Pictured below from left to right: Norma, Monica, Fabiola, Justice, Chad, Rebecca, Jessica and Tracy.
Through the collaboration of a lot of different churches, individuals and organizations we were able to collect a lot of food and distribute food boxes to most of our families. The food was meant, in part, to bless them and allow them to have a great family Thanksgiving meal together. We also gave each family the primary ingredients of the dish they were to bring for our church’s Thanksgiving dinner….and what a feast we had!
We had 4 turkeys and a ham along with a lot of all the fixings….and NO LEFT OVERS. We had a great turn out even though the weather was really cold (we didn’t have enough space inside the house for everyone so we were out doors).
The children had fun crafts to make including special cards for their parents to share what they were thankful for.
After dinner we sang music of praise and worship to God giving different people an opportunity to sing on the microphone. We also shared what we were thankful about and then when we opened up the microphone we were surprised at how many people mentioned they were thankful for us and this church. Coming together is such a blessing!
We continued sharing our Thanksgiving on Sunday when we were able to serve some great food to the homeless that live in and around the park.
Every year, at the start of December, World Impact hosts an amazing day at their campground outside of Los Angeles for families to get away and celebrate the Christmas season. There are hay rides, adventure sports, family pictures, crafts, games, great food and loads more of fun all around. Last year we took 11 people with us – this year, as you can see in the picture above, we were a larger group (67). Next year we would like to take 200 people up to camp with us. We do not just want to take people that we know or friends of people coming to church, but people that are actually part of the church – so as I told the congregation last week….though it’s God who brings the increase we have a job too and we’ve got a lot of work to do!
SPIRITUAL BATTLES RAGE
This last month has brought an onslaught of problems. Several of the ladies that have made the most radical confession of faith and resolve to follow Jesus have been pried away left discouraged and hurt by a lady spreading gossip and confusion. There are some serious relational problems (a lady just left her husband) and sicknesses (several going to the hospital) and an overall heaviness despite some amazing developments and areas of growth in other areas. The devil is definitely out to sow dissention, confusion, hurt and rob, kill and destroy. Pray with us to press on, have wisdom on how to address specific issues and protection over us and all these new believers.
SPACE FOR MEETING
With an average mid-weekly attendance around 50 we are continually battling space constraints in our house. Sunday mornings we have been meeting outside on our patio with a series of tarps overhead (see picture to below), but that isn’t a long term solution. Please continue to pray with us for the right space at the right price at the right time along with wisdom and direction in the process.
We started this letter by telling about some of the great work that the team here is doing – enabling us to focus on other things, but none of them will be here long-term. The interns Jessica and Monica as well as Tracy have only committed until the end of the school year. It is then very important to get something else in place. Ideally this would involve training and raising-up leaders, teachers, helpers from within our church, but given that the time frame is short we may have to also look for other help from outside.
·Church Christams Party – December 22
·New Year Outreach & Carnival – January 1
·Churchwide Day of Prayer & Fasting – January 7
·Community Outreach (Homeless & Rehab. focus) Jan. 8
·Sunday Service – January 9
·Youth Retreat – January 15-17