There’s not enough room on the internet to write about all that happened on Sunday morning, so the next 1000 words will have to do! It was our Annual Baptisms and Brunch for North Creek Church.
On a funny note, the Pacific Northwest has had the warmest summer in recent memory, but we managed to schedule our outdoor service on one of the two rainy days all summer…thankfully the sun came out for the only two hours we needed it to and we were able to have an absolutely beautiful morning! We had a plan for bringing it inside, but we simply couldn’t have fit everyone, so we were happy to pull off our original plan! The worship team actually practiced under tents as it rained on them, while Rachael and I dried off every chair just before service! With a little extra coffee and a lot of gracious people, it was a wonderful morning!
Also, our team is the best! Walking around a cold, wet field at 7:00 am on a Sunday morning and seeing ahead to three hours later with a full swimming pool for baptizing, hundreds of chairs, tables of food, tanks of coffee, games for toddlers, and a stage full of anointed musicians…you realize that the greatest gift of ministry are the people who are neck deep in it with you!
We had the honor of hosting our Northwest District Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Don Ross and his wife Brenda, this weekend as well. It was a privilege to have him be a part of such a fun morning, but he also stayed to tell his story of transition and change to our staff. Good words of advice as we go forward to all that God has for us!
I also realized that North Creek may get a reputation for crying and hugging after Sunday…my goodness! We baptized 14 people and each story was as powerful as the last. It was TOUGH to watch without getting a little misty…or sobbing uncontrollably….whichever. I want to highlight my favorite part of each changed life:
Carlo: Carlo is one of our young adults and an amazing man of God! He’s such an articulate person and reminded us that God is proud of us when we do our best to honor Him. Isn’t that the truth? We feel so unworthy sometimes, but Jesus LOVES us deeply.
Mathew: Mathew is new to his faith and used his time in the tank to repent to his parents because Jesus has showed him that his actions aren’t honoring to them. He was excited to give his life to Christ to allow Him to change those habits.
Trey: Trey is a teenager who feels a call of God on his life. He feels like Jesus changed his desires. My favorite line of his testimony is “I say today that my old sinful self is dead, and my new life in Christ is alive!” Isn’t that powerful?!?!
Andrew: Another teenager living for Jesus! Andrew shared about feeling empty before meeting Jesus and how Jesus is setting him free from depression. Andrew has a kind, gentle heart and Jesus has a great plan for him!
Sean and Amanda Riley: Husband and wife shared about their journey of growing in Jesus together and went underwater simultaneously. What the crowd couldn’t see is when they came up, they immediately turned, embraced, and cried together. All I could think was that the generations behind them will be different because of that moment.
Aaron: Aaron is one of North Creek kids, and what a story! His parents adopted him from China, so right before his baptism he wanted a letter to his birth mom read aloud. Aaron opened with, “Dear China Mom…” He went on to tell her that he hopes she meets Jesus someday. Isn’t that an absolutely moving picture of adoption? God is so good!
Drew: Drew’s parents, Joe and Kris, are our forever friends. Kris is our Hazel Dell youth pastor and they helped plant North Creek when Drew was just a toddler. Drew is a tender person with a deep love for Jesus in his life. He didn’t make it through his own testimony as he crumbled and wept over Jesus’ forgiveness for him. When we planted North Creek, we did it for our kids to watch and live out a journey of faith. He only knows this amazing story of ministry, but I know God will write another amazing journey of ministry in his future.
Ashley: What caught me up in Ashley’s testimony was the time she took to paint the picture of gratitude towards her parents. She honored them well through tears and words. She also honored Jesus as well as she spoke of her own inconsistency in following Him, but He remarkable consistency in loving her.
McKenzie: Jesus has given me a mandate to pray for this one, so we took a moment out of her baptism to call out to Jesus for her future. She is anointed by God in a way I don’t think she understands yet. McKenzie shared about how God connects with her in worship!
Kennedy: My daughter. Oh, my daughter. Sometimes her love for Jesus and the wisdom she has absolutely stops me from breathing. I’ll write another blog this week in tribute to that moment. It was a great one!
Justin: Justin’s testimony was the shortest we got and I loved it! He gave Jesus the credit for changing Him and ended with “I am a simple man.” It might have been short, but isn’t that the most profound? It has very little to do with all of our stuff we have done or haven’t done. Jesus is a life-changer and our job is to follow Him without complicating the story! 🙂
Maria: Sweet, joyful Maria! Maria has been searching for Jesus for a long time and recently North Creek Church was a catalyst for bringing a lifetime of information into a life changing relationship. She flew out of that water with her arms high in victory and a smile as wide as His love. It was a precious moment!
Sydney: Sweet Sydney! She is our worship leader’s daughter as well as our kid coordinator’s daughter! She has a kind and generous spirit. The hug she gave mom at the end of her baptism was a touching tribute to a long heritage of ministry families.
One of the greatest gifts God has ever given me is the privilege of being a part of this church….
You can find all of the photos at: https://www.facebook.com/CoffeeChurch