Sunday, April 12, 2015

Nothing Like the People of God!

I have a little photo review to share from the last few months or so. I was going through these pictures of events and thinking. I am so thankful for the church! There are no people like God's people! But it's not us that are great - it's His Spirit that lives within us. The Spirit of God working through people is a beautiful thing. He didn't have to choose to work with us, but He did! All of these pictures would not mean much if it wasn't for the Holy Ghost! The people of God are a family. It's beautiful to know that through the ups, downs, and in betweens that we all have each other. We have each other's prayers that hold us up when we feel all strength is gone. We are blessed! As preached last year at Pacific Coast Camp by the late Bro. Jason Hood, there is no better life than living for God, and no better place than to be in the Church! If you are in the church, count yourself blessed and don't ever leave
Snack after Kid's Church
Kid's Church decorating! This is the theme we are in currently. Actually, today was the last lesson for this theme, but here are some pictures!

This theme has been all about getting "plugged in" to the power source and learning how to pray and please God! It's been a great theme and God has done some really great things this quarter.

In February our family went down to Santa Clarita, CA for the DeAro's anniversary service. This is another home missions church that is doing well! The presence of God was beautiful and I appreciated the spirit of prayer from the saints in this church. They were so sweet to get up and honor their pastor and pastor's wife. We really enjoyed being there!

Dad preached about the incredible power of sin and what it can do to destroy lives, but then he ended by talking about the incredible power of the Blood of Jesus that can take a sin stained life and make it new. God forgives and restores! It is because of His mercies that we are not consumed! His compassions fail not... they are new every morning. We had a good altar call with saints and sinners seeking God.
Pastor DeAro called his kids up to the platform and spoke a little bit about them. It was very touching to hear him talk about their willingness to move and start a church, and their good attitude. He is one grateful dad! These people have all sacrificed willingly!
The DeAro Family. Aren't they precious? :)

Also back in February, we had our first official youth snow trip!! We got up before the sun did and met at the church, piled into the church van, and headed on our merry little way. This has been an even lighter winter than usual (for California) and we were a bit worried as we got closer to Tahoe and still weren't seeing snow! It took us quite a while of driving until the snow became consistent enough for us to sled in.
We stopped at Mt. Rose, grabbed the sleds, and headed up the hill!
Trinity and Miranda with the sun lovingly shining in their eyes.
I would say Bell and Jocelyn got a leeeeetle tired. Tired enough to lay in the snow for a while! lol

Then of course, what's a snow trip without a little adventure? We hopped in Sis. Halstead's van to drive to a restroom nearby, only to find that it was closed. Thankfully, Sis. Halstead thought to bring toilet paper. It was definitely a funny memory with about seven of us that had to.. be relieved. Hopefully it doesn't happen again, though! We'll leave that topic alone... Moral of the story: Always bring toilet paper on snow trips.

Unflattering pic of Trin and I. lol!
Zach and I decided to reenact an old childhood photo, but we switched it up a little. Lol! In the picture above I believe we were about 3 and 5 years old; somewhere around that anyhow!
Trying to have that happy-go-lucky-excited-child expression.

In other news, Jelani has been really seeking the Holy Ghost and is sooo close! It's awesome to see him praying the way he has been. I know God will fill him really soon! Looking forward to his baptism as well!
God's hand is on this little boy and I believe He will use him to do great things. He is already being a witness and has a love for the things of God. Jesus loves the little children!

Some Kid's church snap shots!

Recently in March, (the week of On Course) The Kevin Nix family (from Missouri) came down to be with us for services and On Course youth conference hosted by the Atwater church on the Merced Fairgrounds. Bro. Nix preached some awesome messages at our church and there was a beautiful touch of God in both that Sunday morning and evening service. Then on Monday we went to the Bay Area to do some serious fellowshipping and sight seeing!
Bro. & Sis. Nix, Eric, and Alyssa.

My brother and I and these kids... we were so meant to be friends. lol Paul couldn't go to the Bay Area because of work (sadly), so some of the pics are without him.
We got real spiritual for a little bit.
Then I don't know what happened...!
But Alyssa and I got the victory and took care of Buddha in Ross. On a side note - I'm tired of the increase of false goddage (new word?) available in home d├ęcor stores! I suppose I could put up a big sign over them that says "these false gods are lame, they can't even hear you dude!" But I don't think Ross would appreciate that, so I'll just be a good witness instead. Hehe
I think we all bring out the maturity in each other! Or nah...
A game of Dutch Blitz at the hotel at On Course!
Paul, Eric, Alyssa and I.
More On Course fellowship!
Heading home after an amazing conference! Things have seriously not been the same since On Course and the prayer meeting that followed that Saturday. I feel something has broke in our church and in our youth group and good things are continuing to happen in the Spirit. I want to be a part of it  - the wonderful things God is doing and the souls He is saving!
Paul and I with Eric and Alyssa at the hotel they stayed at in Fresno, right before we said goodbye. We were so sad we almost all cried... but quickly overcame the tears with a bit of humor. lol!
Some of our kids praying at On Course on the last night.
Fellowship after the spontaneous prayer meeting that broke loose that Saturday. You can scroll back a few posts to "Becoming a Spark Plug" and read about it there.

So thankful for good friends! These are some of the best! I'm not sure what was happening in this picture, though.
I figured I would end this post with the remaining pictures I have from our November trip to Peru. These pictures are all from Lima on a Sunday. There was a baby dedication that morning! (Aww)
 We sort of split into sessions and the youth group went upstairs. Elder Nix asked my brother to prepare something and speak to the young people, so that he did. I might be a bit biased, but I say he did very well and was a blessing. Afterwards, the youth leader got up and talked a bit more, then we began to sing "Cristo Yo Te Amo," one of my all time favorite Spanish courses. Our youth group taught the Lima church this song back in 2013 and they have been singing it since! It was funny to go back and be remembered partially because of that song.

 The presence of the Lord fell in a beautiful way on that group of young people. I love Peru and cherish the memories I have there with those awesome people. There is something very special about them that I cannot explain. Keep them in prayer!
 Some of the boys that played their guitars together and sang. They did well!! God is using them in their church.
 The youth leader. He is very energetic and funny, but you can tell he has a love for the young people and the work of God there in Lima.
 Elder Nix translating for Paul.

 Kelly, myself, and Marem after the youth service. Love these girls!

 I think it has become tradition to take pictures with this teeny door. It was obviously made for Peruvians. Lol!
 Paul, Bro. Keith Nix, Dad, and Elder Nix.
Sis. Jasmine got up and sang "The Blood" and was anointed. I love this sweet lady! It was touching to see her sing through her trials. When you pray, remember this dear sister and her family.

Yes... truly, there is no people like the people of God. I am so blessed to have such an awesome family, church family, friends, and acquaintances in different parts of the word. I feel so very, very thankful.


Roulini Panggabean said...

Hi Jen! Wow so many pictures and stories behind them all. I'm excited to see the work of God, happy you are doing well, thankful for God has done and laughing at the good, clean hilairty. :D .

Jennifer Connell said...

Thanks, little Ro! ;) lol Hope all is well!

Tselot "Coco" Kifle said...

I really enjoyed this post! I think your getting the ol' blogging spirit back!

Jennifer Connell said...

Glad you enjoyed it... and yeah, it comes and goes! lol