What a Difference 1 Year Can Make
Over the last week, my social media feeds have reminded me what I was doing this time last year. It got me thinking about the difference one year makes. One year ago, Alec, my now nineteen-year-old moved to Sydney, Australia. This time last year, Jonas, my now seventeen-year-old, and I were preparing to say goodbye. Boarding that plane and leaving my child the other side of the world wasn’t easy. Yes, I have family ‘over the pond’ but this was different! One year later, facetiming with Alec has become second nature. While it is hard to get my mind around the fact that he really is the other side of the world, the fact is, he’s settled and doing well. What a difference a year makes!
This time last year Wibke and I were working through the process of adopting two children from Florida. The paperwork was endless and the hold-ups frustrating. I still can’t understand how it took nearly two months for my fingerprint results to come back from the FBI! A year later and Wibke and I are parents to six children, not four! Our home is a hive of activity! What a difference a year makes!
This time last year, Central was gearing up to tear down the high school block and begin the task of fulfilling a two-decade vision. A year later and thousands of non-churched, non-Central families have utilized the Playland. A year later and many of us are enjoying the increased fellowship space in the new lobby. A year later and our staff is hard at work gearing up for a Fall season in our new spaces! What a difference a year makes!
This time last year we were preparing for the Grand Rapids campus launch. Toran was reducing his hours at Central to focus more time on building the campus launch team. A year later, nearly two hundred and thirty people attended a service to celebrate eleven people publicly professing their faith in Christ through baptism. These people were reached through the campus. What a difference a year can make!
I’m sure many of you reading this can look back at last year and say, “A year ago, I would never have pictured my life the way it is now.” A lot can happen in a year. People who were strangers last year can be closer than brothers to us now. People whose lives were on a path to destruction are now experiencing hope and life. A year ago, some of us were unemployed and feeling unemployable. A year ago, some of us were alone and feeling unlovable. A year ago, some of us were alcoholics and addicts. One year later we are employed, loving life in the communion of friends and loved ones and enjoying freedom! What a difference a year can make! In a few days, on Sunday, July 30 we will release our 2016/17 Annual Report. If you take the time to read the short introduction letter I wrote at the top, you will see that in one year God has used Central to make a massive difference in the lives of so many people. Last year was a great year. Last year we celebrated record attendance, income and outreach giving. Yet, last year wasn’t a walk in the park. There were times when the weeks were long and the days longer. Through all this, God was gracious enough to work in ways that truly blessed us. A lot can happen in one year. Make sure to view our Annual Report online at watersedge.org/annualreport beginning on July 30.