For all you fabulous Columbian readers out there, “Movies in the Park” begins tomorrow night at Finlay Park.
Our church, Columbia Crossroads, has partnered with the City of Columbia for several years to offer a fun, family-friendly environment where people in the downtown area can see a church reaching out to them. Please pray that great gospel-centered relationships will form from this low-key outreach strategy.
Have you heard Joel and I mention how much we love our church?
This past Sunday, Brad Bird, one of the teaching pastors, challenged, encouraged and rebuked us with the words from Hebrews 10:32-39 (it should be download-able from the website here in a few days.) It was so encouraging to see the Christian life portrayed in it’s true form–one that presents challenges, hard lessons learned and opportunities to depend on grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. We always walk away from church on Sundays not focusing on “Wow, wasn’t church great?” (Even though it typically is.) But rather, “Wow, isn’t Christ great? No, great’s not the word…the greatest thing that’s ever happened to humanity!” What a blessing to walk away from church with that thought.
Another thing we are so grateful for here in Columbia, is the community of believers God’s provided for us.
Our staff team has served as a great family away from home, as have the Culbertsons, Parkers and Murphy’s and a few other families in town who always welcome us in their homes for a meal or an encouraging conversation. God’s provided some great opportunities for both Joel and me to be mentored by these families, our Newlyweds class at Shandon, and from meeting from time to time with Bonnie and the Clays.
(How do I not have so few pictures of these precious families that have poured into us? I’ll work on that…)
Another fabulous aspect of community for us has been FRIENDS! We are so grateful for the way God has answered our prayers by provided us with friends from our Newlyweds class, around town and at our church.
Honestly, it’s kind of awkward to be friends with Joel and me. Anyone else who’s in full-time ministry, I’m sure can relate. (Anyone out there? Don’t leave me hanging in my vulnerability.) Our work hours are soooo random. We often miss out on things because of hosting events during the week or traveling for conferences on the weekends. We can sometimes know more about what’s going on in the freshmen dorms than in the local news. In the summers we can be hard to nail down between support-raising and living in Kyrgyzstan!?! Sometimes we have initiated so much with students that we can put friends on the back burner (which is NOT ok).
So, here’s to some of the fun friends here in Columbia (because we couldn’t even begin to thank those in other cities!) who will wake up at 4:30 am and go to Yard Sales at the drop of a hat…
Who will consistently give up freedom during nap time for prayer time and time to connect…
All that to say, to those precious people who have consistently pursued friendship with us, we are forever grateful. Thank you, Lord for how you provide answers to prayers!