Monday, April 30, 2012

Closing one chapter...starting another

Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me as we had our last Sunday services at Don Callejon School before moving into our newly renovated facility. South Bay Church has been meeting at DCS for the past 3.5 years and there are so many wonderful memories and "God-stories" in that place.

Here are a few of my most memorable moments from our first 3.5 years as a church:
  • November 16, 2008- Our first ever public service. So much work. So much prayer. So much publicity. So much nervous energy. We weren't sure if anyone would show up or if it would just be our staff holding hands in a circle singing Kum-Ba-Yah. But 125 people from our community showed up that day and a church was born. 
  • May 3, 2009- Our first baptism service. 18 people, most of whose stories I personally knew, decided to get baptized that day. I watched with tears streaming down my face as those people came out of the water pumping their fists in the air as if to say, "I feel so ALIVE in Jesus!" I thought to myself, "You are the reason we moved to California. You are the reason we started South Bay Church. And you are so worth it!"
  • We met outside under a tent on the school's blacktop during our first two summers because we weren't allowed to use the gym. Much to our surprise, we grew a lot each summer. 
  • 3 years of Easter egg hunts 
  • Loving our city by helping with all of the Santa Clara city events: 4th of July Festival, City Street Dance, Art & Wine Festival
  • 4 years of Christmas Eve services
  • Passing out thousands of door hangers
  • Receiving hateful phone calls from the thousands of door hangers :-)
  • Giving a young widow with 4 children a minivan
  • August 29, 2010: Sammy's first day at South Bay
  • Establishing our first international partnership with Ethiopia via Compassion International
  • 2 years of Kids' Games
  • Staff parties- oh, how I adore our staff
  • Seeing our growing base of volunteers serve their hearts out: set up, tear down, first impressions team, BayKids leaders, production crew, life group leaders, office volunteers, special events, and on and on and on. It is a humbling and beautiful thing to see so many people give so many hours in efforts to show God's love to their community
  • Having my kids tell me about what they're learning in BayKids and hear them quote their memory verse.
  • Watching the culture of South Bay take root... our people serve sacrificially, give generously, invite their friends and family intentionally, and love without walls
  • Hearing stories of lives that have been changed. Every single one is significant and just blows my mind at the goodness of God.
  • Praying and fasting with Andy and/or our staff on behalf of our church and our city
  • Celebrating 286 people who have made first time decisions to follow Christ and 152 people who have decided to be baptized since the beginning of South Bay Church
South Bay has grown from 3 families who didn't know anyone in the Silicon Valley to a 40 person Launch Team to having 919 people in attendance yesterday. So many lives have been changed through a local public school that was transformed into holy ground every Sunday. I realize that the "Church" is the people of God, not a building. But that particular building will forever be special to me. 

God did this. He gets all the credit and glory and honor for it. What a privilege and indescribably JOY to get to be a small part of this big thing that HE is doing. 

As we close this chapter and begin writing the next, we believe with every fiber in our beings that the best is yet to come! We will see you next Sunday at 1180 Murphy Avenue, San Jose, CA 95131.

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