Baby Dedication

Last month, we held our baby dedication for 4 kids. It was a blessed time. For us as a community, it is incredibly important to incorporate our children into our community–that what we do includes them as well.

As each child was blessed and anointed by one of our leaders and our own loved ones. The community and parents made vows to each other to be spiritual leaders and examples for the children and to keep each other accountable as family would. We offered the congregation to make this commitment to the children of Haven.

This was also a great opportunity for us to invite our loved ones and friends who don’t typically attend a church and to see what we are doing and why. Why as parents we find it significant to dedicate our child unto the Lord–that these little ones are a blessing from him and every good and perfect gift comes from up above.

A small outline of our baby dedication :)

*In OT, God decreed the firstborn belonged to Him.  Every firstborn had to be redeemed. (for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether human or animal. They are to be mine. I am the Lord.” – Numbers 3:13 NIV)
*We are not Israelites and we are not bound to offering a sacrifice in place of our children because Jesus was sacrificed in place of our firstborn.
*We are responsible to raise our firstborns to know the Jesus who died for in their place.
*As a community of believers, we have a responsibility.  Jesus says: (…whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. -Matthew 18:5, 6 NASB)… basically, don’t be stumbling blocks.
*We can take a higher calling: participate in the raising, praying for, edifying, teaching, disciplining, and loving our the children.

The lady of the group, Miss Juliette was not present for this dedication but we had a separate dedication for her on Easter Sunday.

And now, some photos!






Good Friday and Easter Sunday Service

GOOD FRIDAY :: ENCANTO CLUBHOUSE :: APR 6th, 7:30PM

This Friday, folks! Directions to Encanto Clubhouse. Refreshments (but no dinner) will be provided.

EASTER SUNDAY :: HELLYER PARK :: APR 8th, 11AM

Directions to Hellyer Park. NO SUNRISE SERVICE THIS YEAR!!! But instead of waking up early, Invite FRIENDS for a nice time of BBQ and Easter Eggs (so make sure you invite your friends who have kids!). There will be an Easter program as well, of course.

Holiday Projects at Haven!

Our house communities have been involved in a few Love projects this holiday season. Here’s an update on what we’ve been up to!

SJSU CARE PACKAGES
This past December, we teamed up again with SJSU’s AACF (Asian American Christian Fellowship) to anonymously pass out care packages on the school campus. From past experiences, they were widely well received and people liked that there no strings attached–that we were simply there to show an act of love and kindness without a speech or “recruiting” them to go to church. We also were able to have the other Christian fellowships involved this time around as well. We were encouraged from the students at AACF that took time out of their studying schedule to help us pack 1000 care packages! We hope that this will spark a flame to pass on for others to show unconditional love.


Shopping at Costco for the snacks!

Packing in the SJSU engineering building with the AACF students


Students who received the care packages in the library and tweeted about it

CARE PACKAGES & CLOTHES DRIVE FOR THE VICTORIANS
Every 3rd Sunday, we meet for a all-church worship gathering at Le Petit Trianon Theater in downtown San Jose. Next to do is a housing program called the Victorians. A few of them join us for Sunday worship and sometimes we go over there to hang out. This past Christmas, we celebrated with them with a pizza party because they LOVE their pizza. We also put together hygeine packs for them that consisted of shampoo, socks, toothbrushes and other toiletry necessities. Additionally, one of our church members organized a clothing drive for them so they could go “shopping” and get some clothing. Everyone pitched in and had a great time.

Putting together the hygiene packs

Pizza time!

CHRISTMAS COOKIE PARTY
Every year for the past 3 years, a couple in our community hosts a cookie exchange. Not only do we have a fantastic cookie contest but we also bake extras to pack up and donate to Unity Care, a transitional foster care program. We also sewed together some funky sock monkeys for the kids!

We hope everyone had a great holiday season in remembering the birth of our Savior.

Here is a special Christmas song that Warren recorded!

Upcoming Events for December!

SAN JOSE STATE / AACF CARE PACKAGES PREPPING! @ SAN JOSE STATE 7PM.
Some of our house community groups have teamed up with AACF from San Jose State to pass out care packages during finals week. The packages have a few snacks for the students to enjoy! It is a LOVE project and we are trying to maintain anonymity so there should be no identity of who is giving these out except that they are from people to love other people. They will be passing these out the week of December 5! Contact rachel (at) kingsfamily.net for more info!

BLESSING THE VICTORIANS :: LUNCH, HYGIENE PACKS AND POSSIBLE CLOTHING DRIVE :: 12/18 @12PM
I’m excited to announce that after next LPT Worship service, we’re going have lunch with and pass out hygiene packs to the Victorians who are neighbors next door! We’d like to do a clothing drive too, so let’s start it now, if we don’t get enough it can be ongoing.

To make these hygiene packs, we’ll be having an…

ALL HAVEN HYGIENE PACKING PARTY :: CARD MAKING :: POTLUCK :: 12/13 @ 7PM Contact missjenniferhuang (at) gmail.com for more info!

The Tuesday before LPT, we’ll be packing essential hygiene items for the Victorians. We’ll also write some cards and blessing to them =] Please plan what to bring for the potluck with your house group. Directions to the Brizuelas’.

Items that the Victorians need most are (these and others will be provided):
Soap
Shampoo
Combs
Disposable razors
Toothbrush
Toothpaste

You DO NOT NEED TO BRING the above. Haven will be providing the contents of these hygiene packs. Two Tuesdays from now on the 13th, we will be PACKING them together. This is a great opportunity to invite your friends, especially those who don’t know Jesus!

CLOTHING DRIVE :: BRING CLOTHES ON 12/13

Please bring your old clothes (or new underwear)! Last time friends and co-workers contributed too, so ask yours!

Items the Victorians need the most are:
Socks
T-shirts
New Underwear
Heavy Jackets

We need you to BRING THE ABOVE for this to be a success!

***
Questions, comments, or suggestions?
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www.twitter.com/havencommunity

A House Group Thanksgiving

From our Thursday Night House Community:
One week prior to Thanksgiving, our young home group had our very first holiday meal together. We had an early Thanksgiving pot luck feast, with plenty of food to go around. It was a great time for everybody to catch up with each other. And, since our group has only been meeting for two months at this point, we also used the time to know one another better through sharing and stories.

Giving the diverse nature of our group, there were plenty of tales from the recent and not-so-recent past. As mashed potatoes and gravy were passed around, we discussed jobs, school, and family, as well as random and silly topics. Despite the varied nature of the members, each could relate to the others’ struggles, or, at the very least, lend a sympathetic ear.

Sooner than anybody expected, the hour grew late, and it was time wipe the cupcake crumbs from our mouths, pack up leftovers, and head off into the night. Even without any games or ice breakers, our Thanksgiving dinner went by quickly, and we all came away with stronger ties of friendship–and maybe a pound or two heavier.

Generosity Challenge – Care Packages for Local College students at SJSU

John 13:34-35 (New American Standard Bible)

“A new commandment I give to you,that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

This holiday, one of the  house community groups wanted to show love to the local college students by handing out care packages of snacks sealed in a bag with a sticker that said “Good Luck! Study Hard”. No traces of where the group was from or any affiliations were marked on the bag because they did not want any recognition–just for the students to know that they were being loved and thought of. Many who received the snacks initially thought they had to sit through some long imposing speech about who the group was  and what they did but were surprised to find that it wasn’t. One student as we explained what were doing thanked us and said “One love and respect is what it’s about.”

While the house community group recognized when opportunities arose to chat about deeper things, they were ready but all in all it was purely intended to be an act of love.

A summary from Ken who helped head up this project:

“The damp weather as we emerged from the car to unload bags of snacks reminded me how dreadful and unappealing finals could be. It was almost 18 months since my last final at SJSU, but seeing the students scurry around with loaded backpacks brought back, if only just for a second, all the feelings of impending doom.

Our small group wanted to bless our community in a way that fit in with the holiday season, and nothing says, “Merry Christmas,” like studying frantically all night for a two-hour test you have no hope of passing. The SJSU campus is about one block away from Le Petit Trianon where our church meets on Sundays, so they were a natural choice. Our group created an ambitious goal to hand out 200 bags full of snacks to students studying in the MLK Library, and soon realized that we needed some help. With a few phone calls and emails, Alan enlisted the services of the SJSU chapter of AACF.

Working with AACF turned out to be much more of a blessing than we realized. Most of our small group members are 5+ years removed from college, so the younger folks had a bit of a Antarean effect on us. They had a great time blessing their peers with semi-nutritious goodies found in small brown paper bags.

Initially, the reactions from the students studying in the library were mixed. We tried to spread out to all of the floors, and the reception at most floors was luke-warm at best–until the students realized that there really were no strings attached, and the snack packs were truly a gift. Then, we couldn’t give them away fast enough. Clearly, 200 bags were not nearly enough, and we easily could have tripled the number. During the two-hour evening, it only took us 15 minutes to distribute all the treats.

Overall, the reactions were genuine gratitude: thankful for some nourishment, thankful for a small break during a potentially long night, and thankful that we didn’t stick around to bore them with a long monologue about why we were there. The reactions from AACF and our small group were also positive, and there might be potential for us to partner up again in the future. After all, it never hurts to encourage other people with a heart to serve.

The rain finally stopped when it was time for everybody to part ways. I had spent a lot of time at SJSU in the past, but returning there allowed me to see it in a different light. This time, when I left the campus that evening, it was nice not having to worry about final grades ruining my Christmas break.”

What is the Generosity Challenge?

Mini Generosity Challenge -Jackets

From one of our house community members:

The Mini Project: For one of our generosity projects, we bought about 25 really nice and warm jackets for each house community member to hand out but not to donate to an organization. The point is to address a need when we see one.  There are no restrictions to whom the jacket may be given to. It could be someone who lives on the streets or even a person waiting at the bus stop in the rain.

What is the Generosity Challenge?

“Earlier this week I was praying that God would give me the opportunity to give out a jacket and so I purposefully grabbed the stack in my trunk to put in my backseat so I can reach for it if I needed to. I REALLY wanted to start handing them out especially since the weather is starting to get cold and also because the last time I felt God telling me to give a jacket out, I chickened out. I wanted to follow through the next opportunity He presented.

Yesterday, I was waiting at this  taqueria in Sunnyvale that a lot of working people go to to meet a friend for lunch. A lady who looked a little tattered (named Jessie Girl) was sitting outside on the curb. Generally I won’t offer anything unless they ask or have a sign. I just don’t want people to be offended if I assumed they were homeless/begging for something and they weren’t :) Anyway, I walked outside of the taqueria to flag down my friend and the lady who was outside asked me for some money. I asked her if she’d like lunch instead and what she’d like. She said she wanted a philly cheesesteak and fries and I said, awesome…where can i get that nearby here? She said, “In there!” (points at taqueria). For a split second, i thought she was out of it but then she said there’s a special in the taqueria but it’s $5. I said not to worry about it and said I would get it for her.

I then thought this would be a good opportunity to give her a jacket and asked her if she was cold and if she’d like a jacket. She said oh no it’s okay I don’t want to take it from you. I said, no no I have some brand new ones and would give her one. I said why don’t you come to my trunk and to see what size fits. She seemed surprised but followed me anyway.

All I really had was XL and XXL (she was kind of bigger) but i think we both assumed she wouldn’t be any more than a Large. I dug up a Medium but it seemed to small and then she asked to try the XXL and it fit perfectly! I felt like i was back in retail telling her it looked good and fit well and told her that it was a very good jacket that would keep her warm throughout the winter.

Right then, my friend pulled in and was like, are you selling jackets from your trunk?? :) I explained to her what I was doing. I told Jessie Girl I’d be right back with her philly cheese steak special for $5 (which was a real special!) I then gave it to her and she was grateful.

It seems like a small and easy gesture but sometimes whether it was out of laziness, fear, people thinking I was weird, thinking someone else will do it, we don’t follow through with God asking us to do the simple things. I ask God to see the big things but if I myself can’t even obey on a simple task, then it will be harder to see even the big things.

Hopefully I will continue to have more opportunities to obey and show love through this project.”

The delicious taqueria:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/tres-potrillos-taqueria-sunnyvale

Upcoming Events for December

WED. DECEMBER 1 AT 7:30pm, PRAYER AT THE HOM’S
Directions to the Homs
‘. Send Al your prayer items or pray with us in person.

SUN.  DECEMBER 5,th  9:30am – DOJO at THE KINGS’ – “Leading House Groups.”
923 Alegre Place, SJ, CA 95126

Dojo is our leadership/discipleship training open to everyone. Come if you have a heart to grow deeper.
See our past sessions »

THURSDAYS @ 7:00pm: KNITTING AT COFFEE SOCIETY IN CAMPBELL
Newcomers & Vets welcome! Directions to Coffee Society »

THURSDAYS @ 7:15pm: BASKETBALL :: MORELAND WEST C.C.
Contact Dave for more info. Directions to the Community Center.

SAT. DEC. 11th 2-5pm: COOKIE EXCHANGE :: ENCANTO CLUBHOUSE
Bring your best cookie recipe to the NGUYENS on Contact Lisa ASAP to RSVP. Cookies will also be donated to Next Door SolutionsDirections to the Clubhouse (Nguyens’).

SUN. DEC. 19th 10AM:: HAVEN WORSHIP at LE PETIT TRIANON THEATRE
Directions to LPT »

GENEROSITY PROJECT
There will be a series of blog posts on current projects coming soon!

retreat!

Walk

Men’s and Women’s Retreats: September 24-26, 2010

We’ll doing a Fall men’s and women’s retreat this year with a bit of a twist. The men will be doing a monster backpacking trip in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The goal? Commune with God. Put ourselves to the test. Learn to rely on each other and God. It’s going to be epic.

The women will also retreat… retreat to a house in Santa Cruz. They will not have a speaker, but will focus the time on how God has brought RESTORATION and life to our broken lives. There will be several women sharing their stories. But everyone will have an opportunity hear, share and journey through what God is doing in our lives.

SIGN UP NOW… we need to begin prepping for the weekends. Invite friends and checkout all the info on the following links:

MEN’S HIKING TRIP

WOMEN’S RETREAT

loving on the neighborhood

In response to our Generosity Challenge, one of our house communities prayed and asked God what to do. And He began showing Mayra images of kids in the neighborhood that she used to live in. And how many of these kids have few positive influences and basically nothing to do the entire summer.

So the group began doing free bi-weekly BBQ’s in June – food, crafts and games for the kids and just hanging out with whomever wants to come out. It has been an incredible experience and we’re looking forward to how God will continue to lead us. A few highlights:

  • Indian, Asian, Latino kids all playing cricket together.
  • Meeting an African refugee family in the neighborhood.
  • Praying for people who need prayer.
  • Magic shows for the kids.
  • Over 200 hotdogs BBQ’d.
  • Hearing about the struggles of the neighborhood.
  • Listening to people’s stories and meeting people from over 8 different countries.

We’ve been doing every other Thursday and will be transitioning to weekends. We’ll be going again this Thursday [8/5], but contact us at info@ihaven.org for what day we’ll transition to. Come on out and share a dog, play some cricket and just be Jesus to a neighborhood.

This week:

August 5th – THURSDAY – 6:00-8:30p [come anytime]
Meeting in front of 2299 Pasetta Drive, Santa Clara

Some more photos HERE and HERE courtesy of Luis.