I am so thankful that I've gotten to be a part of my church family.
We became members at First Baptist New Orleans a few months after we moved here and I must confess that I didn't really want to join. I just wasn't feeling it and didn't know why Jackie was but he was certain that's where God was leading us and I trust his judgment completely so we went for it. That was almost 3 years ago and over the past 3 years it sure has grown on me.
This morning I sat in the pew looking around at all the people around me. There's no way I'll ever know all of them and their stories but they are beautiful to me none the less. I love the diversity: young, old, and in-between; red, brown, yellow, black, and white; rich, poor; dressed up, dressed down; fancy french twists next to purple dread locks; hymns and electric guitars. We all come together, blending perfectly into a picture of worship.
I love the heart that these people have for the city and for the world. Never before had I been witness to a church going out and SERVING--answering the call--like I have had to pleasure to witness at FBNO. There are so many ministries meeting physical needs each and every week. It's so awesome to see God working to feed people the bread of life through people who are willing to go out onto the streets and into the schools and feed people food. Our church really and truly cares for this hurting city. Our church is also working "to the ends of the earth" giving, loving, serving, and praying for a certain group of people in Africa who has no one else. We won't know until we get to heaven how many lives have been changed because FBNO exists and I can't wait!
We also have an amazing group of ministers working within our church especially with our children who I'm very thankful for. Children are highly valued there and it shows! I've loved working in the one-year old class over the last couple of months because not only have I gotten to love on some sweet little ones and spend some extra time with Ryland, but I've also gotten to know some of those special people who work behind the scenes in a way.
It has been an awesome experience being members of this church. I know we won't be in New Orleans forever but I will always take the things I've seen and learned with me. I hope that when Jackie is a pastor that we will be able to implement some of the same programs that I see our church implementing and meet the needs of the people around us!
Thank You, God, for placing me exactly where I needed to be even when I didn't understand why I needed to be there. Thank You, for this body of believers who've chosen to live at the center of your will. Bless them, Lord, and bless this city! May we all turn our hearts to You.