A few weeks ago someone asked me the question: “What gets you out of bed in the morning?” Besides the obvious answer (that I have to get out of bed in order to get to the coffee), the real answer is that I get out of bed every day because I get to be a part of seeing God do amazing things in the lives of people that show up at New Life every week. The stories that I really love are of the people who haven’t been to a church in a very long time who decide to give it a shot and find that this community, and the God who is shaping it, is far more than what they expected.
Here’s a short story from Sandra about the way God has been working in her life over the last several months, and the part that this incredible group of people have played in helping her take new steps to follow Jesus:
I still remember walking into New Life Assembly for the first time August 30, 2015. I came with a friend who has been going for years. Being raised Catholic I attended church growing up but after leaving for college that stopped. As the years passed quickly I always indentfied myself as more of a spiritual person than a religious person. I believed in God and was thankful for the blessed life I lived. I thought that was enough. Maybe I would have went through life thinking it was. After suffering a tragic loss, any amount of faith I may have had slowly slipped away. As I moved forward and dealt with the loss I believed I could do it without the help of God. Many years later, although I had moved forward, I kept thinking something was missing. After a while I started to realize perhaps it was me not having faith in God.
That was a big reason that brought me to New Life Assembly. Walking into New Life all I was expecting was that perhaps I would go to church now and again. I was hoping to find some faith I lost and stop being angry at God. What I found there was so much more. The first service Pastor Keith was talking about how they were doing water baptisms after the service. I remember after the service I said to my friend I enjoyed the service but there was no way I was ever getting dumped in a river. I also said there was no way I would ever be taking any bible classes.
Little did I know I would sign up for not 1 but 2 partnership groups this winter. On top of those groups I also have been attending all the women’s monthly community events. Both weekly groups, although different, were wonderful experiences . I met people I may not have met, formed new friendships, and created bonds that can only happen when you are in a setting where people are comfortable being themselves. This happens because it’s such a non judgmental and caring setting. The women’s community group is such a fun time and I love hanging out with such positive, amazing ladies.
I walked away from those all the weekly groups feeling I was building a personal relationship with God. I found my faith restored, and most importantly I found hope. I was never afraid to ask questions, and being new I had many. I found the group helped me move forward with my faith quicker than just going to the Sunday service. The services are amazing, however I found the partnership groups to really be a next step. I encourage you all to try out a group. If you’re hesitant feel free to talk to me about it – I am always happy to talk more about my experience. After taking the partnership groups it really helped me make the decision to begin the process of becoming a follower of Jesus. The next big step for me… A water baptism (when I am ready, of course). Another thing that is amazing about New Life Assembly is that nobody pressures you. You can do this in whatever time frame that feels comfortable.
I am counting the days till the next partnership group starts… 24 days from now…see I am really counting!