Fall 2016 Testimonies
Our small groups’ mission has remained, “To make disciples who make disciples in relational environments.” God blessed this fall in uncountable ways!
With the culmination of the Happiness Series and other activities of the fall semester it was good to hear from different groups about how God used their time together to grow them in Christ, develop their relationships, and serve the world.
Enjoy these testimonies and pictures!
The top experience this fall to me is witnessing the camaraderie forming between the members. No one truly knew each other (minus the leaders) as we started this journey together. Yet, everyone has become family in such a short time frame. We often meet as a group outside of small group; sometimes it’s only a few of us and other times it’s more of us, but I love seeing how we are constantly living life together. (Underwoods)
We sang the song like never before, “Trust and Obey………for there’s no other way to be HAPPY in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” The last Happiness group meeting was one of the best sharing times ever, when all participated and the discussion took off. (Tchobanoffs)
One change is to be more consistently and efficiently praying our list of concerns and praises. We used to get off on tangents when requests were new or reviewed, but that is going better now with fuller participation. (Anonymous)
Of course, a highlight would be having the Reg and the Overstreet girls (G, L, and S) visit us during our meeting and help us celebrate Josine V’s birthday (first picture). As the Happiness series ended, all brought pictures of their family to share. It was great to see the faces of those who are held dear to our group members (second picture).We enjoyed Christmas caroling at our member Jim M’s home. (Higbees)
We shared a Christmas Potluck dinner with their group. Their special guest, Marlene Etter, shared about her last year in Niger and her ministry next year in Chad. We also sponsored a girls’ and guys’ night out. The guys met at Tower Lanes to show their expertise on the Putt Putt Course. The Girls met for game night at the Reynolds.
One of our members became a US citizen last month and we had a happy party and cake to celebrate with her.We also take 15 minutes each week for people to share about themselves so we get to know them better. It has helped us get closer to each other. Well, that and the food and fellowship at the end of the evening.
We took on two missions this fall. One to provide meals to a couple that were both too ill to cook. We filled their freezer. Second was to support Eddie Johnson through Young Life.
We ended the year with a potluck at our house. I asked Marlene Etter to talk for 15 minutes about her mission as a start to our supporting her next year. It was a lot of fun and well received.
We will meet again on January 11, 2017 to begin a study on the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.
We are very close spiritually and have grown to be friends. It is rare that anyone misses a meeting. (Snyders)
Our small group has been amazing! We are enjoying hosting and co-leading with friends. Our top experiences thus far have been meeting new families, hearing each other’s testimonies, and celebrating several birthdays during our fellowship time. We are so thankful to be “doing life” together with this incredible group! (Camerons/Hanleys)
The big moment for us, we will be putting homeless survival bags together this Monday, at my mom’s, Tharon Kirby! Excited we get to finish the project we started last Spring! And, now the project has expanded to include veterans. It is now called “project-253“, click for the details! (Bakkens)
We completed our first outreach project together when we packed Welcome Bags for the annual LC3 Harvest Carnival. It was so much fun and I look forward to completing more outreach projects as a team as the semester progresses. (Underwoods)
We collectively wrote anniversary and birthday cards to all the missionaries and their families who celebrated these events during September and October. Each member signed them. (Grishams)
College/Young Adults – Love em all. We have had several outings, including the great snowy Mount Rainier excursion. (Massey)
Meeting Laban’s wife and family although we haven’t gotten close for them yet. I think our whole group is looking forward to embracing them in our group. Our group is going to support Andy and Nikki Gray. We bought them a Seahawks 12th Man flag and Elsie and I gave it to them when we saw them in Quebec. We will also be doing their quarterly newsletter for them. Our group seems excited to have a small part in what they are doing. Our group hosted the Mburus, missionaries from Kenya to much of Africa, and part of the Global Missions Team, for dinner. (Walmers)
Exciting Homeless Ministry Project Report from Leader, Ali Cameron:
For the past few years, my ministry partners and I host a Thanksgiving feast to our homeless friends. In past years, there have only been a couple of us to organize, buy, cook, and prepare all the items necessary to put on a huge feast. This year, my small group blessed the team and me by providing all of the side dishes, drinks and desserts! The feast went so smoothly. Our small group had been praying into this event and it couldn’t have been done so easily without their generosity and support!
Our friends on the street were so grateful to have home-cooked dishes and there were many compliments! Many also said that this would be the only Thanksgiving they would be having this year. A humbling statement. We also had so much food; enough for the 70-80 folks who showed up! Last year we ran out, but this year we had plenty and were able to send home to-go plates! A huge blessing for them! (Thank you again to my fellow small group members for your support and help!)
Our small group coach Eric V.B.S. came and shared a message from Luke 19, the story of Zaccheus. The Holy Spirit really gave him the words (because he spoke directly to where everyone was and this was his first time being part of mine and my friends’ ministry– definitely only a thing God could do!) and for the first time ever at the park with our friends, they were completely sober, silent and listening! It was amazing. (Thank you, Eric, for being a vessel of the Holy Spirit!)
One of my Muslim friends was there and heard the message and now she wants to study the Bible! She was so happy to be around Christians. She was welcomed by all and made part of conversations that aren’t usual for a young, Muslim woman to have. After Eric’s message, she said “I want to be like him.” She wants to know God’s truth and share it with others! Please continue to pray and do spiritual battle for her. She will have much opposition (seen and unseen) if she starts seeking the True and Living God. Her last words to me today were “I am SO happy!” The only way to explain this is she experienced the love of Christ today.
More Great Moments:
The best part is having a completely full house every Wednesday night. The fellowship has been wonderful! (Strongs)
Ray says, “One of the perks of being a Small Group Coach is visiting the groups!”
The husbands of our small group secretly planned a mom’s night out ♡ We had a lovely dinner at Pattaya and then got artsy at “The Painted Plate” in Olympia with reservations made by the men. We had a blast! [Picture is missing our dear friend Ellen who joined us for dinner] (Garwackis)
Two of our small group coaches went on a missions trip to Malawi in October. Coach Eric Von Barnau Sythoff (VBS) and his wife Julie operate a wonderful 501c3 organization there, the Passion Center for Children. Coach Brad Criswell joined Eric on a trip that was life-changing for him. Brad is now leading the LC4Malawi – Cram the Container Project, which launches on New Year’s Eve!
Our coaches families celebrated the end of this fantastic Fall 2016 Semester with a Christmas party, caroling, and praising God for this ministry we get to share with all of you at Lake City Community Church!
Going Forward:Early Winter/Spring 2017 Dates
As groups break for the holidays for a well-deserved rest, here are the important dates that will kickoff the next semester.
- Saturday/Sunday, December 31/January 1 – Small Group Signups begin (catalogs in worship services, small group listings at foyer table and church website)
- December 31 – April 1 – Dates for #LC4Malawi – Cram the Container for Malawi
- Sunday, January 8 – SG Leader Vision/Training Session, 10:00-11:15AM, LCCC Gym (NOTE: There is a makeup session at the Summit – see below.)
- January 15 – 21 – Official SG Kickoff Week!
- Saturday, January 21 – Church Family Summit, 9:00AM-1:00PM (Four hours of workshops for the entire church family. The small group leader training makeup session will be one 50 minute workshop.)
- Saturday, February 25 – LCCC Membership Class
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Everyone!