In August 2007 I packed up and set off for this place called New Orleans. Sarah and I had visited earlier that year in March, but overall I didn’t know hardly anything about this city. Actually I just had a feeling that God wanted me to move.
For my Thanksgiving break a week ago I drove over 32 hours in a total of seven days--New Orleans to Knoxville to Hilton Head to Knoxville back to New Orleans. That’s a lot of driving which gave me even more time to think. I did a lot of reflecting during these drives. I wanted to share some of my thoughts, which I hope encourage you and challenge you in your place in life.
If asked two years ago what I would want for life and ministry, I would not have even thought to ask for over half of what I am doing right now. My journey over the last two years is so crazy that it excites and energizes me about the rest of my life. My testimony is that surrendering to God’s call brings both the expected and unexpected.
Matthew Brichetto as of December 7, 2008:
• God has again shown me the great love that He has for His bride, the local church. This is Plan A for reaching the nations with the Gospel, there is no Plan B.
• God has challenged me to be aware and open to engaging with people daily. Lost people come into contact with Christians everyday, unfortunately for their souls we are too focus on ourselves to reach out to them.
• God has shown me that while class time is important, time outside the class- actually in the city- is more important. Spiritual knowledge must have effect on the 4.5 Billion lost people in the world. (There are thousands in every city in America.) The statistic means that the church must wake up!
• God has stretched me beyond belief with the various types of people in this city; this challenge has been a huge joy. The Gospel message is always the same, however sometimes our method for presenting this timeless message must change.
The pictures are from Saturday night, there were over 250 people @ Vintage Uptown for a four band show. There were tons of people going crazy for particular bands. I can’t wait until Sunday services @ Vintage Church look like this.
• God has punched me in the gut on my spiritual disciplines: prayer, submission, service, worship, confession, evangelism, discipleship and the list goes on…
• God has helped me, a C Spanish student in high school, learn Greek and Hebrew. Studying the original language has revealed the depth of God’s Word. WOW! His revelation to us is so rich, if we would just study it.
• God has told me to quit working for another title and serve with the one I have, “Servant of Christ.” Christians need to roll up their sleeves and do some dirty work.
• God has taught me that ministry in New Orleans is not a sprint, but a marathon. I must plant myself here and grow my roots deep in order to make the impact that I’d committed to when He called me.
These newly gained insights have humbled me and drawn me to my knees. During this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas I’m thankful more than I have ever been in my life. The great theologian T.I. (a rapper) says: “You need to be thankful for the life you got, stop looking at what you ain’t got and start being thankful for what you do got.” A great quote for life found in a rap song.
I’m a young man that is blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Thank you to all who have been with me on this journey, the future is going to be crazy fun as we turn the world upside down for the Glory of God. There is only one God and He’s worthy of our life!
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
--Paul’s words in Acts 20:24