Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Start (01/16/06)
TITLE: Where we are today
By Denise Cruz
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We began our prayer and Bible study meetings that February evening in Mom and Dad‘s living room. Dad had shared his vision with us, and we (my mother, my brother, his best friend, my husband and I) believed God had called him. As the weeks wore on, we asked God to add to our number, to send us the right people to work with us. We asked Him to lead us, to show us what to do.
There were many great first moments. Like the evening we stumbled upon our name. We were having a Bible study on Galatians and there it was, plain as day, everyone just knew. Or the time we finished our mission statement and defined our vision. Then there was the time we had our very first visitor at our home Bible Study. And one day, my boss at the Christian radio station where I work, told me he and his wife felt led to join our small group! They were just the kind of people we had been praying God would bring.
It’s been two years now and God has done great things at Grace Fellowship. We have seen his mighty hand at work doing awesome things. Like the time the town officials were adamantly against us using the high school auditorium for our services. Somehow, God intervened and we have been there ever since! People have been saved. Small groups have grown. Our youth ministry has flourished. So has our worship team. There are children running through our halls. Families are excited as they come through our doors to worship. We have managed to pull of retreats, fundraising trips, festivals and even a great Christmas show. Recently, we received a substantial donation to buy our very own building! After just two years, we are planning and budgeting for our very own place with our very own youth room!
God has added to our leadership incredibly capable people. It is almost as if He was gathering them from every corner of the region and bringing them to our doors. There have been so many more great first moments; our very first Sunday worship service, the election of our first deacon, our first membership ceremony, first baptisms, first pastor appreciation day, the list goes on and on.
We sit at our staff meetings and just marvel at how God has moved in our midst, almost without our noticing. There is such a special feeling there. I wonder, will we feel the same way ten years from now? Or will some things just become a routine. My prayer is that this excitement will always be here. That the more we grow and the more we see God do, the more excited we become. That we would never get used to God’s miracles.
There is such a sense of nostalgia when I think about those days. It seems like so long ago since we were at Mom and Dad’s doing our Bible studies. Sometimes I almost wish I could hold on to those moments. I know we will never get them back and it’s almost sad. But I look ahead and I see greater things. We have to leave these behind in order to experience what lies ahead.
I can only imagine where God will take us next. There has been so much hard work. We have invested so much time. We have so much further to go and yet I feel like we have come such a long distance already. We are a testament to what God can do in the lives of people who are willing to give even a little bit. Yet, none of this would have been possible if it weren’t for the faith a man who heard the voice of God and instead of asking questions, and making excuses, he decided to trust and obey Him when He said, “Just start.”
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