What God Does Is More Beautiful Than Our Dream
The journey begins with an idea. The idea grows into a hope. Hope grows into a plan. The plan is implemented. Hard work is needed.
The ground is tilled and nutrients added. Seed is planted and watered. Weeds and critters must be kept away. Sunlight is needed. Time passes. Then comes the harvest. God gives the increase.
Recently I sowed grass seed in a new field. Half I did without lime and fertilizer. Later the other half was sowed with lime and fertilizer. The first sowing is doing poorly. The last sowing is lush and green.
In truth Laila and I did not plan to stay in Charlottesville this long. We did not plan to pastor Covenant Church. When assuming the responsibility we privately agreed that two to three years would max our time at Covenant.
The first week I moved the pulpit in the cinderblock building. The second week a small platform was built for the pulpit. The third week a backdrop of curtains was hung behind the pulpit/platform. The people grew accustomed to change. Inch by inch, day by day, month by month, year by year the good people of the congregation worked together and gave generously. As a congregation we loved. We served.
There was not much of a dream at first. Necessity pressed us. We were ambitious, yet the immediate pulled us close to the earth. We were young and discovering the developing passion that would drive our hearts.
Just like sowing grass in a field, we discovered that what we nurtured and watered grew. Reaping what we sow was indelibly imprinted on our hearts. We chose to love people regardless of who they were, where they were from, their culture, color or country.
We sowed. We sent missionaries to the ends of the earth. In time God brought some of the people our missionaries had reached to Charlottesville. They came in native dress, hair styles, with habits and diets different from ours and with histories that both broke our hearts and enchanted us.
We kept sowing. God kept bringing in the harvest. He intricately wove us together in a tapestry with golden threads that only the Holy Spirit could weave.
What was so unimaginable at the beginning is now so natural we cannot imagine otherwise. Our Sunday gatherings are testimony of God's beautiful harvest. Fellowship is divine!
My hunch is that not one person of the Covenant Family prophetically saw this present moment. It has exceeded our expectations. We humbly celebrate knowing that it was not our skill or talent but heaven's sweet response to obedient hearts.
This week we have inspections that will help us to know technical issues to be addressed for "Occupancy." Sunday, June 2, the Elders have designated for a special building fund offering. As a congregation we voted to give to the Building Fund.
Our goal to FINISH is $150,000. Will you prayerfully join with us to push over the top.
About 700 families receiving this letter are friends of Covenant Church. You are from across the United States and around the world. You may wish to send your offering to 1025 E. Rio Road, Charlottesville, VA. Or you can go to our website www.covenantchurch.net and give online. Any amount will be appreciated as we join together to the Finish!
We are sowing. There is a harvest. Jesus challenged his disciples to look at the harvest that was ripe ( John 4:35 ). The harvest around us is ripe!
We cannot delay. There is urgency to share the message of Jesus with our community and around the world.
Laila and I are here. We are happy to see strong leadership rising. We do not run alone. Recently we have added to our pastoral staff Lydie Omisiette from the Ivory Coast and Noel Perez from the Dominican Republic. Their talents in music and administration will add energy and skill to team efforts.
Thank you Covenant Family for your faithfulness, prayers and generosity.
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galatians 6:9)