God had been preparing us individually for months, maybe years. Lives have been aligning with God’s plan for this new work for quite some time. Some of us were unaware of what was about to happen, others were unaware of how God would bring the right people together to make it happen. People had been meeting, praying, seeking God about the next step, then the step after that. That’s the way He chose to reveal the plan. “You take the next step and then I’ll give you the resource you need next,” He’d tell us. It would have been much less agonizing had He dumped the plan and the resources on us all at once, but that’s not the way He chose to provide. Instead, it has been a wonderful story of faith and providence.
Skip ahead to yesterday, 2/11/07: Launch day. We knew there would be a few more people than usual on our first “official” day as a new body. So we moved the curtains, that we use to keep the large space from feeling so expansive, back a few rows. We moved our cars to the outer parking lot to make room for new folks. Everything was in place and 10:30am was almost here. We had put everything in God’s hands and there was nothing more we could do.
I can only speak for myself. I was a bit surprised at the outcome. Why am I frequently surprised when God actually answers my prayers? Tells about my faith, I guess. Increase my trust, Lord.
The day was historic. People showed up from all over. We had to move the curtains back and out even more. I’ll be glad when we no longer use those curtains (NCS is what I call it – No Curtain Sunday). Until then, we will continue to seek Him and rely on Him to bring those who need to be there to help us – and those who need to be helped. The fields in St. Petersburg are white with harvest. In Pinellas County, FL, about 70% of the people do not attend church. They are why God has us there…to reach the unchurched and the de-churched with the gospel message in a way that is neither pretentious or irrelevant.
Now the real work begins!
Oh, I want to mention the Michael Mishoe Band, from Mobile, AL. They were in town ministering at other places last week and they graciously agreed to be our “guest band” for our launch Sunday. All very talented – all very willing to be used by God. Thank you, guys! You brought life to that place and excitement that will carry us forward. It was alot of fun. To find out more about the Michael Mishoe Band, visit http://www.michaelmishoeband.com/
Bring us what we need next, Lord. Thank You for the gift of yesterday.