She described with surety that first encounter with Jesus. A church in Hungary at age 13, not even quite sure how she found her way in there. Then she told about the prescription pain medication after an accident. How she got hooked and kept taking it for 6 long years. Then recovery. Then alcoholism. Homelessness. Recovery. Somehow in the midst of this life long story of God pursuing her she found her way into our tiny church. She wants to get baptized…her boyfriend too, when he gets out of jail.
We met at a coffee shop. My husband was playing music. You could tell he was lonely by his eagerness to talk. He didn’t care who you were, only if you cared. Pastor Daniel pressed in hard to the conversation and learned about a girl online. They would play video games and she would tell him about Jesus. He got nervous, asked questions. Said he needed to think. Then he showed up at church on Sunday. And community group Thursday. And his temporary stay in South Florida turned into a permanent stay. He went home and packed up a trailer full of stuff to move here. He’s settling in. We’re praying to see him again soon.
His dad was a pastor. He was the “black sheep” of the family. But God was winding through his life and guiding him back. He moved to Florida to get clean and sober. Seven years later, he and his girlfriend end up in our tiny community center church with his dad in the seat next to them. She finally understands what’s been missing and he’s ready to truly give his life back to Jesus. They get baptized and tears are in my eyes. We talk and eat ice cream and there are tears of joy in my heart. They are getting married and I’m sure there will be more tears.
And I’m realizing what church planting is…
It’s a tiny piece of the story, of hundreds of stories. Stories written by God in the hearts and lives of people in our city.
Church planting is…
…a piece of the story.
…the beginning or the middle or the end of the story, but always only a piece.
Because God uses every part of a person’s life to write a page in His story of redemption.
And the fact that we get to be even a tiny piece of the story He’s writing in someone’s life is amazing…humbling.
Church planting is a piece of the story…of hundreds of stories about God.