Happy New Year! We entered this year enjoying some sweet fellowship with friends from Gospel Grace Pastoral team. What a time to praise our awesome God for His wonderful works in 2017. It was also a time of asking ourselves, “what doubts and worries are we bringing in to 2018?” Wow! Misty and I were in tears because so much had happened in 2017. We sold everything we owned and left our home in Guam, ministry we loved, and friends that were like family to us. We arrived in a place that was so foreign to us. Our emotions were all over the map. We were excited to start the new journey, but sad to have closed the last chapter. So yes, we were carrying some doubts and worries in to 2018. Will we make it? Will we be supported financially? Did we have some false expectations when arriving to SLC? It was close to midnight, we were singing some powerful songs of trust and dependence on the Lord, and Lukus reminded us of Hebrews 11. He said that often times God gives a dream and then asks us to kill the dream. Could it be that all of our hopes and expectations were actually God’s way of helping us to continue to keep our eyes on Jesus and to learn to live by faith in a deeper way. That was a pivotal time for our family. Moving into 2018 was good for us to surrender and to submit joyfully to the will of God every day for our lives. Without knowing what will happen, this was so good for us as we committed this year to Him. We were so thankful to have friends from Guam drive up to SLC to spend some time with us. This was timely for us as we just moved to Riverton and needed some friendly faces (ohana) to enjoy.
A few weekends in to the New Year, Trinity Baptist Church voted on the Revitalization Team. It wasn’t just a vote, but a UNANIMOUS vote. This process has been longer that normal, but it has been powerful to watch Pastor Lloyd Larkin humbly shepherd his people along with Danny Brooks, Matt Parker and Daniel Kaminsky walk in grace and humility throughout this process. We have seen God’s good hand on this revitalization process and we are eagerly anticipating God doing a great work through Gospel Hope Church.
We have intentionally spent Sunday dinners, Friday lunches, Tuesday meetings to help in developing the team here in Riverton. I still stand in awe as I look around at the families God has brought together for His work. We would never have picked each other, but God did! And the more we spend time working through team dynamics, the more we see how each of our gifts complement each other in unbelievable ways. To be able to enjoy doctrinal unity, respect, friendship, and philosophical unity is so neat as it is God’s doing. We are enjoying the times we do have together to work through team stuff, but we will also be having help from Rob Elkins and his wife this coming weekend. Please pray for us as we spend a lot of time in prayer as well as being challenged from the Word.
Gospel Hope Church is coming! April 1st, Easter Sunday will be our first official Sunday as the leadership of GHC. Up until this Sunday, we will be doing 2 Preview Sundays. We just finished one yesterday where we took the whole service from beginning to end and was able to show what it will be like. We have a number of families from Gospel Grace Church in the city who are visiting during these preview Sundays and praying about being a part of the launch team for the next 6 months. Their presence yesterday was a huge blessing and encouragement to us. We are so thankful for the help of GGC pastors and members. They have truly been a blessing to us as we see their hearts for the valley and the need for more churches to be planted. March 25th will be Trinity Baptist Church’s last Sunday, and a Sunday of celebration as we take time to honor the faithfulness of God as well as Pastor Larkin and his wife Marty. April 1st we will be having a continental breakfast and one service celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Prior to this day, we are organizing Thursday night prayer and project times to prep for our first service. We believe that this transition time is a tricky time, but as we are praying together we desire for God to be the focus of it all. Along with prayer, our hearts desire is to work together to see things prepped. This is a great time to build relationships, shape the culture, get excited for what great things the Lord would have for us.
My wife and I were talking to some new friends, Shane and Dixie, who were recently saved 3 years ago. What insight they had in helping us see the need for hope here in Riverton. They were so excited for the name Gospel Hope Church. Ephesians 2:12 reminds me of my separation from Christ, “…alienated…strangers…having no hope and without God in the world.” Our desire is 1 Timothy 4:10, “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” We labor because of our hope. It is not an aimless, pointless obedience to a set of rules, but a relationship based on the who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Like Paul our prayer is Philippians 1:20-21, “as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Every day we see the need all around us. There are many people who are so disillusioned by a false religion and are looking for hope. There are many people who are hurting and have never met a Christian before and just need people to come alongside them in a caring and loving way. Our prayer is that we would be ready and available and that our lives would be able to reach these people and many more because of the love of Christ that is in our hearts. I am coaching U16 national club team with High Country Volleyball Club. What a great opportunity to reach out in to the community. We have a big Triple Crown Tournament coming up in 2 weekends here in the city. There’s lots to do and we are so excited! But more importantly we are praying that the power of the Gospel would be unleashed in this area that so desperately needs to know the grace and hope of Jesus.
1. Financially -
• We are at 50% of our support needed. Would you consider praying in regards to supporting the Inafuku family? Monthly support or even a one time donation would be a huge encouragement to us! You can do so online: https://www.inafukufamily.com/getinvolved/
or mail a gift to:
Gospel Grace Church
attn. Inafuku Family
1216 South 500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
• We ask you to pray about the material needs of the church. We're developing a new website and church media. We need to purchase new chairs, replace the sound system, and update signage both outside and in. We’d like to refresh the lobby, restrooms, and children’s ministry rooms with everything from new paint and supplies to curriculum. We’re designing church brochures and purchasing gospel literature for our coming outreach efforts. There are many other things that we’re praying and planning for that total $65,000. If you would like to give toward the facilities facelift and start-up expenses, you can do so online at http://www.plant4thegospel.com/partner-with-us and select the Gospel Hope Church support fund in the online giving form or mail a gift to:
Gospel Grace Church
attn: Gospel Hope Church Support Fund
1216 South 500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
2. Spiritually -
• God to continue to grow us in His Word.
• His Gospel would break through the many barriers here
3. Relationally -
• Team Development
• Community relationships would be built and formed
• The many relationships that are already formed, that God would use them to open their hearts to Him.
We love and appreciate all of you who have reached out to us weekly/monthly to let us know that you are praying for us. That means more to us than anything we could ask for. Thank you for caring for us in a real and personal way. May the Lord bless you and keep you!