been close to eight months since we’ve called the city our new home and the people we’ve met outnumber those we’ve known in our eight-year marriage combined. 

We wish we had time to share all of our stories with you, but we wouldn’t know where to begin. We can’t imagine planting this church without first just living, beingand moving about in this place. 

Residing on a corner lot in the city keeps life interesting. We would love to share that everyone we’ve met is polite and respectful of our little family, but that hasn’t always been the case. Things aren’t always as quiet as we’d like and we’ve had our share of frustrations of loud bar customers, blocking of our driveway and the occasional beer bottle left on our front lawn. But as we’ve prayed for God’s grace and love to flow through us, He has answered with exactly that. 

Our prayers continue for our neighbors and our community. We have moments where we see God’s kingdom here even when our new friends don’t recognize it. We see the gospel being lived out when people foster a child or care for one another although they’ve yet to recognize Jesus in their actions. We’ve fully felt God’s spirit present when hosting families and couples in our home or in our yard. We break bread together. We laugh. And we love our best the way Jesus taught us to. We’re building trust and bridges with new company. Our toasts at gatherings resemble sweet prayers. And we listen as people share their stories.

Steve’s reputation and nickname as “The REV” can be heard shouted across the lawn from the bar owner who lives close by. We laugh at the variety of new folks we’ve befriended. They all come from different backgrounds, unique families, big careers and blue-collar jobs. They keep life interesting and are a constant reminder on why Anchor Church is on mission. 

In the midst of being so busy working multiple jobs, keeping two children alive and finding sleep in between, we’ve been praying for committed Anchor team members to grow our team. Over the past few months God has brought us four new Jesus-loving people who are committed to walking through this with us. We’re so grateful. The harvest is plentiful but often the workers are in fact few. But God- He’s been so faithful, so loving, so gracious to us along this road that sometimes it just brings us to tears. As we near finalizing a lease & partnership with a small local church in our neighborhood, we praise God. When we recognize the prayers of believers that walked these streets long before us are coming to fruition, we’re humbled. And when a wildflower twenty-year-old Agnostic asks to hear our story and about our faith…well, we can’t even begin to tell you how it feels. 

We’re hoping late this September to hold our first pre-launch service! This will be a monthly service and as we work out the kinks and gather a group of people committed to starting Sunday services with us, we look to January as our official start date. The location and space is great, but needs our TLC and many updates. Our goal is to bless the small, dwindling congregation and our community by cleaning things up and making them a bit more appealing. We ask for your prayers for funding and workers to help pull it all off. 

We’re hosting a block party early September to love on our neighbors, connect with those who live close by, bless some kids and cheer on the Bills for their season opener. Food and good times bring people together and we’re hoping to do just that. Of course letting people know about the existence of Anchor Church and where they can find us will be included in all the fun.

So we thank you again for your support. We couldn’t continue without good people like you. As we’re stepping closer to launching services we covet your prayers all the more. We’re asking and anticipating for God to penetrate the hearts of many, using Anchor Church as a vehicle of God’s grace and love. 

                            Grace & Peace,

                            The Johnson’s