When God sets the stage for His gospel to spread through a new church plant, He rarely calls just one person. Instead, He plants His vision in multiple hearts, drawing their different passions and talents to a unified focus. Such has been the case with Oasis Church in Hillcrest.
Those familiar with the landscape of Little Rock know that it’s hard to start anything new in Hillcrest. Property for building is scarce and expensive, and there are few vacancies for taking over an existing location. But for those with a heart for multicultural ministry, there is almost no better place to focus than Hillcrest, and that was the passion God had laid on the hearts of Jordan Bowen, Kent Wiles, and Pranay Borde.
Jordan and Pranay met in college, where they built a deep friendship through discipleship and ministry. Over time, Jordan and his wife became passionate about planting a multicultural church in Hillcrest, and it seemed only natural that they should invite Pranay to join them.
Pranay’s commitment to ministry started in his home country of India, in a city called Pune. God provided an avenue for Pranay to travel to the United States as an international student seeking training for his ministry calling. Although he’d been involved in youth and Sunday school ministry in Pune, Pranay had no idea what vocational ministry would look like for him. When he moved to Conway to attend Central Baptist College, God used the friendship and mutual discipleship he experienced with Jordan to open doors for Pranay to share Jesus with the thousands of Indians and Southeast Asians living right around him in central Arkansas!
About this same time, God also brought Kent Wiles back to his home state to pastor a church Jordan was affiliated with. As the two pastors worked together to serve the community, they grew to realize that they were, as Jordan describes it, “better together, not only as co-pastors, but as a body of a church.”
When God granted the passion, He also provided the needed facilities through a connection with Woodlawn Baptist Church. Under the leadership of Pastor Mitch Tapson, Woodlawn offered to share their building in Hillcrest with Oasis Church. In Pastor Mitch and Woodlawn Baptist, the trio found solid partners in ministry. Woodlawn provided a place to meet, and Oasis sparked a fresh enthusiasm in an established church needing a measure of revitalization.
On their own, none of these pastors had the ability to see the dream of a thriving, multicultural ministry in Hillcrest come to fruition. But the God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine is fully capable of bringing together three men, including one from the other side of the world, to combine their strengths and start a ministry. From His abundant resources, this same God is fully able to provide space at an established church, that the ministry might only grow. And this God can even bring all Arkansas Baptists together in prayer, in giving, and in service to stand alongside Oasis Church, empowering this ministry to reach people with connections and homes around the world.
God takes the offering of one and multiplies it to accomplish immeasurably more than any one of us could ever imagine.