Monday, August 24, 2009

The Next Chapter

Hello All,

The last few weeks at church, many of my conversations after church have begun thusly: "So, I hear you are leaving?" After answering "yes" the inevitable question of "why" emerges. Some of my answers amused me more than the inquisitive one. "Well, I usually leave when church is over!" I am still laughing at myself for that one!

The truth is that Lela and I and our kids are leaving Orange County effective August 31st and moving back to the Inland Empire. Our immediate goal is to begin a Bible study, with the hope of seeing what God would do with such a venture. Details on that study will be shared here at a future time.

How we came to this point is a long story. Back in the early part of this year, Lela and I, reflecting upon where we were, began to ponder our next step in ministry. We wanted to honor our desire to be the best parents possible, we wanted the kids near their grandparents and we wanted to work in the areas of our gifting, so as to best serve the Lord. I presented this conversation to Pastor Chris and we mused over it for a few months. Around May, we, Pastor Chris, myself and the board of directors, mutually decided that God had a move in mind. We pursued a few options, but each came short for one reason or another. Around mid-June, we presented a seminal idea of a Church plant in my home town of Colton. Discussions began in earnest, as it seemed that everyone was supportive and Lela and I were actually beginning to look forward to the work of such an endeavor.

The discussions came to an abrupt halt due to my sister's illness and subsequent death. We knew that they needed to continue, but at the time, we just did not have the heart. After the funeral, we presented a proposal to the board, who quickly came to a resolution for a healthy, majority portion of financial support. Our gratitude to the Kingsfield Board for their support, patience and wisdom in their oversight of this venture cannot be underscored.

That brings me to this: This final board decision came about just over a week ago. The timing is perfect, but certainly short, as our lease in Ladera is up and the kids need to begin school somewhere in the next several days. As a result, there is a seeming hastiness, but not all is as it seems and not all will come to as abrupt an end. For the next 3 months, I will continue to be at Kingsfield Church on a frequent basis, teaching the men for the Morning Fill and playing drums with Mr. Brook James on alternating Sundays. That is, unless something radical happens and a vibrant church emerges...who knows!

On the Kingsfield side, I want to let you friends know how much we love and value each of you. I apologize for not being able to share with you all sooner or in a more personal manner. As I mentioned earlier, many of you have come to me over these last several months. Suffice it say for now, that these last three years of my life have been amazing, mostly due to the fact that you are all truly faithful, remarkable believers. It has been a pleasure for Lela and I to be counted among you, and to have had the opportunity to minister, in our small way, to you. Thank you for embracing us from day 1. We have felt great love and that will never be forgotten. In a way, I envy Pastor Aaron Hale, my dear friend, who has come to Kingsfield. I pray that he, Johannah and Los Ninos Hale, will enjoy the warmth of Kingsfield love to an even greater measure.

On the Ladera side, we cannot have asked for better friends and a better community of people. These last two years have been remarkable. Thank you all (and you know who you are!) for your friendship, your generous hearts and your open garages that make this neighborhood sincerely amazing to live in. Your names were an added bonus to all that God did in our lives here. We didn't know that you guys would each be such important parts of our lives. I fear that we will never find as great a neighborhood as this one has been, or at the very least, I fear that my standards may be set too high as a result of having been here among you all. Many of the snapshots in my mind will include alley meals, studies at the McGranahan's and that awesome birthday celebration at Aliso Beach, where the men beat the ladies at Catchphrase! EPIC!

On the other side, we are beginning a Bible study and committing ourselves to watching God unfold what He wants to unfold in our lives and in the lives of those that He would bring into our midst. I pray that what we have seen in the past, will only be a tasty foreshadowing of what God will show in the future. I am as excited and scared as I can be! I cannot wait to see what happens next! It could be a church, it could be a series of Bible studies. The Lord will guide us from here along with the hearts of those who might sense a call to join us. I can't wait to see what names will accompany this group! I'm excited!

Well, there is much to do. This week, come Wednesday night, we will be neck deep in moving out of our place. This weekend, we'll be moving to Lela's gracious Dad and Mom's home in Mentone. There is a lot to pray about from there. I pray that I can count on each of you for that part.

Here's to the God who answers prayers, unfolds vision and does wonders!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez


redbullgang said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
redbullgang said...

Those of us down in the IE say "Welcome home."

The U-Man said...

Let me know if I can be of service.

renee said...

The IE is gaining great teachers of God's word.
You and your family have been a blessing in ours lives we will never forget you. Wednesday nights won't be the same... What do you think about WEBCAM??

We'll catch up on Sundays..

Leslie Limon said...

I want to know more about your plans. I have a soft spot for churches in Colton, because that's where I met and married my hubby! Best of luck to you and the rest of your family. You are all in my prayers.

PDizzle17 said...

Ahh Frank... I second Lisa's comment. And as a former Colton resident for 6 years, I say, "Respect."

Patrick Moore

Shannon said...

I'm excited you guys are gonna be close to us again!!! We'll keep your move in prayer!

sandy said...

God bless you and your family. you left a big impact with your smile warmth and knowledge of God's word with Danny and I and all others that have been blessed to know you. We will miss you but you are in our hearts forever. Your smile, Lela's grace and beauty will always be a gentle reminder of why people cross your path and it's not by accident. thank you so much. Have faith God has a wonderful plan for you.
love and blessings,
Sandy Cuevas

Dan said...

It's going to be hard to change my prayers. I have been praying ever since I heard you were leaving us, that the Lord would somehow get you to stay. But I will do my best. You have been one the biggest influences in my walk and I know that it is time for you influence someone out there in Colton. God Bless.