Thursday, October 01, 2009

...Go!...

Hello All,

Last night, we began our Bible study at the Gonzalez Center in Colton. I admit being completely overwhelmed the day of, mostly due to the anticipation. I had no idea what to expect. How many, if any, would come? Would they be young or old in the faith? How would the room feel? What songs would be appropriate for a group that has never worshipped together? Believe it or not, not knowing the answers to these questions really made it a difficult assignment. Usually, you at least know who you are speaking to, which is helpful in penning sermons. I was completely flying blind and the questions loomed large as the night quickly approached.

The answers came fairly quickly. 15 people joined us for the evening, spanning the spectrum from young and old, single and married, young and seasoned in the faith. It was a blessing to be there with them, most I have known for many years. A few were students that I met while they were in Junior High. A few I met when I married their daughter/niece! One couple I met in the first seconds of my life, though I do not remember that! One couple drove out from Cherry Valley, a healthy 35 minute drive, to be with us. Their presence, as well as the rest, encouraged my heart to know that we are stepping in the right direction.

We worshipped and then we studied Genesis 1:1. I had prayed and wondered about starting in Genesis. I wondered if it would be the right book. Once we got going, I felt that the choice was perfect and it set the tone for the weeks to come. (For those interested in the notes from the study, you can find them right here.) As I was teaching, I felt such joy and excitement to be able to share the Lord's heart, knowing that barring some extreme circumstances, I will not be interrupted in having the opportunity to continue week by week. There are no visa issues here in America as there were in Spain, and this is not a guest teaching experience! With the Lord's help, I will be able to build week by week with a group of people that God desires to sow His Word into.

At the end of the night, I was glad for what God had been doing in our midst. This morning, as I woke up, I began praying for each one, that God would allow His Word from last night, to soak deeply into their souls and that He would meet them in every one of their situations. I prayed specifically when I could and generally otherwise. It amazed me to experience the joy that that discipline brought to my heart, as well as the earnest desire to add to it next Thursday night.

What happens from here is a mystery. Will this be a long term Bible study or will this become a church body? I do not know. One thing is for sure : The ball is rolling! We have begun something that we pray will be a blessing to as many as God intends. With each passing week, we pray that the Lord would confirm that His hand is upon this. I am not worried about how many God brings, as that will always be His business. He is in charge of bringing increase. I'm just the farmer, sowing the seed. My concern is that those who come to the Thursday Night Bible Study will find an undershepherd waiting to feed and care for them. My bible college professor, Pastor Larry Taylor, said it best when he said, "Make sure that your sheep are the best loved, best fed sheep in the world." That is what I hope to live by.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. Both prayer and encouragement continue to be welcome!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

3 comments:

jordan said...

this is great Frank! thanks for keeping us (me) updated :)

Mel (AKA Dad, Grampa) said...

That's awesome Frank! We are excited for you and Lela. Can't wait to see what the Lord will do...Paulette

Simone Knepper said...

like