So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. – 1 Corinthians 3:7-9
When Paul wrote these words to the Corinthians, he illustrated his point through basic gardening concepts that as followers of Jesus we should not have the mindset of following human leaders but Christ himself. The Corinthians at the time were caught up in a popularity contest of sorts, beginning to lose sight of their purpose to serve Christ rather than the early church leaders, and Paul was offering correction. The deeper point here is that the body of Christ does not give credit to any body part, or person, for the work being done, but all the glory to God. But isn’t it amazing that in His grace He has given each of us a unique gift no one else can bring? We know that our spiritual gifts come from him, which help to define the role we play in the work. We know that everything around us belongs to Him and was created by Him. We can see that any work being done in the name of the Lord in His creation requires His blessing regardless of our role, planter or a waterer. He arranges every sentence and chapter to work for the good of those who love him, writing His perfect story for our lives no one can guess the end to. Ultimately, we must have faith and pray for God’s blessing to make our plans (and plants, ha!) grow and be successful.
The body of believers that make up the community of COC know what it means to be God’s field and God’s building. Through God, each of us has planted our own “garden” that yields a different harvest, and have answered the call to lay our harvest of gifts down as an offering. We are just blown away by the offering of our donors this month. We are so excited to share that through a generous donation we exceeded our fundraising goals for the COC Garden Initiative, and will be able to purchase all remaining materials. Around the time Mr. Justin was getting ready to start building the garden beds, our friend Ms. Kim from Faith Community Church gave us two big boxes of gorgeous tomatoes! Since part of the vision behind this garden project is to show the kids how to prepare and appreciate these foods we can grow, it provided the perfect opportunity for Ms. Shannon to work in the kitchen with students to preserve these tomatoes for a later date. We had so much fun spending the evening with this family of five kids, sharing our gifts and teaching basics of building and cooking. And even though we technically had them doing what most of us would see as chore-like activities, they were so enthusiastic and told us they had fun! Each of them, boys and girls, helped at least wash a few tomatoes in the kitchen, and drive a few screws into the garden bed. We are so excited to involve more of our kids in this amazing project. Thank you so much to all who donated!
We have seen God’s blessing and provision through the body of Christ in other mighty ways this past month as well. We had a need to upgrade our old deep freezer before it breaks, and not a week after the purchase was approved a board member let us know she found a donor for the freezer! This is another wonderful blessing to our ministry, as we are picking up food donations on a weekly basis and now have the peace of mind that the food (for our families) can be stored safely. We were able to bless several families again through the resources at Faith Community Church—they helped provide a large newly homeschooling family with a desk workstation, and their friends at Cycles for Christ helped us get these little sweeties their very first bikes.
In the past month we have also started to integrate students back into Wednesday night youth ministries as well as Sunday church services at our supporting churches that have reopened. This is such great news! We are so thankful for every church partner we have that shares the vision of bringing the gospel to the COC kids. As we slowly get back to church, we have decided to organize an outdoor ministry and fellowship event on October 24th in Rainbow Village with these great churches and other ministries. We will have food, crafts, teaching, games, and more. Please refer to our website and social media for details as we are currently finalizing the location and time. If you are interested in participating, please reach out and let us know!
Prayers:Pray for peace over our country as we anticipate the upcoming election, and that we as believers would remember that we only follow and serve Jesus, not any religious leaders or political parties. God bless you all!
In His Service,
Justin & Shannon Tellez
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