This past weekend, Danielle and I got the chance to take our family up to Bellingham for the inaugural service. The experience was nothing short of amazing. God has performed miracle after miracle in Bellingham in order to make Sunday’s Service a success for the 40 people in attendance and I was thrilled to be a part of it.
Saturday afternoon: The weekend started with a drive that was significantly shorter than we anticipated. After having traveled to Portland three times in the three previous weeks, I felt like we were there before we realized. The scenery was breathtaking, especially the last 15 miles between Burlington and Bellingham. We rolled down the windows and enjoyed a sunny, crisp fall afternoon drive.
Saturday evening: Landon and Gina hosted us for a tasty Italian dinner (props to Gina). We sampled a homemade sauce and got the chance to meet Mark Geising, a disciple from San Diego, whose family moved up here a few years ago. We had a wonderful dinner talking about Bellingham life and learning more about the different members of the mission team and talking about the answered prayers that coincide with the Bellingham Church planting. Justus and Jael watched Fifel while we all fellowshipped.
Saturday late night: The Vanderyachts joined us as we put the kids down to catch up and talk about the mission team. It was great to hear about the things God had already done before the team arrived. We talked about the ministry, joked with one another and had an amazing time. About midnight, my eyelids were too heavy and we had to call it a night. Landon brought out a housewarming gift from one of his neighbors, we drank some of it and stayed up a bit longer. It was good. 🙂
Sunday morning: There is something cool about being in a new city preparing for Church. I drove around Bellingham and found a coffee shop where I sipped a latte while enjoying the view of the Sound by the Bellweather Hotel. It was a great QT spot. Danni and I shared a latte later that morning as we went over our communion and prayed.
Sunday Service: Service went smoother than we could have imagined. We met in the gateway center, about a half mile from WWU. The building was new and the facility was cozy. When I walked in, it reminded me of when we used to meet in the Hyatt. I met two of Landon’s neighbors that showed up for service and worked my way through the fellowship that included disciples visiting from Seattle, Eastside and even a couple on vacation.
Scott Wellington led the congregational songs, while Bernadette Anderson, who drove up from Seattle, kept the audience in key. After a welcome/communion by me and Danielle, Landon preached a short but powerful message entitled: What type of Church do we want to become? He spoke about being a Church that’s involved and being a Church that’s purposeful. Looking around the room, I thought about what the room would look like in a couple of years and smiled at the idea of having a Church of 50 in Bellingham really soon.
Post Service: There was a old school burger drive in right outside of Church. That’s another benefit of being in such a prime location, you can walk to lunch afterwards. The family ate burgers and fries and shared a blackberry milkshake. We got to see the Rawson family one last time before we left and said our final goodbyes for this trip. We got on the freeway and I let out a sigh of relief, knowing that Bellingham was in great hands and feeling certain that God had set up this time and this place for the Bellingham Church to begin.
If you or someone you know is interested in visiting the Church, call Landon or Gina 253 350 6367.