Have you ever sat next to someone and known straight away that they can be trusted?
Have you ever experienced the opposite, where you meet someone and you just know that you are not welcome?
Yesterday I arrived in LA to start my 10 day scouting trip, meeting with Pastors, preaching, touring the Bible College, looking at houses and cars, and preparing for our move in 2014 to plant a church in Orange County. The one thing that stood out to me so strongly from yesterday, is that being part of the true church, the family of believers who are following Jesus, means you have family all over the world, you haven’t even met yet!
I sat next to two people on the plane. I told one that I was going to be speaking at a church in his area, and it killed our conversation. It was as if he, for whatever reason, didn’t like my Christian family. However, the person on my other side was so welcoming and open to conversation. We passed food and drink to each other and talked comfortably.
At the end of the flight I told her I knew Pastors I her area and that if I ever come by that way she should meet Joyce n Sean and we could catch up. She asked me what I was preaching on that day and said, “I totally believe that!” I realized I was sitting next to a sister I didn’t know I had!
I then landed and was greated by the Pastor of the church we are planting with and then his whole congregation, some I’d met, some I hadn’t.
The people welcomed me, hand shakes, offers of food and water, support and care. When it was announced we would soon move over, the church applauded. The the young people presented me with a banner and rose (photo explained) as a light hearted joke, but also a compliment- the kind only family can pull off. Then the young people presented me with cards with their photos and names and what their occupation and hobbies are with a little message. “So you can remember our names,” one explained.
With so many family members I was meeting for the first time, I was thankful because I wanted to remember their names. These were my brothers, my sisters, the older women like mothers, older men like fathers. (1 Timothy 5:2)
What a blessing to be part of the church. If you don’t have family, join the family of Christ. If you are disconnected or orphaned, allow God to be your father and ask Jesus to be your saving one and your hope. Trust in Him and enjoy the family He has given you!
Thank you God for family I never knew I had. Family like Ben Kumar who took me to the airport, I only met him 5 years ago, yet he is a brother to me and would wake at 4am to drive two hours and take me to the airport. Thank you God for Pastor Sunoko, a father of the faith, who after only several hours together would love and trust me enough to let me preach, and pastor, and connect with his church and would put me above himself with his time, as he seeks to open doors for Joyce and I so that we might be covered financially. Thank you God for people like Eric and Elaina, who would drive me around, take me out for food and welcome me like family.
I have a home, my home is heaven, all of my family will be there.
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