All I can say after yesterday is WOW!! We feel soooo blessed to be a part of the Highland Oaks Church of Christ!! Yesterday was one of the most inspiring worship services I have ever been a part of. We began the first of October with an Imagine Campaign. It includes updating the auditorium (the sound is horrific) and building not only for members but for groups outside of Highland Oaks that use our building weekly. It includes the Genesis Alliance to train and equip Hispanic ministers to plant churches in the metroplex and beyond. It also includes planting the Way of Life Church of Christ in East Hollywood, California where gangs are very prevalent. And finally it includes the River of Life Youth Center, which when finished will also include a fully staffed community center so the kids in the neighborhood around the church will have a safe place to get together.
Yesterday was pledge Sunday for the campaign. Each family in the church is pledging what they can do over the next 3 years to further the work in God's kingdom. There were baskets placed around the podium and all around the auditorium. They started with the ministers, elders and their family coming up to the front. The leaders at H.O. believe in leading by example. They all placed there commitment pledges in the baskets first and then families went and placed their pledges in the baskets. It was so incredible to watch so many families put there trust in God and what can be done in His Kingdom.
I forgot to mention that all of this started 2 years ago when the elders and ministers began praying for God to lead them where He wanted them to go. Several months into praying, Highland Oaks received a 1 million dollar grant from Austin Street to plant churches! Part of that is being used to plant the Hispanic Churches and the East Hollywood Church with many more to come. Two years later the Imagine campaign was born. We are just very excited to be here and working for Glory of God's kingdom!
To top things off yesterday we got to be a part of the Highland Oaks Annual Family Carnival. Oh my goodness!! What an experience! There were literally thousands of people there and at the end of the day a trick or treat line that was actually 4 lines with all 4 lines going half way around the building! (If not for the 4 lines it probably would have lapped itself around the building!!) What a blessing is was to see those kids faces light up when they walked away with an Albertson's bag full of candy! KLTY was broadcasting from the carnival, there were over 20 rides, games, climbing things, bouncing things, funhouses, etc. There were cokes, cotton candy, popcorn, chili, hot dogs and pies galore! (On a side note, I entered a coconut and cherry pie. One of the them actually one 1st place! I'm not sure which yet. But that was kind of exciting! :) They even had a booth for people to be able to get immunizations and flu shots.
It was all quite overwhelming. But what a blessing it was to get to serve all of those people and touch their lives. It was truly an exciting and very blessed and inspired day! And a great start to what promises to be a great week! Have a good one!
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