Each month of an infant is a milestone; every movement, smile, word, and step are exciting and brings joy to the parent’s heart. So, it is with a new church. To view it from its infancy to its seventh month is breathtaking; to see it change, grow and branch out into steps of faith brings joy to my heart and I am sure to the heart of our heavenly Father.
During the month of January, I took the opportunity with our congregation to look back at the accomplishments of 2017. God has blessed us so abundantly! In 2017 we had many exciting events occur such as:
1) 59 first time visitors during regular services.
2) 250 homes knocked canvassed and personal invitations to church services in Land O’ Lakes, Conover and Phelps areas.
3) New church website and Facebook page
4) Installed four new church signs
5) Removed four walls, rewired lighting and speaker system and installed new flooring approx. cost $2,000.00 of materials.
6) Northside Baptist Church in Wausau purchased our pew chairs, folding tables and chairs.
7) Harbor Lights Baptist Church in Ashland donated piano, flags, hymn books and Lord’s Supper materials.
8) Riverview Baptist Church donated hymn books.
Of course, all of this doesn’t include the generous monthly gifts and prayers of many of our readers and supporting churches. In addition, we have an average of 11-15 each Sunday morning service and we are actively trying to grow our Sunday School attendance. Our Sunday School attendance will determine the future of a mid-week service. Financially, we are doing very well and God’s desire to have this church continue is evident through many generous donations. Beyond last year’s achievements, we again plan to: install new carpeting in other areas of the building, install new toilet, repair signage structure that is rotted, repaint decks, install doors and sheetrock in basement, plan and prepare to install doorway for emergency exit in basement for future classroom space, place a kitchen/fellowship area in basement, and lastly remove counter area in foyer for more entry room and overflow seating; these are just a few things that we are praying about. We find that God has started this new church out quicker and stronger than our last church-plant. It amazes us to see God’s hand strongly upon it. Many times, my family and I feel that we are disconnected due to our busy schedules and yet God continues to draw people and bless the church financially. I am amazed at the miracles that happen when we as the creation steps aside and lets the Great Creator take the helm. He certainly knows what He is doing, we just need to get out of His way and enjoy the ride.
January was a thrilling month to the new year. For our family, it was a month of growing in faith as we considered God’s presence and provision in our lives. For our church, God is speaking to hearts and calling men and women to a closer and obedient walk with Him. Oh, how we take for granted the great hymns of the faith like, In the Garden, that whisper a reminder, “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses; And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, The Son of God discloses. And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”
How easy it is to forget that God is in the garden waiting for us, but we need to come to the garden, meet Him there and tarry a little while. Sure, this may be grandma’s favorite song and we may sing it in church, but how faithful are we to that secret time of prayer alone with God? This year, I pray that we each MAKE the time to have a fruitful walk with God.
As always, my family and I would like to thank each of you for your prayers and support.
May the Lord Bless,
Pastor Shawn Suri and family