Tonight was a very special night.
My husband began working part time at my sister's and brother-in-law's church over a year ago. It was only a temporary position while we were preparing for the mission field. The church was a long drive for us and I had a newborn and three young children at the time. But we fell in love with the church. It is Cleveland Community Church (C3) in Clayton, NC. They really reach the people that literally would not go anywhere else. Most of these people would never have found Christ had C3 not existed.
It doesn't feel much like a church except for the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit. It feels more like a rock concert... and I love it! And apparently alot of other people do to. One of the most awesome things about it is that I often meet someone who came the week before, and this Sunday they have their entire unchurched family with them. I have met visiting unchurched family members say that if there was a church like this where they lived they would go to church.
Well, there are so many more things I love about C3, but that is not why I am writing this blog. I am writing this blog because a group of people from the church we attented before C3 came to visit. It is called Faith Baptist Church, in Youngsville, NC. You don't realize how worshipping with people for 8 years establishes them like family in your heart.
Growing up my father was a pastor, and we moved every 3 years except when we were in highschool. I remember thinking how strange it was as an adult being at Faith Baptist for a number of years and watching the children grow up. When you move every three years you don't see the children in the church grow up. They seem to stay the same age. You also don't realize the relationships that develop as you weekly meet, worship, pray, chat, encourage, and share life.
Well, a group from our old church (Faith), which I really feel is like my home church, came to visit C3 tonight. I was almost nervous I was so excited to share with them this new place where we were learning so much, things that we feel God wants to teach us before going to Paris to plant a church. When I saw them and worshipped with them, and got to hang out over dinner after church, I went home feeling like one might if they could just crawl up into the arms of a heavenly father and just rest. The feeling of family was stronger than if my own family had shown up. Their smiles, each unique personality, many remembered stories and laughter... I just wanted to hug them and talk with them and hang out with them for hours. I really missed them and love them so much.
I know most of them will not read this blog, but I want to thank them for coming. Even though I know they didn't come just to see me (for ministry reasons they were just wanting to check out what some other churches were doing), I want to say thanks. It was a gift God gave me that He knows will be remembered in my heart for a long time. Thanks Ty and Jennifer, Emily, Michael and Debra and family, K.C., and Amy. I really love you guys and am so excited to see what God is going to do at Faith.