Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why we serve

We had our Volunteer Appreciation Dinner last night at the Boston Cheese Steak Company. It was a great time. Mike gave away door prizes, we had some great sandwhiches and we were having so much fun talking that I had to kick everyone out because the staff was wanting to close.
I passed out cards with a new picture of "the 5."

I also had Travis Bottcher share his testimony, which I've posted below.

Church, this is exactly why we serve. From set-up crew, to music and media to kid's ministry - everyone has played a part in Travis' journey toward Christ.
If you weren't there last night, let me say again, thank you for your ministry. It's making an eternal difference.

In case you don’t know me, my name is Travis Bottcher, and because I work retail, I only make it to church every once in a while on my Sunday’s off. But if you work in the kid’s area, I am sure you know my son Billy. He is pretty unforgettable and can be a little bit of a handful (okay maybe a big handful at times) though I hope he is getting a little better.

I started coming to Trinity Family about a year ago, though my wife, Amy, and Billy have been coming since Trinity Family first started having services. She would go to small groups and Erin would come over to our house and they would have their own study group. I always had excuses why I couldn’t go though and some were actually legit, but some were a little bit of a stretch as far as excuses go. I guess I felt like I believed in God so why did I need to go to small groups. It was like I knew God and I believed in him so what more did I need.

Then for some reason one Sunday, I agreed to go to church with Amy and Billy. As soon as I walked in I met Donnie, Josh, and Nate, and though I was nervous because I knew they knew I had been avoiding this place. They were still genuinely excited to meet me or they all sure did a great job of acting.

I was introduced to a lot of people that day and I remember feeling so relaxed because I felt no pressure. Amy had always told me about the music and how great it was and how she would hear Donnie’s message and would come away feeling better. I would always think, yeah right, how can an hour and half do that much to you. But after I came that first time, I knew what she meant. As I left, Donnie told me how great it was to have me and I told him it was just the beginning.

Donnie and I started having weekly Bible study’s soon after and Aaron Holmes was with us at the beginning as I was going through some tough things personally which was also affecting me spiritually. I kept questioning and looking more and more into what the Bible was saying to me and what it meant in my life. At first, I felt like God was over there on the other side of the room. But as I kept learning and reading I realized he was only over there because I wasn’t letting him in. Donnie gives me a hard time about this but I can’t give total credit to Donnie for helping get me to this point and letting God into my life. At the beginning and still today, I listen and watch Joel Osteen, which not everyone likes or agrees with but he always has a positive spin on day to day things. So for me, during rough times in my personal life, it was good to hear some positive messages and feel like I wasn’t alone. I also feel like if I had not been opened up just that little bit by those positive messages, I would not have been receptive in meeting with Donnie and who really knows where I would be in my life right now.

Which brings me to one example of what Trinity Family has done for me, as a father and single dad at the moment, there is one Sunday that really sticks out in my mind? I brought Billy by myself for the first time that day and took him back with the other kids. He was a little hesitant at first, as he usually is (which he makes up for as soon as I leave I know) but he finally let me leave. After church I went and picked him up and asked him if he met any friends and he said “Hundreds”. That was awesome to hear and let me know that you all were doing a great job and I know you don’t hear it often enough. So thank you for all the great work you are doing.

I want to give you one more example of what Trinity Family has done for me. Two Saturday’s ago, Billy and I went to see Amy in the hospital and a few things happened and I was really frustrated with the situation. When I left I was like I should call Donnie because I need a positive spin on this and Joel Osteen’s music wasn’t doing it for me but it was 8 on a Saturday night. So I decided against it and stayed frustrated with the whole situation. At 8:36 (I looked it up on my cell phone) Donnie called me and I know I scared him when I answered by saying I was going to call you and I can’t believe you are calling me and went on and on and on explaining my situation with him. He listened and eventually calmed me down and found a positive spin which I would never have found. A year ago I would not have slept all night and would have been banging my head against the wall but that simple phone call he made out of the blue, helped me more than anyone knows, even Donnie.

In saying that, Donnie, I want to thank you for sticking with me and being there for me during my roller coaster ride of a life. Especially over the last 6 months, you have always been there to listen to me vent and help me with my anger and confusion towards my situations and towards God and have worked with me in trying to figure out why these things are happening. Trinity Family and you came into my life when I didn’t know I was going to need you but thankfully you both did because my life would be an even bigger mess right now. I have learned that I am not walking alone anymore. So thank you to you all and know you have changed my life which in turn is working to change Billy’s and hopefully Amy’s. Thank you!!!

There are more Travis's in this town. Let's do it again!

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