Each month, we are posting updates from every church to better keep those part of one church more closely connected with those in the other churches. As we grow as a family, these are important moments to celebrate, pray for, and support what Jesus is doing in these communities. These updates will included updates, stories, prayer requests and a little glimpse into the life of the church. We hope these updates are encouraging to you!
This past month has been great! For some reason or another God has been drawing new people into Anthem Camarillo on a regular basis, as well as deepening our love for one another in a real way. We haven’t seen 70 people baptized yet, we’ve seen 2 and we praise God for those 2 and at least one more in May. It has been amazing to watch God begin to realize that it’s time to begin to put this amazing love that God has given us on display to those that are far from him.
Community Groups are regularly praying that God would draw people to salvation. People aren’t just praying though they are asking God for opportunities, and we are actually seeing people respond when those opportunities come up. Whether it's a party, or a softball team, a beer at Institution, a group of guys going to play basketball at the Youth Correction Facility, a camping trip etc. We are seeing people look at these events and rhythms differently and specifically see them as opportunities to engage with those far from God and introduce them to the family of God, and I’ll just tell you that puts such a huge smile on my face.
I want to share a story with you that has been such an encouragement to me. A friend of ours Tim who goes to Anthem Camarillo has been ministering to young men for a handful of years now at the Youth Correctional Facility off of Central:
On the 31st Tim invited a handful of guys to come out and play basketball with him, and minister to the youth there with him. Most of which had never stepped foot in a jail in their life. But there was one who went who it was quite surreal for, our friend Loyd. Loyd was baptized Easter this year. God has done an incredible work in his life, and the joy of the Lord is now pouring out this guy. But he hasn’t had the easiest life. In fact he was one of those guys that actually knew what it felt like to be in a facility like that, but not as a visitor. Loyd, since he came to know the Lord has wanted to be able to help other people, but didn’t necessarily feel like he had the right words, or right people to share with. Well, that all changed after the basketball game. After the game was over everyone gathered together, and Loyd shared his story with these young men. He boldly and vulnerably shared his struggles, defeats, mistakes, but most importantly he shared with these young men how amazing Jesus is and how He has changed his life. I love stories like this where we see men like Loyd come to know Jesus later in life, and then turn around and pour into the very type of person he used to be, praying and hoping that some of these young men will like Loyd give their lives to Jesus and be changed forever.
We had an incredible time at Third Thursday at Anthem Camarillo. We’re praying for 70 people to be baptized this year, and we want to make ourselves available to the Lord to use us to share the gospel with those in our lives in hopes of seeing people give their lives to Jesus. So we spent time talking about how the Holy Spirit has been given for the sake of mission. Even the disciples who touched, ate with, slept next to, cried with and sat under the teachings of Jesus were instructed to wait until the promise of the Holy Spirit had been poured out.
Then we broke up into groups of three and prayed over one another that the Lord would empower us, give us boldness, for the sake of helping people find their way back to God. It was a beautiful time to pray, sing, and align our hearts with God’s heart. Our next Third Thursday will be June 16th at 7pm.
We had our first women's gathering in Camarillo at the Lazy B Ranch. Our gals got together for an incredible brunch where they laughed, cried, ate incredible food, and put the love of Jesus on display with one another in a powerful way.
Our next women’s gathering is going to be June 11th stay tuned for more details or contact Christy Bailey for more information at email@example.com.
Coming Up in May
Memorial Day Campout
We are gearing up for our Annual Memorial Day Campout in May. This is our third year going now, and it is always such a blast. There is practically no cell service, which is phenomenal so we can actually shut off, and rest in Jesus’ completed work together. New friendships are formed old friendships are deepened, and this year we are capping it off with at least one baptism while we're out there.
We will not be meeting at our normal time and place in Camarillo on May 29th.
But we will be meeting together in Los Padres National Forest at a watering hole to celebrate Jesus together through baptism. Every year it’s grown and this year we’ve already maxed out. If you are interested in going contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details and he can get you on the waiting list and answer any questions you might have. And if you are unable to make it this year mark it on your calendar for next year. We are already scoping out larger locations so that we might engage more folks and use this trip to help people find their way back to God.
Foster Emergency Fund
We have started a Foster Emergency Fund drive, that will go through the end of June. We are providing essential goods, and gift cards to youth who are transitioning out of standard foster care into extended care ages 18-24. This is often a very challenging time for Foster Youth and we are grateful to partner with Dark to Dawn to help provide essential goods in a time of need.
There is a collection bin placed in the main auditorium every Sunday at the Boys and Girls Club in Camarillo if you would like to participate. If you have any questions about how to get involved contact John Franklin at email@example.com.
Things to be praying for
God Has been doing great things in Camarillo and we earnestly want to continue following after Him as he leads us. We would love it if you would consider praying for us. Here are a few things to be praying for:
- 70 baptisms in Camarillo
- Children's volunteers
- Future community groups and leaders.