New Growth and Transformation in our Church and in our Hearts!
At the start of this year, the themes that God placed in my heart for our ministry center were growth and transformation. Coming out of the infamous year of the pandemic and starting a brand new year full of uncertainties and what-ifs, these two themes certainly seemed a bit ironic and farfetched. Yet, once again, as Pastor Andy from Radiance has witnessed and heard me say so many times, God did and is doing His thing in spite of my doubts and little faith. As I look back at this first third of the year, I have seen God move and grow our ministry tremendously, not just in the physical, but also in the spiritual.
In January, we welcomed two new staff members, Katey and Luis, our new Children’s Director and Maintenance Supervisor. It wasn’t long before they became an important and valuable part of our staff family, and it has been a joy and privilege to see our staff grow closer together in intimacy and in Christ. And as we meet for staff meetings and discuss the future of our church and ministry, there is a common sense of excitement and hope for the changes and growth that are to come.
Obviously, none of this has been because of anything that we have done, but simply because of God’s grace and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Time and time again, we have seen the Spirit more active and moving in our ministry and especially in the lives of our leaders and church members. From being able to find peace and praise God after being attacked by a bull and breaking multiple ribs, to seeing a growing excitement to serve at church and seeing hardened hearts breaking as they are touched by God’s love, these past few months we’ve seen and heard story after story of spiritual growth, breakthroughs, healing, and encounters with Him.
Probably, the thing that has confirmed for me that we are in a year of growth and transformation, has been the privilege to witness the Spirit moving through our Experiencing God class. When we first started the class, we weren’t sure how many of our church members would want to sign up for a 10-week class and give up two hours of their Sunday afternoons after sitting through a 1.5 hr service, but once again, we were shown to have little faith, as we saw about 30% of our church attending EG! One of the most powerful sessions we had was doing the exercise of praying prophetically for each other as we practiced how to hear from the Spirit through prayer. Honestly, I was not sure how it would turn out. Many of our church members are between 17-22 years old and had never had any experience or exposure to praying prophetically. Additionally, it was a hot day and we were in the upper room, and the thought of standing in two lines and praying for each other in speed-dating style, made me have even less hope that the Spirit would show up. But then, again, God reminded me of my little faith, and I saw our church members praying, speaking words over each other, crying, hugging, and receiving confirmations. Though, there was one member who later asked, “How is it that you can see images? The whole time I was praying, I couldn’t see anything!”
As I look forward to the next remaining two-thirds of 2021, I am filled with excitement and hope for the growth and transformation that God is going to be doing at our ministry center. There is also fear and anxiety, because with growth and change, comes more work and sacrifice. Yet, it is all necessary and it is all worth it, because we do it for one sole purpose: to glorify God. As you look over the remaining of 2021 and peer into what seems to be darkness or uncertainty, because, let’s be honest, our world has been turned upside down, don’t cower back in fear or make excuses to not walk ahead, but march confidently into the unknown, knowing that God is with you, and whatever changes or obstacles you go through, though it may be tough, God will use it to make you stronger and show you how great and awesome He is!