By Meredith Yackel
“My first step toward obedience came when I read the book of Proverbs,” says Frank Brown, an Army veteran and classically trained chef. Frank has known hard times, but he has experienced God’s faithfulness in the midst of it all.
“I first read Proverbs while I was homeless and temporarily living in a mission,” says Frank. “I was helping out with feeding other homeless people, so I saw a lot of dysfunction. Proverbs tells you a lot about dysfunction, and if you can see the dysfunction, it also gives you the solution. Proverbs gave me a lot of insight. When I got to the New Testament, and saw Jesus’ teachings about obedience, it all started to connect.”
Frank began attending Reborn Community Church when they first started meeting.
It was through Reborn he was able to find home—a church home and a home to call his own.
Pastor and planter of Reborn, Jamie Thompson, knew when he planted the church he would need to be bivocational in order to have a self-sustaining ministry. He examined the community and felt he could simultaneously meet a need and provide for his family. He and his brother began renovating older apartment buildings and offering affordable, safe housing options for Garfield Park residents. Frank is one of those residents.
“There are so many times I have gone to God with something, and He has been so faithful to respond almost immediately,” says Frank with a smile. “I came from an apartment where the toilet didn’t work, so the first thing I did when I came here was to go to the bathroom. When the toilet flushed perfectly, I knew right away He had listened to me.”
More than housing though, Frank is thankful for the church family God has provided him with.
“I can’t necessarily say what I have done for them, but what they have done for me is give me a family, a chance to volunteer and affordable housing, which has been great. They have also given me hope.”
Reborn has also encouraged Frank to make a difference by sharing what he knows about Jesus.
“My journey to Christ has been little steps along the way. I am still growing, and as I have been more obedient to read, I have seen that obedience strengthen my belief. I have read the New Testament about 10 times so far. I want to make an impact, and without the Bible, I am a different person. That’s why I read so much.”
Frank is adamant he would not be here without God, because God has been with him every step of the way.
“I am learning now that God is orchestrating everything together with purpose,” says Frank.“I wouldn’t have my apartment, I wouldn’t be at this church, I wouldn’t be where I am today without God’s hand. He has plans we cannot see.”
“He’s taken care of me to this day. He comes through on the big and the small things. I know I am not alone. He is with me, and He has given me this family. I am not alone.”
Meredith Yackel writes for the North American Mission Board.
Are you interested in becoming a bivocational church planter? Learn the six reasons why bivocational planting is critical for the future of the Church here.