Countdown in T- minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 -
I was in first grade when I first heard those countdowns on TV. I wanted so badly to be an astronaut but was afraid of being scared. (My anxieties have anxieties.) My first-grade teacher handed out glossy pictures of the earth supposedly taken from space. I loved those photos. How disappointed I was to learn as an adult about the conspiracy that maybe, just maybe, we never made it to the moon.
It's hard, sometimes, to know what the truth is.
Today, I find myself strapped in for launch into a new space. Entering new portals that the Lord has asked us to step through. My husband, Pastor Eddie Akins, (I call him Mr. Himself), and I find ourselves without our own church. We've been in ministry for 35 years. We've always had a church building to go to. But God is curiously calling us to a knew frontier. We're excited. Maybe a little afraid. But very much looking forward to what God is up to. We know He is always up to something good!
So this is the plan (and plans are dangerous because our plans are many but God's purpose prevails). We are called to the Internet and Mr. Himself is also called to help build churches in the Philippine jungles. Instead of going to church in a building, we will be attending church with you, our Internet family, reaching out each Sunday to the home-bound. Eventually, we do hope to find a 3-D church family to interact with. But for now, until God moves us to our new home on this earth, this is where we'll fellowship, occasionally meeting up with followers.
As caregivers ourselves, we know the logistics of getting to a building for church. Far too many families living with disabilities and the aged and feeble don't get to fellowship with like-minded people. That's one reason we're called to minister online. We are here for you. We know what it's like. And we know there's a need.
We've also seen a paradigm shift in the world. People don't want to go to church. For some, church has caused them pain. But many were never taken to church as children. Regardless, people still have a lot of questions. They've gotten their theology from movies and video games. They know more about science than any generation before them. They know more about false narratives about ancient history, aliens, and the paranormal than any other generation. And they are confused. They don't know what the truth looks like. Is Jesus just another conspiracy theory? Did our ancestors get it wrong? Were we really just made from genetic manipulation of aliens? Is virtual reality the real reality and are we just a simulation? A holograph? These are real questions people have today.
Studies have shown that young people today can't tell the difference between fact and fiction. Lines are blurred. Whether it's because of video games or social media or movies, I don't know. But it's clear that Truth is usually not recognized by the unchurched, leaving many feeling empty, without purpose, and having more questions than answers.
We want to help answer their hard questions. Through different programming online, we will explore ancient manuscripts, and measure them against the one ancient manuscript that stands alone as Truth. We want to reach people who are curious but don't know what they don't know.
Through monthly programming at first, and then weekly as we get better at it and gain support, we have the following in mind:
1. Original music inspired by the Holy Spirit
2. Teen programming: "Weird Things in the Bible" (once a week)
3. Kid's programming -- an alternative to Sunday School for those who can't go
4. Awake Online videos -- exploring the supernatural, fringe topics that the mainstream church doesn't get to talk about. Things like the events of Genesis 6, antediluvian history, transhumanism, genetic manipulation, artificial intelligence, and more. These are the topics on the lips and minds of youngsters today. These are the topics they need clarity on. And not only the younger generation, but the older, so they can teach, too.
5. Interviews with Christian authors
6. Ministry to families with autism
And so much more.
I hope you'll be patient with us on this journey. Our lives are full. It will be a slow start. I still work full-time and am getting my master's degree. Pastor Eddie helps take care of his mother who lives with us and is totally dependent on us for care. Our adult twin sons with autism still live with us and keep us on our toes. But we are passionate about this new call, and we know that where God leads, he provide abundant pastures. I'm counting on that for some supernatural strength and energy!
Come aboard and blast off with us into this strange new space we call an Online Fellowship. There will be turbulence. There may be engine failure or the instruments might go haywire once in awhile, but God will be there guiding us and getting us through. He is the Commander of this new space craft!
Pray for us! We greatly covet your prayers.
Get ready for take-off! It's gonna be a great ride!