Generosity Project – Youth Soccer

Dave, Alan and John have worked with the South Valley YMCA youth basketball league by sponsoring a team and coaching. This inspired another member of Haven to sponsor and volunteer for the YMCA soccer program. See how God can change lives through a simple “Yes”.

A couple years ago I read a book from Donalad Miller (one of my fave authors) called “To Own a Dragon: Reflections On Growing Up Without A Father”. Here are some summaries (thanks Amazon!) so you have some context:

With honest humor and raw self-revelation, bestselling author Donald Miller tells the story of growing up without a father and openly talks about the issues that befall the fatherless generation. Raw and candid, Miller moves from self-pity and brokenness to hope and strength, highlighting a path for millions who are floundering in an age without positive male role models.

Through Millers personal narrative and MacMurrays wisdom, children of absent fathers will discover how to pick up the broken pieces of a fatherless childhood…and put them back together. Even though I grew up in a home that was no more dysfunctional than the average one, the book really stuck with me for some reason. The book talks about how young mens lives are so strongly affected by the presence (and absence) or strong male presence in their life. Ever since then I’ve really felt a calling to just spend some time with young men in my community… I’m not even sure I’m that great of a role model but I’d like to think that I’m slightly better than average =)

So this led me to last year where I had the chance to mentor a high school youth. It was an interesting journey that is still ongoing but through that I knew that I had to do continue to mentor more but I had to do it through something I loved, something like footy. Luckily Haven was already involved in working with young kids through sport at our local Y sponsoring a basketball team… and now I’m coaching a small soccer team through the Y too.

Those are some of the kids up top, some are crazy a few are quiet some are whiny and most don’t pay attention… but I do have to say that in a few short weeks I’ve become totally attached. Like most of these kinds of things, its probably been more of a blessing to me than its been to them. I don’t know where this thing is headed, I don’t even know if we’ll even be coaching the kids beyond this season. But I do know that this is where God has called me to be right now, luckily all I had to do was say yes.

Stay tuned for more updates from Billy!

A Missional Church-What it Can Look Like

Our last few gatherings, we have been discussing what it means to make disciples and grow as a church and how we get there. It’s a journey we as a church are taking together. We recently watched these videos of missional churches from the Verge Network to help us understand what it kind of looks like. Sometimes we get tunnel vision and need to gain perspective. I think watching these videos helped us do that and evaluate ourselves as a church. We were encouraged and motivated again and it was a great time of discussion. The beauty of the body of Christ is the edification we are able to offer each other through Him.

Jeff Vanderstelt and his Missional Community at Soma Communities share their heart for wanting to see Jesus glorified in his neighborhood and all of Tacoma.

Leonce Crump and his Missional Community at Renovation Church talk about the joys and challenges of planting a church in a diverse neighborhood in Atlanta.

The Austin Stone: Lawson and Paul talk about how God is using their Missional Community to make disciples in their current context with international students at The University of Texas at Austin.

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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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.

What Really Matters Today

A morning thought from one of our church members, Luanne.

This morning I was pondering about my aging body and life, the older I get the closer I come to eternity with Jesus. You know in reality, the things I worry about is far from these eternal matters. I think about stress at work, bills that needs to be paid, my kids, the pain in my arthritic knees, the adipose tissue around my body (that is fat in layman’s term) and what is on my plate for the day.
Then it struck me, What if God calls me home today? I mean home in eternity today? Am I ready? Will I go to Jesus with excitment ? Or will I be hanging onto unfinished business here on earth?

Jesus, I need to realign my thoughts to live in eternity. I need to be living my life in eternity. I want to walk into heaven as if it is the vacation I have been planning for all my life.Lord what do I do today that will invest in my future life in eternity?

These words that were written to Timothy by Paul were words of preparation to eternity. Paul’s letter to Timothy were words to say “here is the big picture, this is what really matters”:


17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1Timothy 6:17-19

Oh Heavenly Father,help me to live my life today with this mind set of living life that is truly life!
Luanne your daughter in Christ Jesus.

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?