It’s official, we have rented our first church building! As of mid-July, we are renting the small store-front location just below where we live. The front part of the room has enough space to put some 30 chairs, and there is a small back portion that can be used as a coffee bar. When things get real crowded, we could probably squeeze in 50 chairs. There is no separate space for the children, so they will continue to meet in our apartment above, where my sermon is wirelessly streamed for the parents.
We felt it was so clear that this was from the Lord, and He just placed it into our lap. We are getting a good deal for it and we don’t even have to pay a deposit! This is a good thing because we didn’t have the money. Best if all, we are now visible to the public and this will bring lots of attention, both good and bad.
We have a lot of work before us in getting the room ready and getting our thoughts together for our first church service in it. After measuring it and making a room plan, we saw that there won’t fit as much stuff as we had hoped. We will need wisdom on how to arrange everything. The renters before us not only cooked and smoked in the room, they secretly lived inside it for 6 months, which means they couldn’t be so “open” about opening the windows. Needless to say, the room stinks terribly even after airing it out daily, so we will be renovating an otherwise neat and clean room. This Thursday we will be tearing down the wallpaper. Fun, fun!
As you can imagine, not everything will always be fun and happy. This is an important step for our small group, one which leads to direct contact with the public. Living above the church gives me a unique ability to hear people’s comments about it and most of it I cannot repeat here. I am also feeling the weight of responsibility and the spiritual warfare that goes along with it. I ask you earnestly to please pray for us; we need it. Here are some specific requests:
1) Pray for unity in the group as we move forward and also make practical decisions. I am slowly realizing that these are all areas that could cause potential conflict.
2) Please pray for me, that God would empower and protect me, and that I would learn even more to give Him my burdens. I am approaching the end of my abilities and I realize that my strength is not enough. I am feeling a growing sense of responsibility and spiritual warfare.
3) Please pray for all the practical work to be done, that God would lead us. We have many renovations to make and hope that the room will be cozy and that we can make the best use of our space.
4) Pray that God would give us grace with our neighbors. We are contemplating how to reach out to the neighborhood and how to inform people we are here.
Thanks for all your prayers and support!
Marc & Linda