TBC Update #8: Drum Roll Please…

March 5, 2014

a.k.a. TBC

noun

  1. The belief that God isn’t done with us yet. That our stories are not yet finished. That the best is yet to come.
  2. A financial campaign where hundreds of individuals and families have committed and contributed toward making the nZone a safe place for people to discover God and to allow us to set aside funds to expand our ministry impact in Haymarket.

The Big News!


We’ve been asking you all the pray. We’ve been asking you all to be generous. We’ve been asking you to partner with us to make the nZone and even safer place for people to discover God. In December we asked for year-end donations to finance cafe construction among other things.

Someone answered the challenge.

About two weeks ago we received the following note along with a check:

We are pleased to present you with the enclosed grant in the amount of $183,000.00 made on behalf of an anonymous donor.

The donor(s) wish to convey the following message: “Recommend using $22,875 as a tithe e.g. church planting and using $160,125 for New Life Christian Church’s nZone Cafe Project and related costs. Goal is to help establish a loving, friendly, nourishing, and encouraging environment within New Life Christian Church that shines as a welcome to all.

Yay God! We know this is not simply the generosity of an anonymous donor, though it is that. It’s really the work of God in their life prompting them to join with Him in His work through us.

Construction should begin in the next several weeks. Our plans are approved. We have a letter of intent with our construction company and are quickly closing in on a final contract. How awesome is that?!

As we move forward let me share a couple things. We are celebrating the generosity demonstrated by this donor. But that does not mean we are financially set. There is still much work to be done. We still need to replace over half of our roof. We still need permanent outdoor signage that represents us well and fully complies with county regulations. We still want a permanent baptistry/water feature. We still need to pay our bills and prepare for our lump sum payment due this Fall.

Additionally, some may feel that since their gifts aren’t as big as the above, that their gifts don’t matter. That’s just not true. Every gift, no matter the size, is part of what God is doing here. It’s not the dollars you give, it’s what God does in your heart and in the hearts of those who come into this place that matters. So while all gifts might not be of the same dollar amount, we value them just the same and honor and recognize all the sacrifices you have made and continue to make.

So please continue to pray. Pray that our construction goes well. Pray that God will provide all we need to accomplish His work here. Pray that people will give their lives over to Him and that God will get all the glory.


The Even Bigger News!!!


Cafe’s are great… but life change is what we’re all about! The cafe is just a means toward our end of being a safe place where people discover God. Here’s the story of one man finding God through New Life and therefore through your generosity:

As I sit here and think about how I got to this point in my life, I find myself feeling overwhelmed. I feel overwhelming gratitude for my small group leader, my family, my friends, and to God. I am humbled by a God that forgives me over and over again, and a God that loves me even though I fail Him regularly. I am in awe of how God changes people and how He has changed me.

When I was ten years old, I was baptized at my Church in Pennsylvania, with a sprinkling of water on my head. Honestly, I don’t remember much about it. I think I was just happy that I could be a big boy and start taking communion, which always looked very tasty to me as it passed by.

When I met my wife, I used church as an excuse to get together with her each weekend. My wife always believed in God, but for the most part, I went through the motions and don’t know if I truly understood the depth of what I had been taught. I certainly didn’t live it. I thought most Christians were hypocrites, and I didn’t like the way they talked and I felt like they just judged people. Kind of ironic, when you think about it. So, after we got married, my wife and I stopped going to church. We had our two beautiful daughters a few years later. But, as the kids got older, they started to ask a lot of questions. The Santa Claus questions I could handle, but the ones about God were not as easy. Especially since I didn’t really believe it myself and I think the girls could tell I was just regurgitating what I learned from my parents and from Sunday school. I later realized that if I don’t believe what I am telling them or if I don’t live the life that I was encouraging them to live, then it was all a lie and they wouldn’t follow it either. The, “do as I say and don’t do as I do” motto was not working.

My wife and I struggled during this time, and I felt empty, unappreciated, and alone. My wife was feeling unhappy and unloved, and she was not getting the security that she needed from her husband. My selfishness and our lack of communication brought her and I to the lowest point our marriage had ever seen. My wife went to sleep most nights early, but I would stay up and lose myself in a movie, video games, or watching tv.  Both of us tried to escape reality this way. We were living two separate lives and both of us were miserable. We knew that something had to change.

We decided to try New Life and a couple of other local churches as well. We went occasionally, but didn’t make any permanent friends as we weren’t sure if we were going to stay for very long. Eventually, we decided to make a change and go to church every single Sunday. We rushed in late on Sundays, got our snacks and drinks, and then hurried out after the service before anyone could talk to us or ask for money. The services were good, but everyone still felt like a stranger and we didn’t really feel like we fit in. We finally made the decision to join a life group.

My wife and I were a little nervous about going to a life group as it was our first time doing anything like this. I don’t know if it was the message, the honesty of the group, or the tacos they served that night, but we decided that coming back for another week was a good idea. Every week that we came back to group, my wife and I became closer as a couple. Every meeting I had with our group leader and the more I read about Jesus, the closer I became to God. The more I read and searched for God, the more I was given answers.

But the day I decided to give my life back to Christ was the day that I realized what Faith was. I always thought that Faith was about blindly believing what people told you to believe. But I was wrong. It is about searching for God, finding answers, accepting the truth, and finally realizing that you might not understand it all. But you still believe anyway.

And one day….It finally hit me. I am the leader of my family. I am responsible for my family’s physical health when I make them food to eat. I am responsible for my family’s happiness, and I set the tone for how my house feels on a daily basis. I have the power to make everyone in my house miserable, sad, and afraid. But I also have the power to make everyone in my house feel loved, safe, and encouraged. This is a huge responsibility! I also have the responsibility of being the spiritual leader in my house and lead my family to God. Getting baptized is my public commitment to obeying God, and my personal statement to my wife and my children that I will lead them and love them in the way that God has asked me to. Not by word, but by my example.


 

’til Next Time…


So as you partner with us in prayer, financially, or however you are a part of New Life, remember, it’s God’s church. He builds it. And He builds it for His glory that more people might come to know Him as we celebrate in the story above.

God bless and see you at the nZone cafe in a few months!

-pat

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