Monday, February 12, 2007

Our little life here...

Being a mother, I think it must come easier to write about your children than your own self. Well, this entry is about ME...and PG too, I guess...and maybe the girls will be thrown in there too here and there...

We moved here in October of '04 to pastor a small church of less than 50 members - it was in dire straits before we arrived.

We weren't sure why we accepted the call, other than the Lord's leading. The Lord certainly knew more about where we should be than we did. During our 2+ years here, there have been ups and downs...many of each - in terms of church, probably mostly downs. There were times I was ready to pack up our belongings and just "go". But, each time, I realized that we were here for a reason, and this is where we are "supposed" to be right now. The reason has been made alive to us this past 9 months or so...

First, let me say, the town we live in is considered a college town. There are over 11,000 students here, which makes the town population around 30,000 I think. Last school year (Fall of 2005), a cute couple, Dustin and Ashley (pictured below...aren't they cute?) began coming to our church.

Our little church with 30 or so people in the pews on an average Sunday - they were the ONLY students in attendance. Not only did they come, but they came back. And, they came back over and over, with more and more friends! They saw something at our church that at the time, we didn't see. We began to get to know them, and my husband started a small bible study based on "Napoleon Dynamite" for High School/College students. Amazingly, the study began to grow into a weekly study with a free meal for all who come. This was just the beginning of our "new life" in our little church...

This last summer, another group of college students visited our church. I can not tell you how encouraging it was to see "young life" in the pews. These students/young adults also have made our church their "home", and they also are bringing in their friends by the dozens. They lead our worship, and we are soooo thankful that they are on this journey with us. I think we have realized that we are a "college" church for sure!

We just begun a "ReLaunch" of our church this month. We sent out 6,000 invitations to residents in town, and we also hung 600 door hangers on houses around our city. We wanted our town to come and experience what we have at our church. We hope and pray that they will come, and if they do, that they will find GOD here...for that is what is most important.

So far, there hasn't been too many who have come because of the mailers (less than 20?)...all young adults, as far as we know. No older, middle age folks, or young familes yet. Kind of suprising when you think of 6,000 households being invited. My husband and I were talking on the way home, and realized as much as we would LOVE to see young families (selfish I know), right now, it seems like our church is supposed to be for college students and young professionals - which is VERY interesting, given that less than 2 years ago we were the youngest people in the church! And, that is such a wonderful opportunity for us to be a part of.

So, we are thankful. We are thankful for the "new life" that God is placing in our church. We are thankful (selfishly) for these fun new friends we have made. And, while we pray for more to come to First Baptist, we will continue to minister to these students that God has put in our church. What a wonderful opportunity for us...

So, thank you Dustin and Ashley for beginning this crazy road we're on...hope you're ready for a fun and crazy ride with PG, me and the gals......

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

Such a great story! And very interesting to hear about YOU and Gavin, and your church. Super cool how God is working there. Is Gavin the head pastor????

Theresa Marie said...

I loved reading your blog.. especially this entry! I sat down and read your entire blog site.. every single post the minute I got home after you gave me the web address. I think I like this post the best because it shows me how much you want to spread GOD into the lives of others and that is a big part of my life as well. It's wonderful to know that there are other, young families, out there that are into sharing God and will stand up for what they believe in! btw. I added you to my favorites! :P

ashley said...

Oh Jennisa! I am always up for a crazy time with you 4. Thanks for everything. I am so glad we found this church and continued to attend here.. you and PG are the ones that truely made us feel welcome and at home.

Addie said...

You have a great little blog here! Part of my husband's role at our church is communications and he has found time and time again that the majority of people come to our church through a personal invite. We do the whole mailers thing here to, but very few people come from those. Mostly they come from word of mouth, like you all have seen with your college kids.

"Unless the LORD builds the house,They labor in vain who build it;" Sounds like God is the one who is building your church up! Thanks for sharing your story!

Dustin Honkamp said...

AWWWW well yes it is a crazy road trip of life... but it makes it super fun to have you adults driving the kids around!!! haha love ya guys!
Dustin and Ashley

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