Michael & Micah Horner
Broken beyond repair. That’s the simplest (and really nicest) way to describe the condition Micah and I were in the first time we stepped foot in Vegas.
Vegas was the city where our whole lives literally fell apart. Sept. 11, 2008 was our own personal dooms day, and Vegas just happened to be where it all unfolded. Micah and I separated that day with little hope of reconciliation. The damage was just SO extensive. From every angle the situation looked impossible.
But God, in His great mercy and love, entered into our chaos, met us in our desperate places, and transformed the atmosphere of every area that we chose to surrender to Him.
Essentially, He kept transforming & we kept surrendering.
Christ took all the broken, messed up areas of our lives and knit them together with Him into a beautiful tapestry of His grace. He changed our mourning into joy and our ashes into beauty. Christ literally changed everything!
Nothing was the same for us…except maybe our view of Las Vegas. Since that d-day, Vegas has always represented death, destruction, and obviously sin. Micah and I even said that we would never step foot in that city again! Ha! But God. But God, in His great love and mercy, has now said, “You enter into that city’s chaos. You meet people in their desperate places. And you transform the atmosphere by filling the darkness with the light of My countenance.
Church planting in Las Vegas could not have been further from our thoughts this time last year. However, we were sensing that God was conditioning us for a change, but we had no idea what that would be.
After a season of prayer and fasting, the Lord opened our eyes to how many people out West did not know Jesus. Coming from the Bible belt, we were dumbfounded. Soon after, the Lord led us to begin an exploratory process that eventually led us back to Las Vegas for a church planting training event. So much for never stepping foot in Vegas again. We were there! We felt pretty safe though…since our visit to Vegas was temporary (or so we thought), and the timing really was amazing. It had been seven years earlier almost to the day that our marriage fell apart in Vegas. And now, seven years later (like the Old Testament’s “Year of Jubilee” or “Year of New Beginnings”) the Lord brought us back to the very place we were uprooted and torn down, but now for the purpose of being built up and planted. The longer we were there, the more we knew that the Lord was busy redeeming every single memory, and giving us new eyes (His eyes) to see the city that we forever intended to run from.
When we got home, neither one of us could stop thinking about how God had uniquely built us for sin city! Our redemption was not solely for our redemption but for others too…to bind up the broken-hearted and to set the captives free! We believe the city of Las Vegas needs the message of transformation in Christ. And we believe He’s not just called us to declare that message, but also to be a people who are living proof of that message daily where we live, work, and play. We want to demonstrate the reality that when the kingdom of God moves in, it changes things! And it’s not just that Christ can transform things, but that He wants to…until all things are reconciled to Himself from Las Vegas, to the nations.