In all honesty there are days you would never want to have my job. There is a lot of brokenness and pain in the world and being called to be an available “agent of grace” in the midst of that can be humbling, challenging, and even depressing. But there are other days when my job is way better than yours because I get to have a front row seat to see all that God is doing through Hope. I thought I would share a taste with you of the great stuff that’s happened/is happening at Hope.
· Since the beginning of the year we have baptized 20 individuals who are obeying the biblical command to profess through baptism that God has turned them into a new person through their faith in Christ. We have also held our 67th baptismal service since Hope’s beginning in 2002. God is good.
· We have 20 new people who have signed up for Life Groups. Also, Hope now has 3 Young Adult Life Groups. Several us can remember when we were praying actively to get just 1 group going. Overall, we have 17 Life Groups. God is good.
· Summer ’18 saw 15 teenagers go on a mission project in South Carolina and 42 students attend CrossWalk, a summer camp centered around serving kids to make life-changing decisions in following after Christ. God is good.
· We passed the $1,000,000 mark of giving to missions through our budget and are approaching 1.5 million in overall giving to missions since we began in 2002. What a great thing to see a church incarnate the truth “it is more blessed to give than it is to receive”.
· VBS saw almost 100 children between the ages of Pre-K to 5th grade come through our doors in August. They were served by an army of volunteers that appeared to surpass 50 people a day, including a number of teens eager to help.
· Via VBS we put together 50 backpacks full of school supplies that were distributed to one school in Fitchburg and one in Worcester. We had enough supplies left over that we were able to provide them to the teachers at Sterling’s elementary school.
· A minor financial miracle has taken place. We begin our budget year on July 1, the beginning of the summer slump. Typically, that means we enter September having taken 10-20K out of cash on hand to cover operational costs. This year, our giving covered our operations, a clear sign of the growing stewardship of Hope’s people. We are still a long way from fully resourcing all we think God has asked us to do, but it is an encouraging sign. God is good.
· We have more students participating on a regular basis in worship ministry then at anytime in our journey. It is such a great sign for the future. God is good.
I could go on, but you get the idea. God is good.
See you Sunday as look at the specific ways God reveals His will to us.