Today, I had the privilege of speaking at our daughter congregation The River Church in Minong. I felt like a grandpa visiting the kids.
We started it a couple of years ago by opening up an abandoned building for a candlelight Christmas Eve Service. From there, we launched Saturday night services -- and I drove the half hour there three out of four weeks to preach to 30 or 40 people.
A little over a year ago, we secured a wonderful pastor, Ben Kidder -- and our "baby church" really took off -- moving to Sunday mornings on Palm Sunday 2007.
Today, when I looked out over the congregation, I didn't recognize over half of the faces! Before the service, one lady shook my hand and said, "Glad you're visiting today! I'm sure you'll like our church so much you'll want to come back next week!"
I told her I'm usually tied up on Sunday mornings.
The River is really flowing, growing and moving forward. Well over 120 people attended two services this morning. There is a vibrant electricity in the air! Kids everywhere! A church ALIVE!
I'm so thankful for our Minong small group, who rose to the challenge, and decided to love their neighbors to Jesus. They've made a difference for eternity!
(Made it back to catch the last half our our 11:00 service in Hayward, where Rev. Joshua Shege, from Kenya, shared a powerful testimony of redemption and forgiveness.)