Hello F.B.C. Family!
2020 is coming to an end, and when we look back on what it has held, I think many would echo the sentiment that we are not sad to see it go. There were plenty of challenges, disruptions, profound losses, and even great difficulties that we had to navigate and overcome. It tested our patience, produced endurance, and my prayer is that as we look back with 2020 hindsight (see what I did there?) we can also look and see how God was and indeed is faithful! I’d like to spend some time sharing a bit about how we saw God’s faithfulness throughout this year, specifically in our Student and Children’s Ministries!
In the midst of cancelled/postponed events, one of the greatest opportunities was creatively holding new activities! We certainly missed our Easter Egg Hunt, but we had fun on social media having a “Digital Easter Egg Hunt” and on Mother’s Day, we got to drop off crafts and plants for kids to do together! We were able to bring back SONquest in the fall to meet the needs of families who wanted to attend, but needed that childcare. This allowed us to continue to provide more ministry and growth opportunities for our families! We have seen some new faces and familiar ones and been able to have moments of fun, study, and worship! An especially great highlight was our Birthday Party for Jesus!
Our IMPACT students were able to use Zoom so well to continue to gather, pray for each other, make some cookies, and even creatively play some games! We of course had our fair share of cancellations, from the Ski Trip to Summer Camp, but we are able to find some unique alternatives like our camp of evening activities and having our Wednesday nights out in the field! Through all this we have even seen some growth of our group as some new friends have joined and gotten plugged in! We even got to have our Christmas party, even though it looked a bit different, but still was such a special evening of fun, some silly games, and most importantly, looking at the Christmas story and what it means for us!
I want to take a moment and offer some vulnerable encouragement to any families reading this. This year has had so many moments that were discouraging. Cancelled events, disrupted traditions, and changing conditions seem to make this pandemic even worse as the very things which usually are so comforting seemed like they could not happen. Ashley and I certainly battled fatigue, wrestled with patience, and often have some very passionate, if sometimes frustrated, moments of prayer in our own personal lives! Yet through it all, I truly believe we can look back, and see how good God is in the most true sense of the word “good.” Maybe this sounds similar to your life, or maybe your family has had to deal with even more loss or pain this year. Maybe this season in particular we look at the stories in the Bible of how faithful people cry out to God asking “Where are you?” or “Why me?” and it resonates with us a little more. But as we approach a new year, let me end on the most eternal encouragement we have: God is still King. No earthly chaos, no matter how devastating, can challenge God’s goodness or His sovereignty. This was so often the life raft we clung to, both in our personal studies, ministry in general, and prayers for the nation! It is a truth that we can hold fast to, and while it may not end suffering or change the problems at hands, casts them all in the light of our Hope that we are promised riches far beyond any difficulty this world has to offer. So as we go into the New Year, it is with the same hope that brothers and sisters in faith have clung to for thousands of years: that God truly loves us, so much, that He sent His son Jesus to live the perfect life we could never live, so that when He died on the cross for our Sins, He could take our place and bear the cost of Sin while purchasing eternal life for us, and giving us access to God through relationship, so that we could partner with God in the kingdom work of discipleship! Let us truly celebrate this New Year with that same truth and go bold in 2021 excited about all that God has in store for us!