Monday, October 4, 2010

A 10th Anniversary Perspective

     He is the truth.
     The year was 2000. My friend and classmate had just received calls to start an exploratory outreach mission in NYC. Pastor Gabb and I were doing all of the regular things and trying to do some irregular things. Although it was hard at times it felt great to be doing ministry to be doing what God had called us to do. One of the more frustrating moments came on what is the most joyous of days, Christmas. We were so excited about sharing the good news about the Savior of the world to the people of the world that we were reaching out to in Woodside, Queens. This particular time we sent out mailings to the neighborhood from a list we had gotten. We designed the invitation. We printed out all of the labels. Members of the church had put a good deal of time into the invitation. Then the first thing happened, the snow came and it came and it came. But that did not deter us we were still bound to have a service through which we could tell all of those people who received the invitation and came to Sure Foundation about the baby Jesus. The time for the service came and we had a total of one visitor. Olga, a lady from the neighborhood, had received our invitation but had only come because her church had decided not to have service that day. As a young mission pastor it was my first and possibly my toughest moment. I was disappointed at the lack of response. I was frustrated with the lack of numbers. I was mad at myself for not doing more or doing it better.
     Fast forward ten years from that day. The church which we started, Sure Foundation Lutheran Church, asks me to preach for the ten year anniversary service. It would be my first time back since I left seven years ago. The theme for the sermon was 'God created something out of nothing: He makes the way, he is the truth and he gives life.' I had no idea how true it was that from the meager 2nd floor store front office/worship space to what is there now. When I got to Sure Foundation to prepare for the service, I was in awe at God’s work at Sure Foundation.
     Sunday morning comes and I start greeting people some for the first time, an older woman comes up to me and asks if I remembered her. I had to say that I did not. She then proceeds to tell me the story from her perspective of Sure Foundations first Christmas service. As she tells the story I realize it is Olga. She ended up leaving her church because they no longer held to the Bible as God’s Word and started to twist passages in Scripture to fit their ideas. When she could no longer take being told that she was wrong for standing on the truth of Scripture she came to Sure Foundation. She told Pastor Olson that she had gotten their invitation. He remarked to me his shock because they had not done mass mailings for quite a while (probably due to somebody's ranting about them not being effective). She had the invitation from that Christmas service. She went through instruction and has been a member of Sure Foundation for two years. Praise be to God for the 10 years of ministry at Sure Foundation Lutheran Church and to all of those workers, called or lay, that worked and are working to preach the truth of the gospel.
     Aaron Robinson
    (One of two founding pastors of Sure Foundation Lutheran Church)