Friday, April 16, 2010

Wasn't That Fun!

Thank you for your prayers! Here is a look back at highlights of the last month (it’s so fun to serve the Lord!):

Kid’s Club (VBS)
The week leading up to Easter we had a marvelous time sharing the Easter story with children and their parents at our Vacation Bible School (VBS) at the park. For the last two weeks we have been diligently working at visiting every family in their homes and building more relationship off of our time together at the park. Not only were many families blessed, but we were able to build and deepen some other strategic relationships in the neighborhood. Please continue to lift up these families in prayer!

Kid’s Club 2010

5 days of Bible stories, crafts, games, songs & a whole lot of fun!

146 children participated in our VBS

3 high school youth groups came to help

275 hot dogs served at our mid-week family BBQ

700 candy-filled eggs were eagerly found

The kid’s cycled through stations where they learned a Bible story, did a craft that reinforced that story, played games and enjoyed a snack. They had memory verses and sang lots of fun action songs. As the children we’re busy having fun and being loved we connected with the parents. (Fabiola, pictured below in white, was able to sit and get to know more parents every day.)
We had children separated into age groups. It was exciting to see that as the youngest group heard the gospel presented every day their parents were sitting with them hearing the same Good News!

Easter Sunday
The whole week of Kid’s Club was to designed to bless the community, build more relationships and lead up to our first ever Sunday service. We had a nice group of people gathered at our house. Everyone that normally attends during the week came along with a few others that we hadn’t yet met.Pictured above, Fabiola teaches the older children during our first Sunday worship service out behind our house. We had some volunteers from World Impact help us with our nursery class.

Two primary goals in having us meet together was first to bring all our different groups (cell groups that meet during the week) together since they have never met one another. The second goal was to give everyone in the church a chance to get involved and serve in some way. As I (Chad) shared the Easter message I emphasized this point and we were ecstatic to see how from the moment the message was over every detail imaginable was taken care of. We had a huge potluck out at the park, Easter egg hunt, games and fun fellowship. Every detail from the BBQ to chairs and tables being set up, clean up, game organization, everything was taken up by the people. We were also blessed to see that they did mingle and get to know one another naturally without us organizing anything to facilitate this. The food was great, but the fellowship and richness of being together as a newly formed body of believers was much greater. Continue to pray for us as we grow.Above, some of the Fuente para las Naciones children show off the eggs they found. Below, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus together with the classic pot luck!

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Thank you for praying for us while we were at the pastor’s conference in Mexico. We were able to meet a lot of great men and women of God some whom we are sure we’ll be working with more in the future as our churches expand and send people out to continue evangelizing, discipling and planting more churches throughout the nations. We were stirred up in our faith and in many ways had a spiritual retreat that prepared us to come back to Los Angeles refreshed and ready to work all the more passionatly and focused on what God is doing here. Even though we were very busy visiting people the whole time the change of pace and enviornment was very healthy for us and has allowed us to rekindle some of the heart for the city that God has given us.

We stayed with Fabiola’s sister and got to see her mom and dad every day, which was great for all of us. Rebecca and Justice got to know their cousins, aunts and uncles better too, which was great – and knowing they were having fun with family allowed us to do some of the things at the conference without thinking about how they were doing.

We were appreciated and showered with blessings. The women’s group rallied the congregation to shower us with gifts, which they called ‘Christmas in March’, to show their love and support of our family. The generosity, hospitality, sincerety and passion for the Lord that the pastors, leaders and people of God have for Jesus and His Kingdom are contagious and humbling.

On our last day we were honored in front of the entire congregation of over 3,000 people where we were sent out from Mexico (Fabiola’s home church) to plant the church Fuente - Los Angeles with their love and prayers. This formal act demonstrates how much prayer, love and support is really coming from Mexico and part of the reason we are seeing fruit here in this hardened city of Angeles.

Please Pray With Us
·Pray that we would build trust and show love as we seek to build relationships with our neighbors, especially as we continue to visit every child that came to VBS – that’s a lot of homes! Pray that hearts would be open and ready to receive the Good News!

·Some friends from Abiding Place Christian Fellowship will be coming to support us in various ways this coming week (March 19-23). Please cover this time in prayer as we prayer walk the community, do some outreach and evangelism as well as a variety of other projects.

·Big Screen Family Movie Night (Facing the Giants/Desafio a los Gigantes) Tuesday, March 20 – After teaching about how being a disciple means making disciples and sharing about our relationship with Jesus with others, this will be the first event for our church where we’ve encouraged people to invite friends, relatives and neighbors. Up to this point we’ve focused on meeting people at the park or passing out fliers. This is special because it will allow us to meet people that are connected already to our existing relationships. Pray that converting our home into a movie theater will go well and many new people will come out.

·Men’s Retreat - June 11-13— The majority of our church is made up of women and children. We ask that you would pray with us that we could take a good group of guys up to the World Impact camp, THE OAKS, for this year’s Men’s Retreat. Pray specifically for Primo, Adelso, Carlos, Alejandro, Daniel, Jesus, Urbano and Florentino. Some of these men are faithfully attending our cell groups, but others we know only socially because their wives come out faithfully. Please pray for some breakthrough in the lives of these men…many who are struggling to make ends meet and some who have other addictions or problems they are dealing with right now.

·Please continue to cover our family in your prayers. Pray against sickness. Pray that we would be good parents and Rebecca and Justice would be good children. Also lift up our unity and the balance in our work load – we want to honor God in all that we do and all that we don’t do. We know there is an abundance of wisdom that God will continue to pour down on us so that we can be more than victorious.

Enjoying His Presence & Loving to Serve His People,
Chad & Fabiola

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Reaching As Many Families As Possible

As we lay the foundations of this new church we have been called to plant, God has been bringing us a lot of families. Part of our vision is to minister as a whole family and so it is exciting for us to see that God has made reaching families a cornerstone part of the strategy of planting Fuente para las Naciones. Every Sunday we have a team of volunteers come out from various churches and help us put on a children’s ministry aimed at both reaching the kids and integrating the whole family in the process. The children explore and experience the love of Jesus Christ and the richness of the community of believers through quality time with our team, a time of games and recreational activities, interactive messages, praise songs, small groups and arts & crafts. As the children are having fun learning about Jesus we meet with the parents. The goal of our time with the parents is to empower and equip them to raise godly children. In our meetings we share the gospel, include them in the activities with the children and have a special small group time for them to share their life and apply what is going on. This time has been one of the most fruitful times for us to invite people out to our church services. The week leading up to Easter we will be blessed with the partnership of some high school youth groups from three different cities to help us put on a vacation Bible school (VBS) type program for children in our neighborhood at the park in front of our house. We are preparing for a huge turnout. We believe this will not only give us more opportunity to get to know people in our community, but will build up momentum to our celebration service Easter Sunday. Please be praying that both the VBS outreach and the Easter Sunday service go as God has planned and many people commit their lives to Him. Please also pray that we may responsibly take care of everyone that we meet and help them walk into a healthy and mature relationship with Christ. With all these exciting opportunities to be out and about in the community and reach families we are confronted with the challenge of childcare and children’s ministry during our regular meeting times. Since our team is so small we do not yet have enough people to help lead the children, babies and adults simultaneously. We currently need help with our Tuesday morning, Wednesday morning and Sunday morning children's programs. We know that God has some great and creative solutions so please pray with us that we would discover what they are and continue to grow into what God has called us to become here in South Central Los Angeles.

Celebrating our Risen King with many families!
Chad & Fabiola