Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Memories of Oregon

This is the first chance I have had to sit down and blog about my trip to Eugene. What a week! Christ Fellowship, the church we partnered with during the week, was absolutely incredible. I think Highland is one of the best, most Spirit-led churches I have ever attended and I mean that in all sinerity, but this small congregation possessed a fervency and vitality that touched my soul. These precious ones of God longed to passionately make the name of the Lord renowned. I was totally humbled, and convicted by the simplicity of the lifestyles of the ministry team which included several couples from Highland. Matt and Sarah Lynn Grubb, Corey and Stephanie Jackson, and Mindy Cecil Mendenhall left Abilene in May of 2001 to join Tony and Elizabeth Denn and their five children to plant a church in Eugene, which happens to be in the most unchurched county in the country. The couples that make up this amazing team long and yearn to glorify God in all they do. I will never be the same as a result of the week I spent in Eugene.

To those of you who know me well, it is no surprise that most of the memories I will take with me forever from our time in Eugene will be the relationships I established. I was blessed to spend one night in Matt and Sarah Lynn's home, there I got to spend some quality time with them and their two kids, Enoch and Indie. Matt and Sarah Lynn were cherished to me while they were in school at ACU and it was so good to reconnect with them. They are truly in pursuit of the heart of God and their lives are full of beautiful fruit. I love you both so much!

Another precious family I had the pleasure to meet were the Denns. Tony and Elizabeth were two of the most generous, most authentic, and most humble people I have ever met. This couple gives of themselves tirelessly as they serve and live for the Lord. Liz, TJ, Annelisse, Wynter, and Adeline, the five Denn kids, were so much fun to get to know and love. I was absolutely humbled when we were invited into their home for TJ's 12th birthday where I witnessed something very special. After opening his gifts which consisted of a bow and arrow set and a dart board from his parents and an arrowhead, a book, and a worm made out of clay at the Art Camp from his sisters, TJ went to each of them and threw his arms around his mom and dad and thanked them perfusely. He then went to each of his sisters and hugged them so warmly to thank them for the gifts they had sacrificially and generously given. As a gift of thanks, the Highland team gave him twenty five dollars to spend and you would have thought he had won the lottery. These illustrations of generosity and such incredible love for one another moved me to tears. I have never seen a group of siblings have such respect and genuine love for one another. Tony and Elizabeth have done an incredible job to raise five children who first of all love the Lord, and secondly, who love one another.

Thank you Lord for allowing us to minister to the Christ Fellowship family, but more than that, thank you for allowing them to lavish us with gifts of love. I am always amazed to be sent out to bless and edify a group of people and to come back changed as a result of where I had been and what you had done. You are so good. Please continue to anoint Christ Fellowship with the presence of your Holy Spirit. These are servants who want to make you known. I praise God daily for them. I will never be the same! I will be going back as soon as possible. Christ Fellowship, Grubbs, Denns, Jacksons, and Mendenhalls, I love you.

1 comment:

Serena Voss said...


Enjoyed reading about our summer mission trip to Oregon. I am glad that so many of us got participate in IATW and to go various places and witness God's power and enjoy the fellowship of his beautiful sons and daughters who have the courage to be light where there is so much darkness.

Our brothers and sisters in Kauai kept thanking us for coming and encouraging them. What they gave to us is hard to measure. What God is accomplishing, we will never fully know on this side of eternity.

Lauren, you are precious. I am so glad I am getting to know you better, even if it is just one hour a week at a time!

Love you, Serena