22 1/2 Years
By David Baker - Associate Pastor of Music Ministries
January 1st, 2000, we woke up not sure that any of the world’s computers would still be working. That seems so strange now, but prior to this new millennium, all of our dates used only two digits for the year. And now, finishing up with ‘99, would it reset all of the computers to 00’s and cause them all to crash?
Obviously, someone figured it all out and technology has continued to advance and improve.
Two and a half months later, February 18, 2000, our church was overtaken by the “Baker Storm!” And nothing has been the same since for either our church nor the Baker family!
22½ years provides a good bit of memories and experiences: 22 times of setting up and taking down the Christmas Village where we have seen thousands upon thousands of students, along with their families, who have been introduced to the hospitality and love of our church family! Easter pageants where thousands have seen the Easter story come to life in our Worship Center. Student choir mission tours spanning from Phoenix, AZ to Lockhart and Bluffton, SC, from St. Louis, MO, to Houston, Seabrook, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi, TX, and Artesia, and Roswell, NM, to Deridder, and Walker, and New Orleans, LA to Mobile, AL, where again, our students touched the lives of thousands upon thousands with their music as well as their hearts and hands! Our Children’s choirs shared their love and music with us over 40 times, once each Christmas and Spring! Certainly thousands of parents and friends heard their programs and the message of Jesus come to life in these sweet, young voices!
22½ years also means 1,170 Sundays of joining our hearts and voices in worship and praise! Learning new songs while still embracing the “more experienced” ones. Certainly, everyone wants “their” favorite songs to be shared more, but we have all learned to realize that there are truths in each song we sing from which we can all learn.
Who knows the impact all of these experiences have had on the hearts of the people with whom we have been able to share the gospel over the years beside God Himself? His Word clearly reminds us that His Word will not return to Him void. (Isa 55:11) We were faithful to His calling and His mission. We leave the results to Him.
We can look back with joy and fulfillment knowing we were faithful in each situation. But our focus can never be backward. Jesus Himself said in Luke 9:62 that no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.
So, thank you, God, for these 22½ years! What’s next? I hope that’s your prayer, too. I love you.