If you throw a rock in Texas, you'll likely hit someone who used to live in IL

"What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes like a tree, and the birds of the air make nests in its branches." —Jesus, Luke 13:18-19
Planting mustard seeds at Trinity Baptist Church in Royse City, TX.

"It was really special having Bill, Stacy, Sadey, and Ivy with us on Sunday. Bill has a special ability to proclaim the truth in a powerful way…a way that confronts, but does not condemn.  His message was simple, but powerful.  It was one that offered hope, encouragement, and joy.  A message focused on Jesus who is the source of all these things and more.  It was a reminder about what's really important in this life…making disciples and seeing lives transformed by Jesus Christ.  This was a major blessing to our church family and we are already seeing God move and people recognize ministry opportunities that are all around.  The church is encouraged and excited about what God has in store."Pastor Joshua Wilken, (who was born and raised in Streator, IL.)

"I love that you actively involved us in disciplemaking training. You engaged our minds and our bodies which was awesome! You were non-judgmental about our past and you were genuinely honest about yours. I connected with you immediately." 
—Russ, a.k.a., Santa Claus

As we journeyed through Texas, we were able to reconnect to many former Illinoians. 
It turns out, if you throw a rock in Texas, you'll certainly hit someone who used to live in IL. See below.
"So honored to call Bill Allison my friend. I always walk away more in love with Jesus!"Pastor Joe Paris, Community Life Church, Sunnyvale, TX, (who used to live in Peoria, IL).

And these two fun friends of ours who used to live in IL! We spent the night near Houston, TX, at Rich and Lisa's home. We aspired to be missionaries of encouragement to them, but I think they encouraged us more. And did I mention that the coffee was exquisite?

 
Next we reconnected with Kris and Dr. Becci Prescott—our dear and longtime friends originally from Chicago—and yes, they moved from IL to Doss, TX. 

At Bridge Ministries in Laredo, TX, speaking to college students and young adults!

(If video above doesn't appear, go here.)
When I am speaking to a group, I often stop and ask whoever is in the room to discuss a question, tell a story, or study a passage of Scripture. Why? Because the more involved people are, the more they learn... and then the more they help others learn. We call this, "Disciplemaking Learning Communities."

Bridge Ministries has an amazing podcast that reaches around the world. It was so much fun to explore The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus on the podcast.

After recording the podcast at Bridge Ministries, I met Pastor Jonathan Tucker (back left with the nice beard) of Grace Community Church in Laredo, TX. Pastor Jonathan invited me to join this group of men who walk three miles together every Saturday morning.  It was an invitation I couldn't refuse! As we walked, we shared our stories, and these guys quoted large sections of Scripture to each other, and then we prayed together. Disciplemaking Friendships! And of course, Pastor Jonathan Tucker was from Springfield, IL, and still a Bear's fan :  )

On Saturday morning, we convened with these young ministry leaders in Laredo, TX,  to explore The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus Training Experience"It was a pleasure meeting you and being able to learn and talk with you about Jesus and disciplemaking. Thank you for spending time with us doing this. I'm currently reading your book, The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus and I’m so touched and humbled to see Jesus speaking to me through your book. I’ll make sure to keep you posted on how it goes. God has blessed you with a beautiful family and a generous, loving heart." Carlos Perez (pictured above on the far left side)

Planting mustard seeds at Bridge Ministries with the next generation in Laredo, TX.

"Bill, Stacy, and Ivy—thank you so much for spending a couple of days with us. We really appreciate your investment in Laredo, TX through Bridge Ministries." —Steve denHartog, Founder and President

As our time in Texas came to an end, we celebrated Jesus together on Sunday morning with a new friend (Greg Speck—lower left corner above—also from IL) and our dear-and-longtime friends at Grace Bible Church in Laredo, TX. So much fun! It was a great way to end our ten-day disciplemaking mission trip to Texas! Thanks to everyone who prayed and $upported us! We are your disciplemaking missionaries. We could NOT do this without you, and we are forever thankful to God and you.

On the very last night before we headed home, we had the fun opportunity to share a meal with Michelle and Patrick Kneer—whom we know from church in IL. That's right, these Peorians now live in Texas.
Who doesn't?

To God—and God alone—be all the glory!

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