Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Recap of Friend's Day Weekend

Okay, now that I got it out of my system about my let down this week, I want to re-cap what's right about this week...our Friend's Day at church. If people missed it, they really missed it.

Lots of newcomers came to our guest reception at 10 am, and enjoyed a continental breakfast. After an exciting “countdown” in the sanctuary, the service started with great energy and excitement. The place filled up quickly -- there were not many empty seats at all even though we recently added 62 chairs to the sanctuary! The service featured special multi-media clips, drama, and much more. More than anything we are rejoicing that four people committed their lives to Christ! Our hospitality room was packed at the conclusion of the service. All of our guests received brand new New Living Translation Bibles as a gift from the church as well as bookmarks that gave all the info about the church to place in their Bibles and remind them of what’s happening at the most happening church in Tampa Bay! Most of the people in the hospitality room said, “WE LOVED IT! WE REALLY WANT TO MAKE THIS OUR CHURCH!”

One of our members sent us the following message in an e-mail: “My brother-in-law was touched by the worship, had tears in his eyes listening to the words of the songs. They loved the church and one of their comments was “Everyone is so friendly!!!” Great job by everyone!!!”

Sunday night Larry and I had newcomer's night at our home as we always do once a month now. We have a packed house each month. God has been so good to us. We also have the pastoral staff here to meet and greet people. This past week was a special newcomer's night indeed. Newcomer Antonio Torres asked if he could say something to those gathered. He then went on to tell his story. Antonio recently moved to Tampa. He did not have a relationship with Jesus. In fact he did not even have a friend here. Three weeks ago, he and his girlfriend Iluminada visited the church for the first time. In that service, Antonio gave his heart to Jesus.

He then said this, "When I came to Tampa 3 weeks ago, I did not have a relationship with Jesus. I did not have family here, nor friends. Now, I am a Christian and have a new family. That is you, my brothers and sisters here at at the church. As a family, there is something that I want to share with you." He then turned to his girlfriend, got down on one knee and said, "Iluminada, I know God brought us together for a purpose. I love you... will you marry me?" Although this was a surprise to those present, everyone began clapping and cheering. Pastor Aaron said, "Once the news of this gets out, all the singles will be coming to our newcomer's fellowships, thinking, 'am I next??!'" It was so awesome. We took a bunch of pictures of them to give to them to commemorate the occasion. They asked Larry and I to marry them and they want to get married on the beach.


What a grand weekend it was...there is so much to tell, I could go on forever about the goodness of God, but to sum it up: FANTASTIC WEEKEND AND WE'RE IN THE NEXT LEVEL!

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