On September 28th we drove from Fallbrook up to Los Gatos, where we were staying during the missions conference at First Baptist Community Church. Did we mention that California is beautiful? The drive up and down the state was absolutely gorgeous, and to watch the sun set behind the mountains out here is breathtaking! (Plus we saw pistachio and orange trees! How cool is that?!)
The folks at First Baptist warmly welcomed us back to the area (we had visited the church on our trip to CA last year). On Sunday we were able to talk to the teens in Sunday School, listen to Pastor McCarty talk about his very recent trip to Asia, hear him preach, and learn about the ministry of the other missionary couple there who serve in a Muslim nation. Also, we enjoyed an international dinner complete with Doritos Locos tacos and KFC! (I think they were brought by bachelors…the ladies of the church cooked many other dishes, which were delicious!)
On Monday night the men and women were split up for a great time of fellowship. The men bonded over baseball and football while the ladies made blankets to give to the homeless. (Which group was more spiritual?) Tuesday night was AWANA, and we had the opportunity to tell the Sparks and TNT about Brazil and what we’re going to be doing there. They were so cute and a lot of fun!
The church runs an after-school program, and we were invited to come and talk to the kids there as well. Most of the kids there are unchurched and come from various backgrounds, so it was neat having the opportunity to share the Gospel with them and talk to them about Brazil.
During the service on Wednesday evening we shared the ministry with the folks there at FBCC. It was such an encouragement to us to see the ministries of the church and to hear the impact that they are having on their community. The church is very big into missions, which was also neat to see. Pastor McCarty is out of the country for several weeks every year visiting their missionaries, and a number of the folks from the church also told us about the short-term missions trips that they have been on/want to go on. What a blessing to travel all the way to the…west coast (Pastor McCarty calls it the “best” coast, but that’s an area of disagreement) and find a like-minded church like this that is faithfully serving and reaching out to both their own community and the world!