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“Before we moved to California, someone told us to plug into a church immediately. They said it would “save” us. We were believers, but not as equipped as we are now. Our church back home was MEGA. (Everything is bigger in Texas, right?) It was hard to get connected and the one and only life group we ever tried had over 25 people. So, to be honest, we didn’t really engage with our church community.
When we first tried South Bay in 2015, Pastor Andy was preaching for the Recalculating series and he said something that really hit me: “Embrace your place.” Embrace where God has led you. After the sermon, I knew I was called to be at South Bay.
Initially, I was so mad and bitter when we moved to San Jose. I had surrendered EVERYTHING. God calls us to do this and yet, I felt so empty. Paul was my only friend for the first few months. It was almost as if God meant to move us so He could strengthen our marriage.
Paul and I became connected through serving in BayKids and later in other areas. We led an Easter Life Group, a Young Professional summer Life Group, and a couple’s Life Group. We each joined a women’s and men’s group. As a result, we have grown tremendously in our faith and we have South Bay Church to thank. Pastor Andy is leading a team that has encouraged, supported, and loved us through our journey.
When we went through our miscarriage this year, the entire church came together for me and Paul. My women’s Life Group held me and wept with me. A few guys in Paul’s Beer & Bible Life Group supported him in a “dude way.” No longer did we feel alone.
Through my miscarriage, God taught me this: One day, I will share this experience with women who will endure the same type of pain and suffering. Although my miscarriage is a tragedy, it is MY TESTIMONY. It’s a part of the story God wrote for me and it has an even more beautiful ending: I was baptized the weekend after the Lord took our Baby P. It was the most perfect day. So much healing and peace came over me and Paul.
I will never be able to explain or express my gratitude for South Bay Church and every staff member on the team. The friendships we’ve built at South Bay will never be replaced or forgotten. We’ve been equipped to be stronger ambassadors for Christ and we cannot wait to witness the many lost souls when we move to Dallas. Please be praying for us. Pray for a church community, a safe home, healthy future pregnancies, our marriage, and most importantly, our hearts for the Lord.” – Janeth & Paul P.