Category Archives: ministry

[re:New]

Calvary Chapel Healdsburg has been a fellowship for over 7 years now, and from the beginning, ministry to our youth has been very important. Within the first 6 months of our church start, God provided us with our first youth pastor, Sean.

Over the years the Jr. High and High school kids were fed the Word of God. They worshipped together, camped together, served in Mexico, traveled, played, and simply just loved being together. The group grew as the kids shared the love of Jesus with their friends at school. All I can say is, it was good.

Then, about a year and a half ago, Sean felt it was time to move on. That’s kind of the way ministry happens. You go where God leads. Anything else just wouldn’t make sense. And so…we were left without a youth pastor.

My husband Chris decided to step into that roll to fill the need, and we prayed like crazy for a new youth pastor. Chris and I both have a lot of experience in High School and youth ministry, but let me tell you…that doesn’t make a bit of difference if God hasn’t called you to the job.

So, Chris faithfully taught the kids the Word, and other servants filled in for the group from time. But, the kids seemed to flounder, for the connection to a “youth pastor” just wasn’t there. Don’t get me wrong though. They loved Chris. I mean, what’s not to love? But it wasn’t the same. It felt temporary, and the group dwindled. It was sad to watch. So…we prayed harder.

Now, can I just tell you that God answers prayer? OK, I will. God answers prayer. And not only does He answer, but He goes above and beyond what we could ask or think. I guess that’s because He knows best just what we need.

7 months ago, God sent us Dave Ower and his beautiful wife, Heidi, in answer to our prayers. God’s response was so timely, so precise, and above and beyond what we could ask or think. Dave is young and energetic (key in youth ministry), and faithful in the teaching of God’s Word. It’s been such a blessing to watch the Lord breathe new life into our youth ministry.

I guess the main reason for this post is to direct you all to Daves web site. It’s called [re:New]

Dave put together this web site as an alternative way to connect with the youth in our fellowship, or anyone who might want to stop by for that matter. You can read a great bio on Dave and Heidi and what God has done in their lives, or look at pictures of youth group events. And make sure you visit the [re:Write]page. You’ll be blessed by what you read there.

So, there’s my plug and praise to God for Dave and Heidi.

Did I tell you that God answers prayer?

very thankful,

Mary

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Filed under Chris, fellowship, ministry, youth

Appendecto-whatee?

O.K., now that things have settled down a bit I thought it would be a good idea to use this post to fill everyone in on what has transpired in our lives over the last week.

It all started last Saturday afternoon when my husband, Chris, developed a little tummy ache in the middle of his stomach. He started complaining that he just wasn’t feeling well and thought that maybe he ate some bad food. I agreed with him, but have to say I kinda just blew it off as typical stomach pain or flu. By Saturday night the pain had increased. Of course I verbalized a bunch of “motherly” questions and statements.

“Do you want to throw up? Where’s the pain? Are you having any diarreah? Maybe you’re just really constipated.”

He took some Tylenol and went to bed, thinking all would be well after a good night sleep.

When we woke up the next morning, I remember thinking to myself that he would probably be feeling much better. On the contrary. The pain had moved to his lower right side and he was now running a slight fever. Needless to say, it would take standing at deaths door to get Chris to miss a church service. So, off we went to church. Thankfully we had a guest speaker that morning. Chris did lead worship though.

During the service Chris sat next to me. This normally would be a treat for me since usually he’s standing at the pulpit. But this time I ended up worrying about and focusing on my husband the entire time. He was pale, and every few minutes his face would wince and he would shift his weight and grab hold of his right side. I would look at him and say, “Are you OK?”…trying not to draw too much attention. He’d just look forward and nod his head that he was fine. I had no idea what was ahead.

Well, the service ended, so as soon as Chris could get a free moment he went on home. I ended up going out to lunch with our missionary friends who were visiting, and then went home as well. When I got there, Chris was curled up on the couch covered in a blanket. He was running a low fever, still in pain…and can I just say that he looked pretty bad. I asked him if he wanted to go to a doctor. Of course he said no. Our plans for that day after church were to go out and get the Christmas tree and decorate the house. Plus, it was the day after my birthday and the family had wanted to celebrate with dinner that night. It ended up that the boys and I went out and bought the tree. We got it set up in the living room, and that night, started decorating. Just a little added note. We had wanted to take a funny family Christmas picture, so Natalie had bought us all some really tacky Christmas sweaters. Natalie and Nathan put theirs on, and so did Chris. Even though he was feeling so sick, he still tried the best he could to be a part of our family festivities.

The night wore on with no improvement in my husbands condition. I made him promise me that if he still felt bad in the morning he would go to the doctor. Ya see, one thing I haven’t mentioned yet was that Chris and I had plans to have a get-a-way together. We had plane reservations to fly out to Arizona early Tuesday morning to go visit his parents. After a couple days we would drive back home (his mom and dad were giving us their old car). Both of us were so looking forward to this. But I kept thinking to myself that there was no way I would get on a plane with my husband sick like this.

Once again, Chris awoke feeling pretty much the same. His fever was down a bit though. We made a doctors appointment for first thing that morning. He talked to the doctor on the phone, describing his symptoms to him the best that he could. Then the doctor said it.

“What you’re describing to me sounds like Appendicitis.”

So, we went to the appointment. Of course he sent us to the emergency room. After sitting in the waiting room for about an hour and a half, they got Chris in a bed and ran some tests. Whenever they would do the typical “Appendix” test where they push and release on the right side, Chris would wince and say ouch. They were baffled when the blood tests showed his white count only a little elevated. Though the emergency room doc didn’t think it was an Appendicitis, he decided to order a CAT scan just to be sure.

The results of the scan came in around 6:00 P.M.. It was a definite Appendicitis. It needed to come out right away. Well, right away meant 9:00 P.M.

So, after one and a half days of pain and 10 hours in an emergency room…Chris’ Appendix was removed. After the surgery the surgeon informed me that everything went very well. The only problem was that the Appendix was open a bit at the top and some infection was coming out. Not to worry though, he said. Chris was in good health and would probably be fine in about 2 days.

It ended up that Chris needed 4 days in the hospital. He ran a high fever off and on due to that infection. Not to mention that some other normal body functions shut down a bit. That kind of stuff needs to be running properly before you get sent home from the hospital. It was a little scary for me though. The surgeon let us know that his Appendix were, as he put it, “Very sick”. Had we waited another day, they would have burst, and things would have been much worse. I praise God we took the steps we did, when we did.

Can I just tell you something about my husband. For as long as I’ve known this guy, there is nothing that will stop him from ministering to others. And I mean nothing. The entire time he was in the hospital he was ministering. He would go on his little walks around the third floor ward (which just so happened to be the cancer ward), dressed in his scrub pants and open back hospital gown, and poke his head in the patients rooms to say hello. He would ask there names and why they were there. He would lay hands on them and pray, just like a pastoral hospital visit. He even had nurses share their problems with him. He was constantly cracking jokes with the staff. They absolutely loved him. This is simply the man I married. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for him. I love him so much.

Chris is continuing to recover here at home. We are so thankful for everyones love and prayers. It’s very good to be surrounded by the body of Christ during times like these.

Here’s a picture of the Sunday night tree decorating. That’s an oversized stocking on Nates head. Brace yourself. Chris doesn’t look so good. It’s pretty funny though to see him in the crazy Christmas sweatshirt. Good times.

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Filed under Appendix, Christmas, ministry