Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Anatomy of A Changed Life

About nine o'clock last night I got a call at home from Greg Strausz. He and his wife, Lisa, had just gotten home from making a visit through our Connections Ministry. They had very good news! They had gotten to speak to a child that had made a decision for Christ at an event we had here at the church last Saturday night. And then they turned to the proud, teary eyed mom and talked with her about her relationship with Christ. After sharing the gospel with her, they asked if she would like to make this life changing decision. She said yes, and they helped her express her heart to the Lord.

I could tell from the phone call that Greg and Lisa were very excited that the Lord had used them in this way. I knew from experience the joy that must have been felt last night in the home they had visited. I look forward to seeing the eternally changed lives that will come out of what happened last night.

Later last night as I was telling Donna what happened, I thought about the 'process' that led to this family turning to Christ. I don't know all of the details, but let me share some of what I do know:

  • --- Saturday, September 9, 2006 --- We hosted an appreciation lunch for first responders in the area. As a part of our five year remembrance of the attack of Islam on America (9/11), we invited police, fire squads, and rescue workers to join us for this special event. Many people from the church visited police and fire departments inviting men and women to attend, cooked barbecue all night long, set-up tables, decorated, prepared programs, and so forth. As it turns out this family that the Strausz's visited last night attended the event. In fact, Donna and I sat at their table, and I remember getting to meet them. I think this was the very first time they had attended anything at our church.

  • --- Wednesday, October 31, 2007 --- Over a year later, we were hosting another event for the community, Kid's Fest. Again the church had worked very hard to prepare as nice an event for our community as possible. Many people sacrificed time and money to make the event happen. Some volunteers had been at the church literally all day setting up the family life center. That night I was walking around meeting new people and I spoke to this same lady. She reminded me that we had met at the 9/11 lunch. She expressed how impressed she was with the people of our church and what we did for the community. That same night somebody else invited her to the illusionist show we had Saturday.

  • --- Saturday, November 3, 2007 --- Three days after the Kid's Fest, we had internationally acclaimed illusionist B. J. Harris come do a couple of free shows for the community. Again, a lot of work went into this. Volunteers called over two thousand people who were involved in our Upward Basketball program last year and invited them to the event, other volunteers worked with set-up, counseling, clean-up, etc. This lady and her son were present at the event. Her son made a profession of faith and indicated that on a decision card.

  • --- Monday, November 5, 2007 --- Two days later, after a long Monday at work, a number of people gathered to receive some training on how to better share their faith. Afterwards we gave out some information on people who had recently visited an event or service here at church. Greg and Lisa were faithful to get the training. They were faithful to go. They were faithful to share. And a family was changed for all eternity!

So how did this happen? The Church!

Dozens of people were faithful to serve Christ through a number of events for over year, and through all of that, look what happened. Was it worth it? Yes, even if this were the only family changed, which they are not and will not be, it would definitely be worth it.

So to everyone around here who does so much, thank you!

Pastor Noel