Cunningham Family Taking the Gospel to Santa Cruz
We have taken multiple trips to Santa Cruz, California to support the ministry efforts of Drew and Shannon Cunningham. We helped with the program Ride-A-Wave this summer. Ride-A-Wave is an organization that seeks to enable kids with special needs (whether it be physical, developmental, or economical) to be able to experience the thrill of riding a wave, regardless of their challenges, and allows them a safe, fun-filled day at the beach. This is an organization that Drew and Shannon have been serving alongside since they arrived in Santa Cruz.
As their sending church, we are happy to partner with The Cunninghams and help them in whatever way we can as they seek to minister to the people in the community and surrounding area of Santa Cruz.
Please contact Emily for more information.
Drew, Shannon, Carsyn, Cruz, and Ruby Cunningham
Drew and Shannon met each other while attending Oklahoma Baptist University and were married in June of 2007. They have three wonderful children: Carsyn, Cruz, and Ruby. Drew has a B.A. in Biblical languages from OBU, as well as a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Theology from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. He joined the HHBC Pastoral Residency program on August 5th, 2013. The Residency has given Drew a wide range of pastoral experience including teaching, preaching, funerals, weddings, baptizing, counseling, budgeting, event planning, and leading in various capacities.
Where we feel called:
Santa Cruz California is a coastal town about an hour south of San Francisco on highway 1. According to The Barna Group, a market research firm, the Bay Area is number one on the list of America's Most Churchless Cities. Barna also lists the SF Bay Area as #97 out of 100 on his list of America's Bible Minded Cities, meaning that only 3 major areas are less Bible minded. There are currently no Southern Baptist Churches in Santa Cruz and less than 5% of the population self-identifies as Evangelical Christian.
What we are called to:
First and foremost, we feel called to share the good news of Jesus Christ with those who don't yet believe. We know that all Christians are commissioned to go and make disciples of all nations and we have a specific call from God to do that in Santa Cruz County. We believe that God's primary mission strategy to the world is the local church and that He displays the glory of the gospel as He transforms lives, bringing them into community as a part of His body. For that reason, we are called to plant a new church in Santa Cruz. We will be planting through the North American Mission Board and their Send North America initiative, which has targeted 32 cities in North America as the most significant and strategic places to plant churches over the next 10 years.
How can you help?
Pray: We desire to be faithful to plant seeds of the gospel and to water them, but it is only God who can bring growth (1 Cor. 3:5-9). Pray that the Lord would bring souls out of death and into life in Santa Cruz (Eph. 2:1-10). Pray that the Lord would send more laborers into His ripe harvest (Luke 10:2). Pray that God would provide for our needs, spiritually, physically, and financially.
Give: Since Henderson Hills is our primary sending church; you can support us by giving generously and faithfully to the general budget of the church.
Go: God may be calling you to move your life to Santa Cruz either for a season or permanently. Luke 10:2 says, The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. We know that the harvest is plentiful in Santa Cruz and we believe we are an answer to the prayer that laborers would be sent. We would ask you to pray if God might be calling and sending you as well. We are looking for short-term teams, gap year students, and long-term missionaries (Teachers, Carpenters, Bankers, Doctors, Nurses, Electricians, Accountants, Businessmen, Designers, Lawyers, Musicians, Entrepreneurs, Photographers, etc.).
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