Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My Everyday Miracle

Cara here bringing you today's "My Everyday Miracle". 

My miracle is a story of our church. Our family became part of a church "plant" nearly 6 years ago (*church planting is a process that results in a new local Christian church being established). We were one of six families who moved to a specific area of Boise, Idaho (not an overly desirable area but one that our pastor had deemed to have not many Christian churches and in desperate need of God's love being shown--high poverty, many single-parent homes, and many refugee families). 

We basically decided from the beginning that we didn't really need a building...that we would meet in other places that wouldn't cost much in order to save money, then we could give more back to the community. 

Our church started out worshipping in a local Community Center attached to an elementary school. We met there for nearly 4 years until the school district voted to kick us out (being that the Community Center leased from the district and they didn't like that a church was meeting there--the whole separation of church and state thing). 

After that we met in another church's Youth Center for over a year. It was smaller, but due to that church's generosity, it was free. But we started to outgrow the space and they were doing some reconstruction on the facility so the kid's rooms (and we have more kids than we do adults) were unavailable and that made it really hard. 

Our leaders realized quite quickly that things had changed and we probably needed a building. It was kind of awkward to invite people to our service when space was so tight and there was no space for kids. So they prayed for wisdom and guidance, and started looking at options. But our options were limited...despite congregation growth, we remain small and have a very limited budget...so building something new was out of the question and the other options were also expensive. Then a few months ago our pastor found out about a smaller church building for sale in our neighborhood and, by quite a miracle, also in our budget. It was not fancy, but just what we needed. After some back and forth negotiations the building has become our new meeting space--but we'll never call it "ours"---it is God's. He has just entrusted it to us!

We have only been there for a couple weeks, but already hundreds of hours have been spent cleaning and sprucing it up with paint and donated items. It has been so cool seeing the "body" come together to do what is needed and to donate their time and resources to make it such a warm, inviting space to worship together and to invite others into. 

Six years ago, when there were just six families, we had faith that we could do it, but the statistics were against us (most church plants fail, usually within a few years). Along the way, two of those "planting" families have suffered divorce. And another moved away. We were kicked out of one building, and the next grew to be less viable as time went on. It has definitely not always been easy, but we have remained faithful to our church's mission to glorify God by reaching out and showing God's love to people...and God has provided all the way through. 

This isn't what we thought we needed in the beginning, but we are blessed and thankful to God for His provision just when He knew we needed it. We will use this building to continue our mission...we'll soon be a blessing to an African refugee church body who will meet at the buildings for worship on Saturdays. 

This picture shows the sanctuary of the building after some painting and cleaning. 


4 comments:

DebR said...

Praise the Lord! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story and the picture...looks wonderful.

Amanda Rhodes said...

Amazing! God is good!! :)

Paula Jennings said...

Wonderful story Cara and how exciting it must be being part of starting a new church.

Paula Jennings said...

Wonderful story Cara and how exciting it must be being part of starting a new church.