We are thankful!
It's been a tough year, but God has been at work all around usIt's been a long time since I've been able to send out an update, so I wanted to reach out and catch everyone up on what's been going on by taking some time to thank God for all that he's allowed us to do this year.
We are hit with so much bad news on such a regular basis, and if we don't make a conscious effort to celebrate the good then negative is all that we will see. And that's a shame because God is always up to something good, even in the darkest times.
We all know that 2020 has been a wild ride, but with all of us going in different directions I'm sure that some of you have missed out on some of the blessings that God has given us. The below is a summary of those blessings and a celebration of God's goodness.
"I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving." Psalm 69:30
Hard work and faithfulness - Our people have stepped up in so many ways to meet the challenges of this year.
Technology - Expansion of our technology has allowed us to reach more people in our community and keep in touch with our church family, especially during the quarantine.
New Ministries - The pieces came together this year for us to launch 2 new ministries and we have a 3rd in the works. Our Counseling ministry and Elementary/ Middle school are touching lives every day because we stepped out in faith to start new things. Also in early 2021 our schools and kids ministry will partner to do some afternoon out reaches.
Finances - God has blessed your faithful giving and allowed us to expand funding to many of our ministries while also strategically setting money aside for the future. Each gift that is given supports ministry here and helps us support mission work around the world.
Renovation - Our project is moving along nicely. Our church family's hard work and donations are paying off, and this place is beginning to shine.
Iglesia Bautista - Our new friends at IBL needed a place to worship, and we are honored to be able to help with that. They are quickly becoming good friends and partners for ministry in our community.
Each of these blessings has allowed us to share new life with people here in Lakeland and around the world. We are seeing the Gospel penetrate lives, and as evidence of that we'll be celebrating some baptisms very soon.
In a way we are getting a taste of what happened in the first few chapters of Acts. Back then hard times caused believers to spread out and take the message of Jesus to new places. Today hard times are helping us to be more creative and bold in sharing that same beautiful message.
We have missed those of you who haven't been able to join us over the last few months, and we are praying for God's best for you and looking forward to you rejoining us soon. Stay strong, don't lose hope, and keep being salt and light.
I don't know what next year holds, but I am confident that God has it in control. He will be with us, and will use us to expand His kingdom and change lives.
I'm thankful for that, and I'm thankful for you. See you soon!
With His Love,
Our mission is to share new life in Jesus and develop Christ-followers who change the world.