I love how I see God growing our church and the evidence of how God is using our church to impact our community. Everywhere I go, I run into E-Free people and thoroughly enjoy listening to them tell me about how God is using the Gaylord E-Free Church in their lives. I'm serious when I say that E-Free people are everywhere in Gaylord. Here are some examples from just the past couple of hours.
After a wonderful service that ended with a very moving celebration of communion, I was enjoying talking with folks out in the lobby before heading down to teach week #3 of our "Get Acquainted" class with many of our new folks. As I stood out in the lobby I met a mom and her two kids, one a teenager and the other elementary age. It was their 3rd Sunday at E-Free and what a thrill it was to hear them share how much they loved the services and how God was using it in their lives. The older girl introduced me to her boyfriend who was in church for the very first time. They asked me to keep praying for two other members of their family including their husband/father, that they would soon start coming to E-Free as well.
As soon as Laura and I were done with our part of the "Get Acquainted" class we headed over to the hospital to see one of our newer church members who had surgery over the weekend. Again, what a thrill to have him share with me how it had been nothing but a string of people from E-Free who had stopped in to visit with him. As we talked, his nurse came in. This patient said to her, "Let me introduce you to my pastor." She replied, "He's my pastor too - I am in the balcony most every Sunday!" She then shared how much her kids love sitting in church with her. How cool!
Laura and I then headed down to the main lobby of the hospital on our way to grab a bite to eat. As we passed through the waiting area there was a lady there sitting alone. She seemed like her heart was very heavy. She caught our eye and spoke to us. Come to find out, she also attends E-Free and was at the hospital for some injections prior to a very serious cancer related procedure scheduled for this weekend. She cried as she shared her story with us and Laura and I had the privilege of praying with her and for her and giving her hugs and encouragement. I like to call these type of encounters, "Divine Appointments."
Then we headed down to a local dive to grab some lunch. There we ran into two more families from E-Free and enjoyed chatting and laughing with each one of them. All of these stories took place in under a 3-hour time-frame. It's true...E-Free people are everywhere and they are making a difference in every part of our community.