One of the US Mission Network’s primary goals is to help cultivate and develop partnerships between a local YMCA and a local church. Why are we doing that? Perhaps this fresh report from Express Church in Philadelphia will provide an obvious answer to that question! This report comes from their Pastor Justin Chapman.


“It has been a busy and productive couple weeks! We went to a YMCA in the Poconos as part of a work team that cleaned and painted 40 dressers for the camp as well as putting up fence for horse pastures. Stephen got his first taste of putting in T post! We had a great time and even celebrated on Sunday morning with a chapel service at the camp. We had several of the camp staff and volunteers join us for inspiration to worship the Living God.

Recently we took part in the YMCA’s spooktacular event the night before Halloween. We estimate over 100 guests! We got to speak with the majority of them and introduce them to the Bible. We set up a booth where people could fish out of a kiddie pool for a plastic toy with a number on the bottom of the toy. We would then have the child and parents go over to a board, flip open the number and read the Bible verse underneath. We had an amazingly diverse crowd that we got to share the Word of God. We gave out several Bibles, and a bunch of full size candy bars! Pray that the Word of God might take root and grow in their hearts.

Later that week there was a health fair where Express Church had a table and a large container of “Living water.” The water had cucumbers, lemons, and herbs that Chef John put together. When people got done with their workout we would give them this water and share, “Jesus IS the living water!” Several people allowed us to share the gospel with them including a 13 year old Quaker girl. We used an Evangecube and shared the good news of Jesus Christ with her, Which she said she’d never heard before. Please pray for Talia. We also got to pray with about 20 to 25 people. One woman hugged us while we prayed for her marriage and her health. It was awesome to be instruments of God’s blessing and plant Gospel seeds while praying for people.

While the majority of people in the Philadelphia area are not hostile to the Gospel, I would describe them as apathetic to Christianity. I would also say that not many people want to attend a church, but there are a great deal of hurting people out there that see the necessity and importance of prayer. We continue to strive to be salt and light in the world.”