God is always at work around us! The question is will be obedient to join Him in His work or even be aware of what He is doing around us. I believe we often miss what He is doing right in front of us because we are too consumed with “discovering His will.” That has been the passion that has fueled the ministry for my wife Melissa and I the past couple of years, which is seek to be the light of Jesus starting where we are. That is when true ministry takes place, when every believer sees themselves as a minister where they are and not just where they will end up. We are often so concerned with God’s will down the road when He just wants us to follow Him in the now. If we can learn to pursue Him daily and consistently then His overall plan will be made known to us. That is the heart that we have for ministry. I am so blessed to be able to serve alongside my wife and to have her support. She has been doing some speaking and writing. You can check out her website at http://melissa-bradley.com/ to see what all is going on with her.
It has been quite some time since we have officially updated you all on what we are doing now. Many of you know we recently found out that we are expecting a little boy, our third baby and we are beyond ecstatic. Those of you who follow us on social media already know for the most part what we have been doing but many have recently asked where we are living, serving, etc. Many of you have prayed for and supported us for the past few years and we wanted to give you an official update on what God has been doing the past couple of years as well as some hardships we have dealt with. The support from many of you has been overwhelming especially during the past year.
The past two years have not come without their share of trials. Here are some things that we have faced:
- In December 2012 Melissa suffered a miscarriage shortly after we found out she was pregnant with our third child. Due to some health problems she had immediately afterward, we were led to believe that she would be unable to have anymore children. That is why we officially consider the child she is currently pregnant with our miracle baby. Our baby has already brought so much joy to our lives for many reasons.
- During the Spring of 2013 we made the difficult and heartbreaking decision to put my grandmother in a nursing home after living with and taking care of her for almost a year.
- In the fall of 2013 we faced joblessness for about two months. At the time this stretched us in ways we never had been stretched before but also grew us in ways we never had ventured into and taught us what it really means to depend on God. Preaching it is one thing but living it is another.
- This past January 2014, Melissa lost her dad suddenly and without warning due to an aneurysm. This was hands down the biggest trial we had ever faced as a married couple. His impact on our lives and ministry will always stay with us.
I share these first of all, to give God glory with where He has brought us and everything He has taught us. I also want to encourage and give hope to everyone who might can relate to these experiences to say that there is hope in the midst of your pain. God is not done with you and is leading/shaping you into what He wants you to be for His glory.
Here is a timeline of events that started two years ago to catch you up from where we were to where we are now:
- In August 2012 we felt the call to leave a full-time salary at a church in Danvlle, Kentucky and help with a church plant in Hendersonville, NC. We moved in with my grandmother initially thinking would be a temporary period until we could get moved to Hendersonville. We soon discovered that my grandmother was in early stages of Alzheimer’s and our moving in with her was perfect timing.
- We then knew that God moving us was not just about the church but also to help fulfill the need in taking care of my grandmother.
- We continued to make the commute back and forth from Gaffney, SC to Hendersonville, NC often several times a week. It was about an hour and fifteen minute drive. Even though it was difficult we had a peace about it and loved working with the leaders at the church.
- We saw God do some amazing things throughout that year (Aug 2012-Aug 2013) even in the midst of the hardships we were facing. We had a team of leaders who loved Jesus and had a passion to reach the city of Hendersonville. I am not exaggerating when I say that people were coming to Christ every Sunday. It was unlike anything that I had ever experienced.
- Last August 2013 we had to face the reality that our time with Relate Church was a short-term investment and though God had led us there and used us both in many different areas, it was apparent that the door to move up there was not opening up and we could no longer continue to make that kind of commute. It wasn’t healthy for our family nor was it best for the church. God was obviously calling us to stay in the Gaffney area and was actually opening up doors for ministry there.
- We left Relate with heavy hearts, leaving behind people we considered family and still love them to this day. Now the question was, why Gaffney and what now!! This is my hometown and my family is here, but I honestly never thought that I would live here again.
- While living in Gaffney, Melissa had been doing some substitute teaching and God really began to stir her heart for the brokenness of many of the children and especially mom’s of the children. This led to a desire to reach the ladies in the city of Gaffney.
- In September 2013, Melissa along with several other ladies who have the same passion partnered together to launch a women’s ministry called “The Well” with a vision to have churches come together to reach the women in Cherokee County. https://www.facebook.com/TheWellGaffneySC
- September 2013-August 2014, Melissa and I have been speaking/teaching on numerous occasions and partnering with churches as well as other ministries. We also have tried to seek any opportunity to mentor, share the gospel, or just be Jesus where we are.
- Melissa has been writing for a ministry called Missional Women for a couple of years now! http://www.missionalwomen.com/
- Melissa flew out to Denver, Co. this past April 2014 to speak at the Missional Women’s Conference.
- God has also been moving me in that direction as well of doing more itinerant speaking/evangelism. I have always been passionate about preaching/teaching God’s word and have done so every chance I have had. In the past year I have had the opportunity to speak at numerous churches as well as some youth events. I already have some events lining up for the Winter as well as Spring 2015.
- I have also partnered with Clayton King Ministries http://www.claytonking.com/ on a few occasions, serving as a recommended speaker for some events as well as speaking at their Crossroads Winter Conference in Gatlinburg, TN this past January.
- This past January 2014 – June 2014 I served as a youth interim teaching pastor at Midway Baptist Church in Gaffney.
- In the past year God has blessed us with a wonderful church family at Northpoint Church in Gaffney. http://www.northpointgaffney.com/ They have been very supportive of our ministry and have been there for us especially during the loss of Melissa’s dad. Also the decision to leave Relate was a difficult time for us within itself and the love and embrace of Northpoint has been such a breath of fresh air for us. We love them very much and appreciate the leadership as well as what all God is doing with the ministry there.
- Currently God has blessed me with a first shift job Mon – Fri so I can speak throughout the week in the evenings and potentially travel to speak on the weekends. I do believe that God will possibly call me back into a full-time church position in the future but now I feel called to serve churches through speaking as well as encouraging pastors/leaders.
Well this is where we currently are in ministry. It has certainly been a journey but we have learned and grown so much and we have no doubt that God has led us to this place. We have such a huge passion to be used by God and to see His hand at work. We are going to continue to serve/partner with churches and ministries and strive to not only teach but also live out what it means to be Jesus where you are. How can you help or be a part of this ministry??
- Pray! Be in prayer for us as we seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Pray that we don’t become discouraged or fall for the lies of the enemy. Pray that we would seek the glory of God above all else and stay in His word daily as we learn to follow Him in the now!
- Partner With Us! If you are needing a speaker for your church event or ministry please contact me and I would love to serve you. I can do youth events, marriage events/retreats, men’s events, revivals, or if your church just needs someone to fill the pulpit on Sunday. Melissa and I just did a marriage series this past Summer and would love to both come to your church or ministry for a marriage event! I can also help with writing curriculum for an event as well. Also don’t ever hesitate to contact me if you just need prayer or some encouragement while meeting for a cup of coffee. My calling and desire is to see the lost transformed by Jesus, make disciples, and to serve the body of Christ.
- Help Us Get the Word Out! Share this website with friends on social media and let them know about our passion and desire for ministry. If you know of anybody needing a speaker, needing prayer, or just somebody to talk to, direct them to my website and share our story.
I want to personally thank everybody who has supported us from the beginning. Your friendship, phone calls, text messages, dinner/coffee conversations have been so energizing and encouraging for us. We couldn’t do this without our brothers and sisters in Christ and all of you inspire us to keep going. Following Jesus can be very intimidating sometimes but what helps us is knowing we have friends in our corner praying for us and just knowing you all have our back. We live in a broken, lost, and dying world who desperately needs Jesus and it is our responsibility to point them to the only one who can offer hope. Let’s do this for the glory of Christ Where We Are !!!!!