September 13

stacynewell —  September 13, 2018 — 1 Comment

On September 13, 2015 God spoke to my heart during a prayer meeting with our staff team.  He gave me this word for our church:

 

My Children, My Little Children

I am going ahead of you.

There are mountains in front of you.

Many mountains.

Do you see them?

But I am moving the mountains.

Do you see me?

I am moving the mountains before you.

 

I emailed those words to our team the next day, not knowing that the mountains that were looming before us were the most daunting things I could ever have imagined.  If you had told me that night what that group of people was about to face together, I am not sure how we would have handled it.  I am not sure that I, as one of their leaders, could have even asked them to handle it.

But our God is gracious and there were many times along the way that He reminded me of the words He had given us.  He knew the mountains were before us, but so was He.

And for those brave souls who will see a God-story through to the end, the reward is always sweet…

Today, precisely 3 years later on September 13, 2018, we got our occupancy permit for our building.  A building that was our first rented home nearly a decade ago and now is ours forever.  A building that symbolizes for our church a story of hope, redemption, and anointing.  The journey was never about a building, but I believe God gave it to us as a gift for trusting Him when the earth was shaking.

Tonight the very tired bodies of our team stood there as teenagers flooded in the doors for their first service in a building that has a million of our beautiful memories wrapped into it’s walls. They laughed, they worshipped, and they enjoyed their church…

And all the mountains that seemed totally impossible along the way suddenly seemed to disappear.  We are home.

 

 

 

Dear Ben

stacynewell —  August 16, 2018 — Leave a comment

We started North Creek Church with 20 children and 19 adults almost 12 years ago.  As those children who are still at North Creek turn 18, I write a blog just to honor them.  Happy Birthday to Ben!  Enjoy!

Dear Ben,

I find it ironic to finally welcome you to adulthood when you’ve always been so mature beyond your years… As an elementary student, you were so articulate that if one were to close their eyes, they might have forgotten the boy standing in front of them and imagined an aged professor in their midst.  My husband would come back from kid’s camp and tell me how he often let you get your wishes when perhaps others would not simply because you would ask in such a grown up fashion!  He still smiles when he thinks about what an incredible young man you were then and are even moreso now.

Two traits I see in you that will last you far into this life are your WISDOM and KINDNESS.  Those traits were probably not embraced in the junior high and high school setting to their full potential, but I promise you this…as you go through this life, if you give those traits to Jesus, you will find that those two very rare gifts will open doors that give you opportunities beyond your wildest dreams.

Your kindness and compassion to those around you has always been evident.  You care deeply for people and take into consideration others before yourself.  I’ve watched you many times over the years as you paused to take stock in each person’s perspective and try to understand where they are coming from.  In a world that jumps to conclusions and judgments altogether too quickly, your ability to listen is an act of kindness that is both unique and beautiful.

Your wisdom will be a light unto your path and will keep you in step with all that God has planned out for you.  It will allow you to discern what is best for your future.  God gave you a marvelous brain that is full of intelligence!  My prayer for you is that you will use that intelligence paired with wisdom to change a generation for Christ!  Smart people who love Jesus often come up with astoundingly different ways to change this world and I can very much seeing you doing just that!

Ben, you are perfect just the way you are.  You have a qwerky, hilarious twist about you that sets you apart from the average person.  You are theatrical and engaging in your nature!  Grab ahold of this world for all it’s worth and don’t allow yourself the common mistake of overthinking about what you lack…your gifts make up for anything you will ever perceive isn’t “enough”.

Thank you for the joy of watching you grow up!  I am sure when you graduate this June my husband will send you off with a case of Cup of Noodles and all of our blessings!  You are so very loved!

 

Stacy

 

 

Dear Alvina

stacynewell —  July 20, 2018 — 1 Comment


 

My mother-in-law passed away on July 9 after a long battle with cancer.  Alvina helped me raise my children as she moved here when my oldest was 6 weeks old.  I cannot tell you in words the gratitude I have for her help in our journey.  She will be greatly missed.  Here is the letter I read at her funeral and the video that Delaney made to honor her life.  Enjoy!

 

Thank you Alvina…

Thank you for giving me the best husband a girl could ask for.  You’d be really proud of him today.  He’s strong and kind and He loves the Lord with all his heart. You did well. So very well.

Thank you for babysitting my girls every Tuesday until they were in junior high.  That time for me was a gift that allowed me to do ministry, but that time for them was priceless.

Thank you for teaching my girls how to cook and bake.  The hours of rolling dough and cutting cookies will be lifelong memories for them.

Thank you for helping us start North Creek Church.  You brought a depth and wisdom we needed, but you also kept us all fed.  Our team became a family over your breakfasts.

Thank you for baking 700 scones for our first baptism service at the park.  That was a feat, to say the least!

Thank you for coming to nearly every event my girls ever had.  Basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, dance, graduations, recitals, and even a few appointments with me.  An one epic ER visit with Kennedy!

Thank you for making family dinners, birthday cakes, and breakfasts in the park.  You created an environment that helped Mark and I to slow down and remember how important family is, which may have been easy to overlook in those busy days.

Thank you for letting me tell you the hard stuff we faced in ministry.  You held our hearts up in prayer and that will simply be irreplaceable.

Thank you for having a Bible on your table every time we were in your home.  Your love for Jesus’ Word is a great legacy.

Thank you for asking me to smuggle in maple bars for dinner on our Monday night dates.  Everyone should eat donuts for dinner now and again.

And thank you for letting me be a part of the journey of cancer over the last several years.  After serving our family so well, it was one of the greatest honors of my life to try and serve you where we could. 

But mostly, thank you for holding tight to Jesus through your entire life.  He was always first in your heart no matter what you were facing.  That is the gift we will all cherish the most.

I love you, Alvina. 

 

Stacy

 

 

On Alvina’s last evening with us we were blessed with a nurse that loves Jesus very much.  Our nurse, Elizabeth, was playing worship music as she prayed over Alvina.  She was about to change up the songs when she felt the Lord say to her heart, “No, let it play.”  And the song “It is well with my soul”  poured out as Alvina took her last breath on this earth.  I am confident that it was very well with Alvina’s soul as she left a legacy of love here and met our Savior face to face.  Because of that, it can now be well with our soul.

Delaney made a video of Alvina’s life to share with us.

 

 

 

 

May Building Update

stacynewell —  May 29, 2018 — 1 Comment

Oh my goodness!  We are making great progress!  Our current plan is to get the front building done and cram in for a few months while we finish the back building.  Our goal is July, but that is completely dependent on when work gets scheduled with our hired trades and how much volunteer time we can log.  Even if it’s August by the time we get in…we are so CLOSE!!!!  Thank you to the countless volunteers who just keep showing up.  Even those of you who only have an hour are very appreciated!  There’s nothing like being super tired and having someone stop by to pick up the trash that seems like an unattainable mountain, but then suddenly it’s gone!

Every day we have people from the community stop by to thank us for our work.  You are already making a difference!

Here’s some of the progress:

The front building is barely recognizable at this point!  We have it mostly painted and the landscaping in the front finished.  We still have to paint that board that runs under the roof line, install new windows, and finish painting the front door.  We will also be adding signage soon.  Those details will make this building sing!!

The back building got most of it’s face ripped off! 😉  This is actually a huge improvement!  Now we can get the roof redone, replace that floating door with a window, pressure wash, and paint.  The fence will come down between the buildings, bright green sod will be laid, and the sidewalk that you can’t see will become our main entry to the courtyard.

Inside we have been doing a ton!  Our new foyer is getting done.  We found old masonry brick under the drywall that is a true treasure.  It got pressure washed last week and it’s just gorgeous!  We will finish the ceilings, floors, get our HVAC completed, get new lights, and install a coffee bar.  I may live in this room…  Also, the stage is getting rebuilt in the auditorium, the bathrooms have been completely demo’ed thanks to the guys from Heritage Church, and we are beginning to put paint on the ceilings and walls.

Right now it feels like we have about a hundred half done projects, but one by one we are all ticking them off the list.  Please pray for everything to continue to go smoothly and that our timeline stays in tact.

How’s the budget?  Well….it’s fine.  We are managing what we have well with a $300,000 loan and the money in the bank.  That being said, everything is expensive and unforeseen things are constant.  While we will make it work within the parameters we have, another $100,000 would complete all the projects and stop us from having to put some much needed things on the back burner.  Would you pray for that as well?  On a praise note, our monthly budget is doing good.  We are meeting our goal every month, which makes the day in and day out ministry much less stressful.  Thank you for your faithful giving while we are in transition.  You are truly a gift to this church and the Kingdom of God.

Our next two work opportunities are Wednesday from 6 pm to 8:30 pm and again on Sunday, June 3 from 2 to 5 pm.  We have landscaping, painting, drywall, trash hauling….come dressed for work!  Someone is also at the building every day from 8 am to 4 pm if you’d like to stop in to work or just to see the progress.  We love visitors!  Especially visitors who bring ice cream bars…thanks Hollie!!!

Whew!  Now let’s get back to work!  Love you all!!!!!

Dear Adam

stacynewell —  May 17, 2018 — 1 Comment

We started North Creek Church with 20 children and 19 adults almost 12 years ago.  As those children who are still at North Creek turn 18, I write a blog just to honor them.  Happy Birthday to Adam Gray!  Enjoy!

 

Dear Adam,

You are a wonderful man of God.  A man with great depth, great strength, and great perseverance.  Ironically, most people reading this letter would skim over those words quickly, but I wrote them with clear intention.  I wrote them because I understand that the depth was carved from grief, the strength was carved from lonely times, and the perseverance was carved from patience in the midst of trials.  Those traits should be held with great regard as they were bought with the highest price.

In Australian Aboriginal society, there is a thing called a walkabout that is a rite of passage for boys between the ages of 10 and 16.  At some point during that time, the adolescent goes to live in the wilderness for about six months to make the spiritual and traditional transition into manhood.  When I think back over your life, I feel like God allowed you to have a very defining time that was your walkabout.  A time when you set off into the wilderness completely alone to come face to face with who you want to be, what you will stand for and whom you will serve.  A time that you stepped into manhood both spiritually and traditionally.

Your mother and I spent many hours grieving over your wilderness journey…it wasn’t pretty!  We questioned God often about why He allowed you to experience some of the things you did and why He wasn’t rescuing you from the challenges.  It seemed from the outside looking in that God sent you to the wolves with a pocketknife.  It was almost unbearable to submit our trust to God and let you navigate each challenge as it came the best way you could.  We had dreamed a much different dream for our kids who helped start our church.  We hoped for mountain top highs, not realizing that a mountain is only majestic because of the valleys

But we were admittedly shortsighted in our worry.  What I see now is the profound value that those days in the wilderness gave to you. It was there that you found that depth, strength, and perseverance that will carry you well through the rest of your life.

Adam, God spoke to my heart about you a very long time ago.  As a boy, not even in elementary school, He told me you would set the church on fire.  Not a literal fire (which at the time was the more believable option amongst your Sunday School teachers), but the figurative one where your unwavering will is a catalyst to inspire others.  I have no doubt now that the very days we were most concerned for you will be the very days we look back on as the ones that molded and shaped you into an immovable force.  

I am very proud of you.  Not for being perfect or having it together through every challenge, but for going on a journey into the wilderness and making it out…not only alive, but as a man.  I have no doubt you will continue this trajectory through the rest of your life.  I also see now that you are armed with far more than a pocketknife.  You carry a mighty sword with you and you have what it takes to conquer whatever may come.

I love you.  It has been my highest honor to watch you grow up.

 

Stacy