I’ve been reading through Hebrews 11 lately. Some recongize this chapter as the “Hall of Faith” because it catalogs acts of faith God enabled his people to do through the ages. My heart resonated with the final verses when the author, clearly overwhelmed with God’s equipping his servants to perform all he asks, says, “And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell of Gideon, Barak…” and the list goes on.
I’ve spent the last weeks cataloging, from my perspective, some of the ways God has shown his great wisdom in our lives through the faith of the people at CBC. But we have run out of Sundays there, and time fails me to tell so much more. However, I have saved a very special family for last, because without them, none of the other posts would’ve been possible.
Over twelve years ago, Pastor Ken, Kim, Laynie, and Anna, set out to plant a church in the downriver area that would break down the unnecessary objections unchurched people had to church, so they could be reached with the life changing gospel of Jesus. Pastor Ken started with a clear vision of where CBC was headed and a plan to get there. The small handful of people who sat in the launch meeting that first night, has now grown to a vibrant, diverse, healthy church of over 300 people.
Matt and I moved here during CBC’s first years as a church plant. I had the blessing of getting to know Kim as she exercised at the Curves where I worked. We made a quick connection then, having no idea how closely God would unite our paths in the future. Really, I had absolutely no idea, the new acquaintance I loved talking to a few mornings a week, would become as close as a sister and someone upon whom I would lean heavily to get me through the early years as a mom of three and learning the ropes of helping my husband in ministry. I cannot count the times she came to my side with meals, inexhaustable love for my babies, wise advise spiritually and practically, a humble example, words of encouragement, fervent prayer, and a heart so quick to serve. She has shared her own daughters with us and the 5 kids together have such a close bond. They are like family to us.
And although we didn’t know it would happen, he certainly did. He knows the plans he has for us and has led us each step of the way. As we sat in the Browns’ living room last week, we recounted with them how God has used CBC in our lives in general, and their family in our lives, in particular. Matt wasn’t using hyperbole when he told them our time spent with them has been just as valuable, if not more valuable, than his time spent in seminary getting his Master of Divinity degree. We needed to be at CBC these past years and we needed their input in our lives. We needed to think through the philosphy of ministry at CBC and we needed the practice of doing ministry through that grid. It was essential for our own personal growth in the Lord and for our helping others follow him as well. We leave, not just with invaluable experience, but with full hearts. We can’t give what we don’t have, and Pastor Ken and Kim, and Laynie and Anna, and all of CBC by following your example, have given us much, so in turn we can keep giving.
So we are here because he is worth it. And we want to keep grasping, together with all the saints, now those at OPBC, “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18, 19)
Just as we needed to be at CBC, now we need to be here at OPBC. So let’s do this for his glory!