Everything has been great here at CCBC except the fact that we didn’t have a home church. We tried out a couple and just didn’t have that “home feeling” that we’ve gotten before. We thought we were happy with the church we were attending, but little did we know we would have our minds blown away by a simple visitation from a friend.
We had a friend come down from Phoenix and asked us to meet him at a church in Riverside. We had heard of the church a couple of times because the Pastor actually worked at the Church my husband worked at in Phoenix and was called to church plant out here! Crazy small world huh? Now, Riverside is about a 45 minute drive from Murrieta so Jase and I both looked at each other like, “This is a one-time thing. We aren’t doing this every week” and as soon as we walked in we knew. This is it. This is our church!
We are now “those people” who drive 45 minutes once or more a week for church. Why? Because we enjoy it, we love it, and we can’t get enough of it.
It didn’t take long for us to get involved. It was fun to serve not a drag. I finally felt like I GET to serve. Not I HAVE to serve. Same with my husband; we absolutely love it. We want our kids to serve, to have a heart of serving. Not for what they get out of it, but what they can do for others. And the only way they will know that is if we lead by example.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
The first time we visited Relevant Church we were asked out to lunch with Pastor Jonathan Bilima and our friends from Phoenix since they were staying at Jonathan’s house. I think we stayed at Chili’s for 2 ½ hours talking and then the kiddos started to feel a bit restless. That Wednesday, Jase was asked again to lunch with Jonathan, and we knew. We knew that Jonathan was going to ask him on as an intern or on staff as one of the Pastors since Jase is already ordained. But we prayed and let the Lord work. We didn’t know what was going to happen, but we had a gut feeling that was it.
As I stayed home with the kids pacing back and forth wondering what was happening, I felt this peace overwhelm me. I knew we were going to be okay, I knew all things were going to work out and I knew we were taking a huge step of faith in this. Step one was selling everything and living in a 300 sqft. room step two was ministry. But we didn’t know when or where. We just knew, okay, ministry. We will wait.
Jase came home and acted completely normal. NORMAL. I was expecting word vomit, overwhelming joy and such. But nothing. We just got ready for the gym and continued getting the kids ready. The normality lasted about 10 cruel long minutes and when I looked over, he had this grin from ear to ear and finally said, “They asked me to join their Pastoral staff”. This makes my husband incredibly happy. It makes me incredibly happy.
We were just praying about why we moved to California. Why we weren’t doing ministry. Why we couldn’t find a home church. And BAM all at once it happened. And we knew the Lord was blessing it.
With that; the first week was horrible. The kids had the flu, which meant mom and dad had the flu, which meant we couldn’t take care of the babies because we felt like death. Thank God for my parents. They took them for 3 days so we could sleep, but by day 2 we missed them like crazy. After that we felt like it was going downhill and we weren’t going to make it to Sunday. But we did. We went, we served all three services, and the kids loved it. All that means is that we did something right.
(who wouldn’t miss these faces?!)
We lived we made it to a new week. Everyone has a cold now. But that’s nothing! It’s unfortunately that season. The Lord is faithful. I just think it is amazing when you see the Lord at work. When he answers all of your prayers in exact order that you asked “why” and said, “no” when He knows it’s not the right timing. I’m still in awe and in wonder of how fast everything happened. But we know we are doing what we need to be doing.
If you’re ever in Riverside and need an amazing Church to visit we have 3 services.
830, 945 and 1100am. We meet at the Riverside Plaza in the Regal Theater. Hope to see you there!
When things get rough, and it looks like you aren’t going to make it. Look up, pray and continue doing what the Lord has you to do.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Matt. 28:19