Last evening, I attended the final “core team leaders meeting” at the soon to be launched Beaver Valley Campus of North Way Christian Community.
I can’t begin to express how meaningful this new venture is from my perspective. Very few people who will attend this new campus, which is located directly across the Beaver River from the town of Beaver, but now physically in Rochester, PA, will know its significance to me.
Beaver is the town where I grew up as a child and my parents lived for over 50 years. Its fair to say that even though there are a number of good churches in the area with very dedicated and gifted pastors and leaders, I am sure that there is a great need and desire for a ministry like North Way to serve the people in these communities that have been largely overlooked in the economic renaissance of the last generation.
As it turns out , there is now a massive investment going into an oil and gas refinement facility that will create thousands of jobs and bring in many new people to the Beaver valley in the next 2-10 years.
In that regard, North Way is literally at the tip of the spear having been able to be established before the wave of new people begins to crest and all of the benefits of a growing economy and increased investment in a region can transform it form an area that struggles to a place where people want to live, work and play.
I want to commend Pastor Scott Stevens and all of the members of the team, both volunteer and paid, who were able to see the potential for a thriving church in this area and further, to make the necessary investment to accommodate families and young single adults from all around the region.
Everything about last night’s experience gave me great encouragement to believe that God has something very special for this campus and the people of the Beaver Valley. I know for a fact that many hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been praying for the Lord to bring a spirit of renewal into the faith community in that general area. It’s been a while since something substantial, fresh and very biblically authentic has come to this area.
In the few moments that I had to share, though I hadn’t planned on mentioning it, I did remind the 200-300 folks that were present that my mother worked in that exact space for quite a number of years when the Kaufmann’s Department Store owned the property. On a number of occasions I would meet her there or go out from there to get something to eat.
I know that my Mom would be blessed beyond words to know that the very place that she had worked (part time) for quite a number of years has now become the physical location where our church will be established to reach out into all the surrounding communities with the love and hope of the gospel of Jesus.
I hope that many of you will join with me to be praying for the Beaver Valley Campus of North Way. Their faith and expectation is very high, and now the nuts and bolts of “allowing it to happen” must take shape.
I left last night with the undeniable awareness that something that had never even crossed my mind as a possibility up until 5 years ago, has now literally become a reality.
It’s a great lesson for me that God is always working behind the scenes in ways that we can’t imagine. We should never stop praying for God to do what seems impossible!