Today is January 9th. It is a precious day to me. Today is Community Christian Fellowship’s 5th anniversary. So what’s the big deal? Many churches have anniversaries. That is true. Yet-today finds me misty eyed and filled with gratitude for all The Lord has done.
About eight years ago, The Lord started speaking to me and Jim about starting a church. To be quite honest, it freaked us out! This was not the avenue of ministry we had seen ourselves serving in. Missionaries in a foreign country, quite possible. But a church? Really God? “Yes, really”, He said. God had spoken and we must go forth. Like the story of Abraham we had no idea where we were going or what would happen (and we still don’t!). We just knew we were to leave what was comfortable and what we had known and “go”. Regardless of the cost, we wanted to obey The Lord with everything in us.
After years of praying, seeking Godly counsel, praying, praying (and did I mention praying) on January 9, 2005 a group of 20 people and two dogs met in our den. Community Christian Fellowship began. The verse about God choosing the “unwise and lowly” of the earth instantly had new meaning! A small group of people coming together with a vision. We had no denominational support. No resources. Nada—not even a building. But the one thing we had was the only thing we needed and that was The Lord. This little group of 20 people believed that prayer was the engine that drives the church. No amount of planning or strategizing mattered if we were not on our face seeking what The Lord wanted from us. So, together we cried out to Him for His guidance and direction. He answered.
As with any church we have experienced our ups, downs and in betweens. We have seen miracles, healings and provisions too numerous to count. In October 2008, CCF had everything we owned (in a trailer) stolen that was never recovered. However, The Lord provided and replaced above and beyond what was stolen. This is just one of many stories I could share of His faithfulness.
The Lord has shown us things that have left us in “awe” of Him. Lives transformed, addicts delivered, people healed, babies born, marriages mended. Of course, we have experienced loss. Loss so deep our hearts broke. Loss so deep we didn't think we would be able to keep going. There were times we have asked “why?” but we still believed. Through these times, once again, The Lord has left us in “awe” of Who He is. He has kept us under His protective wing.
I am thankful for the amazing group of people The Lord has placed at CCF. Just a group of real and transparent people:
Men and Women
Old and Young
Black and White
Married and Single
Hearing and Deaf
Tattooted and non-tattooted
Bald and Mohawks
English and Spanish
Educated and Uneducated
People from all walks of life. Each with a testimony to share. Our common denominator is that we are all sinners in need of a Savior’s grace. It is the bond of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, that ties us all together. This is my family and I love them! We laugh together, cry together. Rejoice together, hurt together. We bear with one another in love (thank you for bearing with me!). I know if I have a need for anything that I can call on my CCF family and they would be here for me. Why? Because the love of Jesus is in them. The Holy Spirit is guiding them.
Five years has come and gone. Five years later we are still a group of people who believe in the power of prayer. We continue to cry out to God for direction and guidance. What an amazing journey it has been. Even though we now have more than 20 people (no dogs--though an occasional one show up from time to time), we still have no denominational support, not many resources and still no a building (we meet in a school). But these things are okay. Together we have unity through Jesus Christ. And He is the only thing we need. He will not fail us, nor forsake us. He is faithful. As the world seems to have gone mad from time to time, we have each other to encourage and love on.
Community Christian Fellowship is His work and He alone receives all the praise and glory. As Jim has said many times through the years, “It is ALL God’s work and we just have front row seats!”
It is an honor and privilege to serve Him at CCF. I am so thankful for the past five years. I look forward to the next five. Thank you Jesus!