Church Plant in Koutann

Hello!  My name is Brian Eddinger and I am a church planter with the North American Mission Board and I am currently the Campus Pastor at Crossroads Church in Farmingdale, NY.  
In November 2013, I had the opportunity to take my first mission trip and I was able to go to Guinea, Africa.  My team and I were able to  go to the village of Koutann and share the Gospel with the people there who, for the most part, had never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Here is a photo of the first person that I had ever led to salvation.  

While we were there, we shared the Gospel and got to see 100 people come to know Christ as their Savior (including our taxi driver)!
We were also able to baptize seven people in a river about a mile or two away from the village.  Here is a picture of those young believers.

From that point on, not only did we continue to share the Gospel, but so did these new young believers.  Here is a picture of a local village leader sharing the Gospel with the imam (priest in the village mosque).

Because of the overwhelming response to the Gospel that God did while we were there, the village leaders donated some land for a church to be built on in the village.  We helped mark off the land for the church and with some of the money we had raised to go on the trip, we were able to give them enough money to begin the foundation of the church!
This is a photo of our interpreter showing where the corner of the church will be!

Since then, I have not been able to go back because I have had several changes in my life during that time.  I was a Biology teacher in North Carolina for 15 years and I felt that God was calling me to Long Island, New York to work with the Crossroads team up here to try and plant new churches to spread the Gospel in this area.  Long Island is less than 3% evangelical Christian and our heart was broken for the need here.  Within a couple of months, my wife, four children and I sold our home and moved 600 miles away to share the Gospel and plant churches.  We have currently been here 7 months.  I was ordained by my home church before I left North Carolina and I have been the campus pastor here in Farmingdale for the past 3 months.  God is moving here.  We had around 30 baptisms last year and have already had four this year.  My plan is to plant a church in this area next year.  
Recently, I learned of a mission trip to go back to this village in November because the church should be completely finished by then.  I wanted to be there to help celebrate with the villagers, be there for the first church service and to continue to share the Gospel in that area.  The cost of the trip is $2500.  That includes air fare, travel, visas, food, etc.   As you can imagine, having left my job,  going down to just one salary, having four kids, and living in the second most expensive place in the United States (Washington D.C. is first), money is a little tight for us.  Any help that you can give, even if it's just a couple of dollars, will be greatly appreciated!

I have a heart for the people there and I have several people that I helped lead to Christ that I would love to disciple with again.  It is largely due to my trip in 2013 that caused me to give up my job of 15 years to become a church planter and spread the Gospel.  It would mean a lot for me to be able to go back and see the first church that I helped plant as I prepare to plant another one next year.  I am trying to do my own fundraising for this trip, so the sooner you can donate, the quicker I will know how much more I need to raise.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and I appreciate any support (financial, prayers or otherwise) that you can give!

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Brian Eddinger 
Central Islip, NY
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