By Anna Skinner
Patrick and Maya Laurent are going on a mission trip of sorts. Yet their trip will be one of permanence as they plan to move to London by the summer of 2016 to help launch Grace Church overseas.
The Laurent family, of Westfield, has been active in the Noblesville church since before the building was built in 1994.
In March of this year, Grace unveiled an operation called “Regenerate,” an initiative with the goal of planting other churches in the state of Indiana as well as worldwide.
“Part of the initiative was London, the first gateway city that they wanted to plant in,” Patrick said. “We really just felt like God was calling us to be a part of this church in a major way, and we decided to be open to it and went through the interview process and were hired on as staff to do this.”
Once they move, the Laurents will be working with young adults and high school-aged kids.
The Laurents will travel to Kenya before they move to train with the Nairobi Chapel, a church that oftentimes works with Grace. The church they are launching in London will be a combination of the two cultures.
“People come here a lot from Kenya, and we send teams there as well, so there is a very strong relationship with the Nairobi Chapel,” Maya said. “There are five Kenyans that are a part of the team to join us (in London). The hope is to have them in America at some point so they can experience our culture much like we are going to Africa to learn and experience theirs.”
With the Laurents and the five Kenyans, the head pastor and his wife will join them in London as well. In total, there will be six American members from Grace moving to London for the “Regenerate” initiative.
Approximately 10 additional members of Grace will travel to London to find other jobs and help launch the church as the first volunteers to help integrate the church and help build its community.
“When the Nairobi Chapel and Grace sat down and looked at the need for churches, London is a place that people go to when they’re immigrating, such as refugees,” Maya said. “London is such a diverse population because everyone crosses through London when they’re traveling through the world.”
So far, London is the only international plan for Grace. Other future spots for the church include many places in Indiana such as Bloomington, Fishers and Indianapolis.
“We see the world as dying faster than we can make disciples of Jesus, so we really feel like we need to get there and spread the good news and show people that a relationship with Jesus will bring hope to the city,” Patrick said. “Hopefully from that they can take it back to the culture where they came from.”
The Laurents have three kids who will move with them to London.
In addition to their participation in the new church, Patrick is an artist who plans to use his work to help bring members to the church.
“I will use my artwork to get out into the community and reaching the art community and other people,” Patrick said. “A lot of the work I do is biblically based. It shares our faith.”
The Laurents are raising money to assist with their move. They must raise approximately $10,000 to $15,000 a month and are at 7 percent of their goal. To learn more about the Laurents or to donate, visit their website laurentsinlondon.com.
Meet the Laurents
Parents: Patrick, 37, and Maya, 36
Kids: Zane, 8, Jude, 4 and Veda 1 1/2
Hobbies: Patrick is an illustrator designer with an Etsy shop. Family hobbies include reading, creating art, exploring a city or woods.
Grace members: Maya since 1993, Patrick since 2000.
Grace website: gracechurch.us