Sunday, May 15, 2005

Making Room

By the spring of 1984 we were having 75-80 in our morning worship; Sunday school attendance was nearly the same. The garage-turned-chapel was full. Every room in our house was being used for classroom space and the Shorey family was going crazy.

It is hard to describe what our bathroom looked like after each Sunday. Toddlers, teens, and adults all had to use one tiny bathroom. The wall behind the bathroom was barn-board. I believe some of the little guys tried to spell their names on it. No, not with ink or crayon. You know what I mean!

In those early days we had some incredible work days. No job was beneath anyone. If we needed 30 people -- 30 people would show up. Military officers and Non-coms, business men and women, teenagers and elderly worked side by side. The sweat-equity in New Life was hard to measure.

The best building on the property was a stable. It was well constructed, but had been a barn for horses. Our next project was to get it cleaned out, sheetrocked, lights, flooring, and heat. It would become classroom space.

The stable was set apart from the chapel, so we built a breezeway to connect them. It was not a work of art, but it was absolutely necessary in that frigid climate. We believed all this work was a temporary fix. We stretched our meager resources as far we could. What we needed was space.

Some of us were already looking at other churches for ideas about the one we would soon build. Yet, we were incredibly grateful for the growth we were seeing and our "tabernacle" in the wilderness.

Everything we did on the property sent a message to the community; we were there to stay and growing! Every improvement became a magnet that drew others to our humble beginnings. New Life wasn't fancy, but God's hand was all over it.

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