December 29, 2018
Update from Little Earth Fellowship (Minneapolis)
Within the Fill These Cities Vision, our church planting prayer goal is to start 25 new churches by the year 2025. Since Greg Mott (along with wife, Kelly; and children, Madison and David) is leading the church planting team for Little Earth Fellowship, I asked Greg to introduce himself and his ministry among Native Americans to those of you in the Bethlehem family who might not know him. Praise God that Little Earth Fellowship, Minneapolis, is the fifth of the 25 new churches for which we have been praying.—Pastor Kenny
We started Maajiigin Ministries eight years ago to serve in the urban corridor of South Minneapolis. Our specific focus has always been the people who live in the Little Earth United Tribes Housing Development, located just minutes from Bethlehem Baptist on Cedar Avenue & 24th Street. This HUD-subsidized housing project gives Native Americans preference for housing, and we have been building relationships with the residents and staff over these years. Through these relationships, the Lord has opened the door for us to engage in Bible studies, a teen outreach through basketball, a Sunday School for kids, and a fellowship gathering—which we pray is a stepping stone to a new church. By God’s grace, we have done all this on site with the permission of the Little Earth leadership.
Our dream and deep desire has always been to help raise up Native leaders to lead in their own community and also be an active part of a healthy new church. We believe Little Earth is the perfect training ground to raise up these Native leaders. Two years ago, TJ Valtierra joined our team. TJ is part of the Ojibway tribe and grew up in an urban setting. TJ has made amazing inroads into the Little Earth community. This past year we have been mentoring and working with another Native man, Aaron Kalenze, who is now attending Bethlehem College & Seminary.
November 20, 2018, marked a special day in the history of Maajiigin Ministries. It was a day set apart for me to meet with the elders of Bethlehem and cast the vision for a church plant with a focus on Native leadership. We desire to build on the Little Earth Fellowship gathering that has been so faithfully meeting each Sunday for about five years. I have attended many meetings over the last eight years of ministry, but this one felt like a “Holy Ambition,” like the one right out of Acts 13:1–3. That night spent with Bethlehem’s elders was filled with prayer, the reading of God’s word, and encouragement. I want to thank the elders for their unanimous decision in confirming Maajiigin Ministries to move forward with church planting in South Minneapolis near Little Earth. We are honored and humbled to be a part of the 25 x ’25 church planting initiative—a fulfillment of a dream that began more than a decade ago.
The next step for us is a season of prayer. We will be asking God to show us who he would be pleased to have as our core team. When this core team has birthed—and by God’s grace it is already coming together—we will start corporate worship and begin establishing a new church on the foundation of the gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11–15).
For the joy of all peoples in Christ,
Little Earth Fellowship, Minneapolis