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Planting while Planting

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There is a beautiful area near our house in Catalina Foothills called Ventana Canyon. There you will find a Canyon of beauty that goes from the desert floor to the heights of 8500 ft. In this area you will also find 30,000 people that do not have a place to worship. You can drive for miles without seeing a single synagogue, mosque, temple or church. This canyon is where we believe God has given us responsibility.

  A few weeks ago, while praying with one of our partners, Steve McGinnis, we came upon a community garden in this Canyon. There are 34 of these gardens within the city of Tucson dedicated for people to come together in community. We decided on that day to purchase a plot in this garden and start planting. Since then, we've met numerous new residents, planted some seeds, and have already seen some buds develop. We knew God called our family to Tucson to plant a church,  but we didn't know God called us to Tucson to plant bell peppers! Needless to say, this garden has been a teaching opportunity for our family. Pray that more seeds are planted and blooming begins both in the garden and in hearts.

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Prayer Is The Work

 In October 2016, Brian Hook decided to take a road trip with some men he’d been discipling from Hope Church. At the time, Brian was a Lead Pastor at this church and preparing to plant Aspire Church in Tucson. Brian wanted to take these men down to Tucson for a few days so they could get to know each other, and pray over Tucson before Brian’s wife, Jessica and their kids moved here in January 2017. Brian specifically wanted the men to cover the city with prayer including where the Hooks would live. The trip consisted of 11 men, and the only assignment was prayer. A couple of the men later said they considered not going because they were interested in “doing some work” and “praying only” didn’t seem too active. 

For two days the men prayed at the four corners Tucson. The first stop was a high rise that overlooked the city. The sun was bright in the large board room, and the men decided to lower the blinds. Within minutes of praying, the men heard thunder and rain. As they opened the blinds they were greeted with a rainbow that appeared to settle right in the parking lot of the building. All the men sensed that this was a visible and spiritual promise from God that his presence was on this trip and Aspire church. As they went to each of the next three stops, sunny skies were greeted by rain. It was clear than God was bringing his blessing and refreshment on this trip, the Hooks, Aspire Church and this city of Tucson.

 Men on MountainAt the end of the day, the men shared of their powerful experiences during the past few hours. they began to discuss where Aspire might first have meetings. One by one they prayed about divine appointments for Aspire Church, and specifically a first meeting location.  As we were praying, Brian got a call from his realtor.

She said, “You aren’t going to believe this but my boss, Jeff (CEO of the Realty group) asked if I know of any churches that needed a place to meet. She said, “Why?” He explained that there was a new ordinance that was going to be passed on the legalization of marijuana. The owner of the abandoned restaurant near the large realty office was pursuing a marijuana distribution license.  Jeff wanted to get a lease contract signed with a church as soon as he could. Arizona State Law prohibits marijuana being sold within a certain distance of schools and churches.

Brian asked if he could come by immediately to see it, and bring his 11 praying friends.

Men in front of conference roomThe men hopped in the car like a bunch of teenagers headed to local hangout. They were blown away by the fact that the office was only 1 mile from where they were praying. They walked into a brand new conference room that seats about 90 people including an outdoor patio that seats 30. The conference space also has separate restrooms, a full kitchen, full audio, screen, and a brand new video projection system.

Brian asked how much this new facility would cost to rent after hours and on the weekend. The realtor said, “My boss isn’t looking to make money on this. How about one dollar per year?”

One of the men humorously chimed in, “Here’s $20, let’s lock it in for 20 years!”

By the end of the week Brian had a 5-year contract signed with the owner for a whopping $5. 

This story is not so much about the conference room, but rather God answering the prayers of obedient men. Aspire believes prayer isn’t something believers do before they work. Prayer is the work and then God works. These men were able to see the power of God in action through the prayers of men joined together.  In a very real and practical way, these men saw the reality of Matthew 6:33

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Aspire isn’t about just planting a church. Aspire is about expanding the Kingdom of God.  If believers focus on the Church, they can miss the Kingdom. But if believers focus on the Kingdom, they will get the Church. Pray for Aspire to continue to join God’s Kingdom activity in Tucson. Specifically we ask you to pray for spiritual covering for the Hook’s, the Campa’s’ and the Chang’s as they work together in the city. Pray also for laborers to come to help make disciples. Pray also for churches to partner with us long-term as we impact a city.





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