The Harvesters: The Raybuck Family

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We hope that with the series “The Harvesters,” you be will introduced to many different followers of Jesus who are striving to make disciples of Jesus out in the world; whether you’re in the military, a missionary, a scientist, a stay-at-home parent or anything else under the sun. Check out the full series here and may you be encouraged to do likewise in your own “fields of harvest.”

TELL US WHO YOU AND WHERE YOU ARE

We are Sean and Claudia Raybuck and we live in Corpus Christi, Texas, a city on the Gulf of Mexico of 350,000.

WHAT TYPE OF PEOPLE ARE YOU REACHING FOR JESUS?

Our target is to train up as many existing Christians as we can who can then lead multiplying outreach groups who adopt and focus on specific communities in our city. We are currently focused on one particular apartment complex and are starting to see the Lord open doors in several other apartment complexes too.

HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT (IS THERE A STORY THERE?)

We were doing youth ministry and were feeling lead to do Missionary work.

Then as we started to apply to do overseas mission work God began convicting us with the question, “Why do you want to go thousands of miles overseas when you are not sharing with the people around you outside the church walls?”

We received some training from a No Place Left team in San Antonio who taught us: how to share the gospel, make disciples, and form reproducing churches.

We immediately shared with our neighbors and saw several come to Christ and a new church emerged in our neighbors house to provide discipling and biblical community. Seeing these fruits from the harvest gave us a desire to train up other Christians in our area to do the same.

What is the hardest thing about being in your harvest place?

Initially it was not having a team of other co-laborers to strategize and pursue this vision together. Also, it was hard when existing believers in churches only wanted to question our authority to do the work of baptizing new believers and starting new churches.

What has surprised you the most about bringing Jesus to people in everyday places?

People are generally really receptive to to us coming to their homes, praying for their needs, sharing testimonies, and stories from the scriptures!

Also, how invigorating this has been to existing Christians who have never engaged in sharing the gospel, or at least not in this intentional way.

What has encouraged you the most about your work (in the harvest)?

When we began engaging our neighbors with the gospel, we saw a man named Jonathan come to faith and be immediately set free from years of heavy alcoholism, seemingly overnight. As we began to disciple him, we challenged him to read the Book of Acts. When he saw how the early church was meeting day-to-day he asked why we don’t do this today.

As we thought about this question, we realized there was no good answer or reason for not meeting together every day. So we began to do this and soon his wife and co-worker also gave their life to Christ.

A church emerged simply by discipling them in their home regularly and soon many other neighbors began participating.

Do you do church in the harvest? How does that look different/the same as what we traditionally see as
church?

We are currently working on a church start in our apartment complex of focus. We meet with 2 different neighbors in one of their homes, and we have several other individuals or individual families who we are meeting for bible study. Church is definitely more messy as we are working with people with some longer term patterns of sin and brokenness, and we’ve learned a lot of neighbors don’t want to meet with certain other neighbors for church/bible study due to past conflict or judgmentalism. But it is also more enjoyable and fulfilling as we feel Jesus presence while walking in obedience to Him.

We also have a leader’s church we meet with regularly, doing life together and training them how to do the same works. We currently have 2 different individuals who are in plans to start their own outreach/disciple making teams.