Sandals church has been our church home for about ten years now. It’s amazing, and I love it. It is a place where we have found genuine and authentic community. Church on Sunday really made me reflect on the community I have found there. My friends at Sandals are truly family to me. I love them, and they love me. Even though I don’t see all of them all the time, I know at least two dozen people from this church body would drop whatever they were doing to help us if we were in great need. If the need were great enough, those two dozen would call in dozens more to help even further. I would not know those people well or at all, but I know they would be there because I know if any of my family told me of a great need, I would do what I could as well.
After being filled with an overwhelming sense of love for this family, I was filled with a great sense of sorrow as we will (very possibly) leave this community in just over six months. Leaving this church will be the hardest thing for me to leave after my family, but there are some truths I hold on to:
1) We can still listen to sermons on-line. Thank you modern technology.
2) We can still keep up with our friends’ lives. Thank you social networking.
3) We will still be part of the family, even though we won’t see them all the time. Thank you, Lord.
I’m thankful for the bond of family in the body of Christ. I’m thankful that I believe God will lead us to a new family wherever we move. I’m thankful for all that God has taught husband and I in our time at Sandals. I’m also thankful for the direction God is leading Sandals church and the leadership who are willing to follow God in that direction. It’s sad that we won’t be here to be a part of what God has in store, but I am thankful for the part God has allowed us to play in our time here. I’m looking forward to the part we get to play in our remaining months.
If you are reading this, and are a part of our Sandals community, I just want you to know that we, Team Alzen, love you. That’s right, this is a shout out to YOU. You know who you are. If you’re part of my family in Christ, and not part of Sandals, lots of love in your direction as well. If you’re reading this, and not part of a church family, are seeking it, and in the Riverside area, I really encourage you to try Sandals out. Let me know. We’ll sit with you. I’m proud of my family, and there’s always room for more.