He’s Been There {Thoughts from a PK on Year #20}

For He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
{Hebrews 13:5}

It’s hard to believe that my church celebrated our twentieth anniversary this month. I was nine years old when New Life Baptist Church was organized and was the second believer baptized into our fellowship. Growing up as a PK has been an absolute privilege I wouldn’t trade for anything. God has taught me so much through this experience and if there’s one theme that consistently rings true it’s this: He is faithful and will always be there.

He was there when the scary spider was floating in the murky green baptismal waters.

He was there when believers gathered in my living room every Thursday night.

He was there when we had our first Sunday morning service on a cold January morning in the Rileys’ living room. (And so was their pet Pekingese, Cocoa.)

He was there when Bro. Randy would faithfully come to our house every Sunday morning to help my dad transport the keyboard to our hotel conference room.

He was there when I rode squished in the backseat under said keyboard.

He was there when I made my first bulletin.

He was there when we copied bulletins on the ginormous copier in our dining room, which sat perpendicular to the church keyboard, which sat next to our real piano. Oh, and there was of course our dining room table and six chairs in there too since it was the dining room.

He was there when there were only 5 of us for Sunday Evening service.

He was there when we had to pull out extra chairs for Sunday Morning service.

He was there when I was first learning how to take notes during a sermon.

He was there when I started teaching littles sitting next to me how to take notes during a sermon.

He was there when we voted to move to a tiny tiny tiny storefront in Idle Hour that only had one bathroom.

He was there when He immensely blessed us at that tiny tiny tiny storefront in big big big ways.

He was there when a cat was stuck in the sanctuary ceiling. (We had a pet salon as neighbors once upon a time.)

He was there the first time I tried to play my flute during service when I was in sixth grade and a rod popped out and it wouldn’t make a sound.

He was there when a visitor tried to light up a cigarette in the middle of service.

He was there when the same visitor suggested (in the middle of service) that one of our members with cancer try marijuana as a cure.

He was there when I had Sunday School in the continental breakfast room at Best Western.

He was there when I had Sunday School in the Mailroom.

He was there when I had Sunday School by the dumpsters (and fled from bumblebees).

He was there when I had Sunday School behind a little wall partition.

He was there when I had Sunday School in an actual Sunday School room with a pole right in the middle of the room.

He was there when I had Sunday School in an actual Sunday School room with no pole in the middle of the room!

He was there when I had Sunday School behind folding doors as a teenager.

He was there when I faced the elements to walk to another building for Sunday School. 0189

He was there when I joined a group of adult ladies for Sunday School.

He was there when I started teaching teen girls behind those same folding doors.

He was there when we moved to Woodhill.

He was there when we’ve had countless missionaries and pastors over for Sunday dinner.

He was there when my heart was wounded (and He’ll be there when it’s hurt again).

He was there when the grape juice had stayed in the fridge a little too long before communion.

He was there when we had our own baby boom, living up to a different sense of our name.

He was there when my heart was missing Trinidad and a Jamaican walked in.

He was there when the Congolese started coming and we found a French translator who also “happened” to speak Swahili.

He was there when my best friends left because the Lord was leading them elsewhere.

He was there the first time I ever played the piano during service.

He was there while I attempted to learn how to play the organ.

He was there at the nursing home ministry we had every third Saturday for years.

He was there as we ministered to veterans every second Sunday afternoon…and He was there when we gained the humbling honor of ministering to veterans in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia unit every week.

veterans

He was there when I played wrong notes. He was there when I played right notes. And He was there when the notes wouldn’t even play at all.

veterans piano

He was there when we fed hundreds of our neighbors and gave them the Gospel on Tuesdays throughout the summer.

He was there when we threw an emergency baby shower for a quick adoption.

He was there on the many occasions my heart was pierced by the Word.

He was there when we planned a wedding in two weeks for our friends from Nepal.

Nepal Wedding

He was there when we planned another Nepali wedding in just three days!

santi

He was there when we had a baptism in a hot tub for a paraplegic.

He was there in 2006 when my Filipina sister walked through the door and quickly took a place in my heart.

cheryl

He was there during my frequent fights with the church copier.

He was there when my friend from the Philippines brought a friend from Nepal who had never heard the story of Jesus.

He was there when the Gospel was faithfully proclaimed during every service.

He was there when my Wednesday night kids class was bursting at the seams.

He was there when I only had one kid in my Wednesday night class.

He was there when a precious family from the Congo prayed to find a church and “just happened” to find ours via Google.

congo

He was there every single time another member went to be in His very presence.

He was there when we got some more interesting neighbors.

He was there when those neighbors left.

He was there when my grandparents moved to Kentucky and He gave me the sweetest privilege of worshipping with them every week!

12418816_10103197389906920_5358420487254119535_o

He was there when the end of that one Sunday evening service took a somewhat scary twist as a man in a solid red suit came running in and started yelling with someone chasing after him.

He was there when my faith was weak.

He was there when my faith was strong.

He was there when several of our friends from the Bob Brown House put their trust in Christ and followed Him in baptism.

He was there even when I felt all alone.

He was there when we celebrated twenty years of His continued faithfulness.

famHe was there…in every single memory I have, which are too many too list.

He’s still here. He will no-not-never leave me. He will no-not-never forsake me. His love has never wavered. His love never will. His faithfulness remains and His Word is so faithful that it is called truth. He will always be there.

—–
Other Posts about church life from this PK’s perspective:
Enough. // Surround & Share // The Church Secretary’s Ode to the Church Copier // If You Give the Church Secretary a Free Saturday // Open Wide // Grace for this (recovering) Good Girl [And you can read some of our church history here, but will somebody puh-lease tell the church secretary that it needs to be updated?]
We were blessed to have Dr. Bishop E. Carter III, pastor of Bethsaida Baptist Church, preach in celebration of New Life’s 20th Anniversary. He reminded us that the church is built on the Rock, Jesus Himself, and Hell cannot stop the church. The Rock is the One who has kept us all these years. Listen and be encouraged and challenged by his charge from Matthew 16:13-20 here.
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