Ten Years and Counting

Ten years ago I quit my job, sold my house, and moved 285 miles away to the large metroplex areas of Dallas. We settled in the city of Cedar Hill, Texas. This was a major adjustment for the whole family simply because we had lived in a town that had a population of 8000 people and we actually didn’t live in the city. We lived twelve miles away from the nearest Walmart and we thought we were overcrowded. I had to drive 41 miles to work to have a decent working wage and we thought this was simply the way everyone lived. We were living the life of a good average American family. A three bedroom brick home on 1 1/2 acres with horses, trailers, and all the fixings that go with country living. We were loving life.
I was an assistant pastor at my local church with my whole family involved with some type of ministry within the church. My wife and girls were musically inclined working in the music ministry. There were days of jail ministry, nursing home ministry, puppet ministry, street ministries, and others. There was always something to do and that didn’t include school activities, horse activities, or the many other endeavors we were involved in.
Then the call came. The first call was from God years ago when He called me into ministry to work in His kingdom. Everything was going great for many years. Not without it’s struggles and hardships but it was good. But the second call came. The second call came from a church that needed a pastor that I had preached in years before. I knew there were struggles within the church but never really considered much about it. They had a pastor and they were like many other churches moving along, surviving, and just being the church.
This call came with the opportunity to come and pastor a church that had more struggles than many others. Their roster had been decimated to twelve people, no pastor, and no building. After much prayer, fasting, and talking with my mentor and my family we decided to answer that call.
When we arrived we were having church within the peoples homes moving from place to place until my family could arrive. Once we arrived we started having church in our living room for several months until we found a building to have our services in. It wasn’t without it’s struggles and it hasn’t been without it’s battles and the fight still rages on.While all of this re-balancing was taking place there was  young couple within the church that had one daughter but was pregnant with a second child.
Shortly after arriving, the church added four with our family making 16, and then Gianni (GiGi) Grace Aranda arrived. She was our first “church baby”.
The years seemed to slip by so quickly and time has moved progressively faster as I get older. We watched GiGi progress from a small baby, to a young child, to a budding young lady. GiGi grew as the church grew until she is now nine years old. Just recently in a service on a Sunday night GiGi received the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Our “church baby” has grown but so has the church. We baptized her in the precious name of Jesus the following Sunday and life is moving on to the next service. We now have a building that we have almost outgrown and now there is a congregation of almost 80. My family has grown now with two son-in-laws, and three grandchildren. Life is moving at a pace now that I am about to see the ripe old age of 50. But as much as I enjoy all aspects of life, watching our new babes in Christ grow is a highlight along with our church babies.
Yes, we have been here ten years and counting and the years just seem to get better. The fight is still happening within a spiritual realm and we are still blazing strong, reaching for every lost, damaged, hurting, and bruised soul. There are those that have never known Him, meaning Jesus, and there are those that have struggled with knowing Him and walking away. But we are all reminded often that God still loves us and is willing to forgive every sin, regardless of who you are and where you are. When we walk into the presence of a mighty God our problems seem so small compared to Him.
 And we have the proof that God is giving the increase. Every soul matters and I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to be a part of GiGi’s and other’s life. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for her and the rest of New Life Apostolic Church in Cedar Hill, Texas. 
God Bless and hope to see you soon.
Pastor John Denmon