What was going on?
What did we do wrong?
What are we going to do?
December of 2011 was the hardest and lowest time in the Ortiz’s home. We had one month, one month for something to happen. In desperation we picked up a special offering to push us to January. We prayed, and prayed and prayed.
During this time I received an email from the pastor from the church across the street from where we met (we met in a HS cafeteria). It was a nice “welcome to the area” email and an offer to grab some coffee, the email ended with a “peace, and chicken grease.” I knew I was going to like this guy.
I have to say I am so proud of our small church during this time. Even though we were having a hard time financially we still gave back to the community. On Christmas day a small band of use packed up some back packs filled with basic toiletries and other stuff and headed downtown to hand them out to the homeless. I love the GIVING nature of our church. It was awesome.
The offering went well, it gave us some funds to operate through January. Not only that, more people started to visit, and those that visited stayed, and those that stayed, started to give.
2012 was off to a good start…
Numbers were steady, maybe we were past the trials? Maybe?
We just couldn’t get traction. It was frustrating. Leading is way more difficult than following. So we kept on keeping on.
During the next few months of 2012 I began to strike up a good friendship with that pastor from across the street. We would meet for coffee, talk shop, talk family, talk life. It was so good to have that friendship during that time.
In the late spring I was meeting with the staff person who handled the church finances and the conversation went like this…
Me: how are we doing?
She: Well, we can pay rent and the bills…and thats it
Me: That’s not good
Yes, finances were up, but all we could do was pay the rent (which was expensive) and bills that we owed. We weren’t being the “life giving” church we wanted to be. All we were doing was have a service on Sundays to take up an offering to pay the rent. We had to find a new place to meet fast!
We weren’t being good stewards of the finances so we began to look for other location in the central austin area. We searched, and search. NOTHING!
We thought about maybe moving more to the North Austin, maybe even Round Rock, but every time that came up, it didn’t feel right.
We needed to stay in the central area…but where?
We needed to move from the high school…but how?
So here we were…again, needing a miracle
and the words came back to me…
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”