Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lessons learned

I shared my revelation with my husband and mom. In retrospect, I would've waited alot longer before I told that to anyone because it changed our direction and set the wheels in motion for all of us to try to "figure things out" and get the job done. That in itself is not bad, but God needed to stay in the center of the project and somehow He did not. The doors for evil were opened and the result would be that the bookstore opening would be postponed.

One of the things that is important to know about the bookstore/church at this point is that our inspired mission was to "demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ through acts of service". We were there to serve a small community of 300 in one of the poorest towns and counties in the state. In case you're a person who knows the "church" as a building, I just want to clarify that the "church" is actually the entire body of those who put their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. It actually has very little to do with a building except that "churches" (groups of believers) choose to purchase buildings. In America we're so accustomed to "going to church" that we may not understand this important distinction.

The other thing that's important to note is that the bookstore itself was an act of service because the books were being made available to people on a "pay what you can" basis with the coffee being sold at regular retail to sustain the church. Understanding the economics of the area, we didn't want anyone to not have access to a book due to ability (or lack of) to pay.

My husband and I did find a church home last year after the opening was postponed. Actually it happened the same weekend as we were due to open, which is pretty interesting. Shortly after we started attending, one of our pastors made a kind of sarcastic joke about how "it never happens that someone tries to plant a church and evil moves in". That gave me alot of peace, knowing that what happened was normal and that here my pastor was talking about something we'd just gone through. What happened shook all of us, but I know that it especially tested mine and my mom's faith. It didn't test our faith in God, like we questioned whether He was real. It forced us to take a hard look at where we put our trust and where we were in our own relationships with Him.

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