Gill Family Update-June 2015
Dear Friends and Family,
As many of you know, we packed up our life about 90 days ago and headed South to start the initial phases of planting Turning Point Church. As excited as we were, it was tough to move! This selfie from the day we left pretty much sums up how we all felt to some degree! Since those moving days Bonita, has started to feel like home.
Starting TPC has been everything you can imagine. It’s been non stop! It’s meeting person after person. It’s engaging in the community and sitting down with anyone who is willing. It’s serving. It’s a roller coaster of emotions. It’s up and down. It’s faith and self doubt! It’s story after story of success, pain, victory and hurt. Sometimes you feel like everything is falling into place and then at times, well, not so much! But you know what? In spite of feelings, busyness and our own fallacies, GOD IS BUILDING TURNING POINT CHURCH!
There are so many stories that are unfolding each and every week. A couple of weeks back we had the opportunity to be a part of a local networking event where hundreds of professionals gather. You know, one of those shin-digs where you put up your tent, pass out some business cards and meet people in your community. We participated. Now imagine it at a Harley Davidson dealership. Now imagine our tent right next to a cool group of former military, now biker dudes who prefer using colorful, censored words. Got the picture? That’s where we were; smack in the middle of it all.
Dozens of people came by and asked, ‘What are you guys anyways? Turning Point?’ To which we said, ‘We are a church for people who aren’t in church. We want people to know Jesus personally in our community.’ And you know what? God gave us some very cool opportunities and very real conversations with people. Many of the people we talked to really don’t engage in church or think that much about faith. That is why we are here. That is who we feel called to reach for Christ. We believe that many seeds were scattered that day!
One of the stories that came out of this experience was Mary and John’s story (not their real names but you know the drill). I met the both of them the week before through a mutual contact in our community. I sat down and said something like, ‘We are new to the community. We want to make new connections and find out how we can help. Who are some good people to talk to? Who can we serve that is in need?’ Those few questions prompted a conversation that lasted for two hours. In fact, these local coffee shop owners said back to us, ‘How can we help your church? We could reach out to some of our connections in the community? You could put some of your ads up in our coffee shop if you like?’ Again, remember we just met for the first time. But it gets better.
A few days later I get a call from Mary. ‘Steve, I heard that you guys were going to be at the networking event today.’ I respond, ‘yes’. Mary quickly adds, ‘Well, we would like to come out and help you. We are going to give you guys some ice cream from our shop and all of the stuff to pass it out. Is that OK?’ What do you think I said? So, Mary and John show up, set it all up and then stay at the table helping us serve ice cream. As they help us out they are introducing us to some of the people they know in the community. I even hear a few times, ‘yeah, this is a great church. You guys need to check out Turning Point Church’. Wow! Again, we have known John and Mary for only one week.
Since that event Mary has even engaged in a women’s Bible study at our house and in bringing friends. John came out and hung out with the men of TPC at our first guys event. Now, how cool is that? We don’t know their whole story and they don’t even know everything about us. But isn't this cool they way God weaves relationships together? Isn't it awesome how willing others are to get the word out in the community about Turning Point? We think that is incredible!
That’s just ONE STORY of what we have seen God already begin to do! These are the people God is putting in front of us. We believe it is just the beginning!!! If you’d like to read another story or what we are doing, click on our TPC blog and read away.
As Turning Point starts to get off the ground we want to say thank you to the churches and families that have gotten behind our church and our family! You give. You pray. You encourage. WE are so grateful for you! We can only do what we are doing because you are involved and generous. You guys are awesome and have made so much possible in such little time! Your are incredible!
Yet, we are just in the beginning stages of Turning Point Church. There are so many things we need your prayers for. Would you start praying with us? Would you continue to pray for us? If you are a yes, please take a look at our prayer updates part of the blog. We definitely need and desire to have many Christ followers praying for Turning Point and our family.
If you can give, that would be incredible as well. This church is being built from scratch. That means there is nothing guaranteed financially. No magical place to go that dishes out money! It all comes through partnerships with churches, sending organizations, friends and family. Would you be willing to be one of those people? Your generosity would help us make a big difference in this community and help us reach more people for Christ. If you want to join in, please go to our giving page. All of the details on how to give online, through text or through snail mail are there. In advance, let us just say thanks!!!
So, we are off and running! Things are happening. Needs are being presented. People are being reached. Relationships are forming. Doors are opening. And in the end, we believe that if we are faithful, then God will build His church right here in Bonita Springs! We are excited just to be a part of it!
Thanks for taking the time to engage. We are grateful.
Steve and Keisa (Niles) Gill
Aaron, Christian, Ellie and Karinna