Tonight as I worshiped in my amazing church, I was taken to a different place. I felt the Spirit of God through my whole being…I was before HIS Throne. I am in total awe of our Savior. I looked down at my two little busy companions to make sure they were still there. Riah was of course singing with her hand up in the air. I love this about her. She is a worshiper. Then, to my surprise, Maija was sitting still pretending to sing from a hymnal. She held the hymnal in one hand, very focused on ‘reading’ and singing along…the other hand lifted in worship. It was a precious moment. I wonder how the heart of Our Father feels when He looks upon us worshiping in spirit and truth and sincerity like my little 2 and 3 year olds.
I’m also so thankful for my churches.
I have two right now. A big one and a little one. God is providing in so many details of my life, but this is one (or two, I guess :)).
I LOVE LAKE CITY COMMUNITY CHURCH. I love seeing God moving. I love seeing the growth and the obedience of these followers of Christ. I love the sincerity of the believers. I love the servants who LOVE and teach my children each week. I love worshiping with the Body of Christ.
One of the things I’m most thankful for is my pastor and his wife. They are humble, precious, obedient servants of Jesus. They are ‘leading by example’ right now in one of the most profound ways. I feel humbled to sit under them and watch their lives of extravagant, uncomfortable faith. They are in their 50’s. They have served their whole lives in ministry together. They LOVE each other and the LOVE Jesus. They have children and grandchildren. This last year, however, God moved in our church family…and in our pastor’s heart. Our church has exploded in their love for the poor–for overseas missions, for ministering to orphans and widows and the poor…And there has been a powerful movement of God to bring children into families within our church body. Many children are being welcomed into forever homes…and many of these are from Ethiopia! (A coincidence…no way!! God knew all along and placed Dave and I there 6 years ago for a greater plan was already in motion!) We came back from overseas with a clear call to Ethiopia…walk into our home church and see many beautiful Ethiopian children running around the lobby!! It has been amazing.
Our Pastor and his wife (Jim and Jaci Kennington) have not only preached and supported orphan ministry, but have faithfully answered the call and cry of a sweet little girl in Ethiopia who needs a family. They are ADOPTING their 4th child…in their 50’s…when they already have grandchildren!! Does this sound a bit ‘John Piper-ish” to you?!?! YES, it does to me too!! I am SO thankful for their hearts and passion for Jesus and these children that are closest to His heart. AND I’m so thankful that these two are the shepherds God has chosen for our family before we head overseas. I am in awe-type thankful.
I LOVE HOME CHURCH. My incredible neighbors have a home church which they have been leading for 3 years now. When I moved back in, they invited me right away. I was super hesitant, not wanting to impose on a sweet home group with my tribe…but, they insisted…and me, being ultra in need, couldn’t say no…It has been LIFE giving to me. We meet each week in someone’s home (last two weeks, I had the JOY of hosting here!–one meeting even lasted 6 hours!!) I LOVE this kind of church. This is church that is real, intentional, in each others’ lives and hearts. It is an eclectic group of people who LOVE Jesus. One week I looked around and thought how much I love the people God brings together to worship HIM. Only God could bring such brokenness together and make it beautiful for Him. It has been such a strength to me to pray and worship and grow with these amazing brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Here we are worshiping together and sharing communion. I was so thankful that my Mesop table (a traditional Ethiopian woven ‘table’) was first used to hold such a sacred meal. This was so special and beautiful for me.