“All my life You have been faithful. All my life You have been so, so good!”
The lyrics and melody resounded from the spot where the outdoor stage had once stood, behind the coffee bar, and reverberated through the shattered church buildings and up into the clear, blue sky.
It was church as usual, without the building. We gathered in the open air, as a family, and affirmed our love for God and for each other. The place we were meeting, the patio behind Lighthouse Coffee, had just a few days before been a swirl of debris, upended tables, chairs, and plants. The stage roof was literally scattered to the four winds. The kindness of friends and strangers alike had brought order and created a space for us to worship this beautiful morning.
This past week was difficult but the grace was there. I slept little. Worked long hours. Talked to many well-wishers. Was interviewed by two networks. And through it all was sustained by the prayers of many.
So many people asked how they could help. There were so many who offered their support. Although the insurance should, in the end, cover most of the repairs, we were hit with a $24000 deductible. I am pleased to say that through the generosity of many that this goal has been exceeded. Donations arrived online, in person at the coffee bar and at the drive-thru, and in the mail.
We decided to go ahead with our 10 Year Anniversary Celebration on November 9th for Lighthouse Coffee, but to make it into a benefit for the church expenses that will not be covered by insurance.
As last week began, the BIG question loomed over us: where will we meet in the interim? I made some phone calls on Friday, one of them to the Midlothian Independent School District. There is an elementary school just a few blocks from us. On Friday the principal and administration confirmed that we could use the space, and we hope to adapt part of our coffee house and Healing Center to create a loving home for our children as we rebuild.
So, by Sunday, there was much to celebrate. 22 crockpots of chili and other stews arrived, along with cornbread, salads, and of course desserts. We sang, we prayed, and we ate. We celebrated the Lord’s Supper. Life continued. This is what we do.
Words of encouragement have come in from all over the world. We are strengthened. This will be a journey, but God is working all these things together for our good, because we love Him and we are called by Him for a purpose (Romans 8:28).
Thanks for reading.
With love and great faith,