A foundation of the Purpose Driven model is that we are called to live our life on mission by sharing our story with the world. We achieve this through The PEACE Plan–– a key strategy for missions and the next step for exploring how God is calling us to serve.
Through PEACE, we work with and support local churches around the world to bring lasting change to their communities. This is the impetus for addressing the five global giants: spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership, poverty, disease, and illiteracy.
It’s a call to ordinary people, empowered by God, doing what Jesus did, wherever they are. Stepping out in faith, four members from Saddleback Church united for a PEACE trip to Moscow and Berlin. Traveling in early July, the group consisted of Team Leader Dave McKee and his wife Peggy from Saddleback Corona, Jill Gunter from Saddleback South Bay, and Sharon Farley from Saddleback Lake Forest.
“Their trip was a perfect example of how members from three regional campuses can come together for PEACE,” says Lauren Keck, PEACE Team Associate. “It’s the act of using local PEACE and serving in ministry at home, as a catalyst for global PEACE to equip other churches to effectively mobilize unreached communities.”
The demand for global PEACE has never been greater in Moscow, with a population of 20 million of whom less than .5% are Evangelical believers. In an effort to reach Unengaged Unreached People Groups (UUPGs) in the former Soviet Union, Dave, Peggy, Jill, and Sharon worked directly with a local church in Moscow. There they met with local pastors from three churches, representing leaders from 50 other churches seeking Purpose Driven Church (PDC) training. As our GPC (Global PEACE Church) partner connected with a person of PEACE from the Southern part of Russia, they in turn were able to contact six unique UUPGs. Located in a remote region of Russia, these groups had never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel.
Over the past two years, our partner church in Moscow has been taking steps to become a GPC. During this time, they have implemented CLASS 101, 201, 301, and are currently developing a Small Group Ministry. As they continue efforts to become a healthy church, they are experiencing dramatic growth in their weekend attendance.
In the midst of these milestones, our Moscow PEACE team partnered with the GPC to offer three-day ministry sessions including SHAPE Guide training, Church Growth Dynamics, and Small Group Health.
According to Team Leader Dave McKee, “The most effective part of our ministry was the application of PDC through sharing of personal experiences, demonstrations, and Q & A sessions. The growth of PDC is amazing and is the result of God blessing the relationships established by past PEACE Team Trips.”
Among those who made an impact are Saddleback Pastor of Missions, Andrew Lossau and his wife Alyssa. Several years ago, they lived in Moscow, and today we are witnessing the ripple effect of their sacrifice.
“The last two years have been a time of developing relations with PEACE representatives,” says Dave. “Last summer, church members conducted a sports camp for the youth in this region.”
Today, the relationship-building process is gaining momentum between the person of PEACE and PEACE volunteers from the local church. This can only be done through PEACE trips and those committed to the final frontier project of our global PEACE Plan. Opportunities to reach the 40 UUPGs in this region have increased as members in Russian churches become mission-focused because of PDC.
“Right now we need to be praying for the relationship between the person of PEACE and our local church partners,” explains Dave. “––There still can be significant cultural barriers.”
The PEACE team considered it a joy and blessing to work with leaders in Moscow––all open to PDC and positioned for success. Following their time in Moscow, the four travelers headed to Germany where they met up with Saddleback team member Sherri Lamunuzzi and commissioned members from our Saddleback Berlin campus that will head to Rwanda next month. This historic trip will mark the first PEACE trip by one of our international campuses.
By allowing God to use their natural abilities and experiences, Dave, Peggy, Jill, and Sharon were able to equip members just like themselves to serve their communities and bring the hope of Jesus to Unengaged, Unreached People Groups. Learn more about PEACE at saddleback.com/peace.