"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. "
Zephaniah 3:17

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Look what GOD did!

This post has been a long time coming. We celebrated being at FBC Anna 3 years in December and 23 of the 37 months we have been at this Church have centered on this:

That was our worship building. In November of 2008, my sweet husband was notified by some deacons and other men of our Church that the roof was caving in (due to wind damage from a tornado that came through town before we moved to Anna) and it was no longer safe to worship or even be in the building anymore. We moved into our fellowship hall (praising God that we had another space on campus to hold enough people for Church) the following Sunday and worshipped in that building for 23 months. During those months we went through a sifting time where the Lord did many great things for us as a congregation. We also went through a hard and challenging time of a lawsuit with our insurance company (where they refused to pay and we just wanted them to honor our contract with them) and a time when we sadly watched several families leave our Church. Thankfully, Andrew's dad is a lawyer and he came to our rescue in a BIG way. (There was no way our little Church would be able to afford a lawyer to take on such a big company and I seriously don't know where we would be if it wasn't for Gary.) I can't even begin to describe all of the many ways the Lord moved, answered prayer after prayer and brought so many new families to our Church. We couldn't believe all the amazing people who were filling our fellowship hall week after week most of whom hadn't ever even been in our old worship building! This is where I need to stop and brag on my amazing husband. He had only been a lead pastor for 11 months when all this building stuff happened. Through the entire process, he showed incredible patience, leadership, strength, wisdom and knowledge. This season of our ministry was difficult with many trials. I am SO very proud of the way he leaned on God and had full confidence that the Lord would provide a solution for HIS glory. After many days of waiting and praying, the Lord provided a victory for us against the insurance company and we were able to start the re-building phase! We were so excited!

The A-Team was all in attendance the day the roof finally came down. Austin was so excited to see all of the fun machines used to demo and rebuild the roof.

He even got to move the crane! Every boy's dream!

Once the new beams were up, the remodelling phase began. This is the season where my hubby wore many hats each day - pastor, project manager, interior designer (with a LOT of help from his rebuild team - thanks guys and gals!), daddy and husband. He was exhausted, stressed and way out of his comfort zone, but continued to lean on the Lord. He shocked me with the amount of faith and trust he had in God to protect him and this Church.

As the project was finishing up, Andrew had a great idea to have our congregation write some verses on the backs of tiles that would be hanging in the new space. It was a great Sunday morning where we had the awesome opportunity to watch these precious people who had stuck with us and had prayed just as long and hard with us to write prayers, verses and letters to God on those tiles. The above tile is from Austin's Sunday School class. Love the verse and love the sweet little hand prints all over it. :)

Here is Audrey's sweet class tile. Love all the art work!

More tiles that are now up in our new worship center...

LOVE this pic of one of the workers putting up a tile. Cool to think that the men who were contracted to work on our building were being ministered to in a small way through those tiles. :)

We had a month and a half of work days where every Saturday (and many days in between) my hubby and many other men/women from our Church took time away from their families to help complete this project. (To save money, we tried to do as much as possible ourselves.)

The new sound booth. For God's Glory!! Absolutely!

Our family even came up on the painting work day to "help". :) Our sweet Ainsley loves to work!

Then there was this moment!! Such an unforgettable night for so many reasons! It was so fun! We decided to have a very "soft" opening of the building the week before the grand opening. We surprised all of the people who attend our home groups on Sunday night with a night of worship IN OUR NEW WORSHIP BUILDING!! That night in October was incredible. It was just so surreal and it was just amazing to sit back and look back over ALL the Lord had done. We had survived!! He had provided and we had the opportunity to praise Him for it. Pure. JOY!

It was and is just a building, but for us and so many people in our small community and Church it was a life growing and altering experience from start to finish. God pruned us and grew us as He revealed Himself and protected us. Words can't describe how thankful we are to Him.

It wasn't difficult praising our Savior that night. Such a sweet and pure night.

Look at this happy face! Pretty sure I see some relief in there are well. Finally, he could just wear the hat of pastor/shepherd! Through this process both of us truly fell in love with the people the Lord had called us to. We knew (though we couldn't believe it) that God had placed us here for this season and we never doubted that calling - even on the hardest days. It is an honor to serve here!

Here we are on opening Sunday, October 17, 2010!

Several friends and family came up to celebrate with us. Thank you Helm family for being such a source of prayer and encouragement through the entire process! SO thankful for your friendship!!

Here is a pic of all the family who came to support/celebrate with us. Love you all!

The LORD has done great things for us and we are filled with joy!
Psalm 126:3


Sandy said...

We used to live in Gunter, and drive through Anna. Thank you for sharing your amazing journey through this building process. The church building is beautiful. I know the people are even more so.

The Owens Family said...

This makes me so proud and teary eyed at the same time!!! Thank you for posting :)