2020 has been a year of a lot of darkness and brokenness. At Stone Hill Church, we believe that God is still at work and there is light to be found in our lives, even in the midst of trials. We would love to fill this week with stories of God's work in your life, no matter how big or small! You can share your stories in one of four ways:
1. "I'm thankful. . ." board in the church atrium
2. On the website. Just fill out this form and we will update this page daily with stories. (If you wish to remain anonymous, please indicate so on the form.)
4. This year's Thanksgiving Service is going virtual. A gathering will be held on Zoom on Sunday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m. The link will be sent out in this week's Stone Hill Happenings. If you do not receive it or have issues, please contact the church office.
Stories of Thanks...
Deeply thankful for God's unconditional and abundant love, for sacrificing His son, Jesus, Lord, King, and Savior in order to forgive my sins, offer and give me eternity. I am grateful to the Lord for Stone Hill, for the small groups lead by Ricardo & Ana Alvarado. I am grateful to the Lord and for Mary McCormack, Martha Acosta, Steve & Alba Lucia Thomas, and for the Benevolence Team who generously supported and assisted us in a time of financial need. I am so grateful for my son's schools, teachers, and staff, grateful for my family and friends. I am extremely grateful for the faith, love, and promise that the Lord gives me, Psalm 23:1, The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. This has been my daily prayer, along with Proverbs 3: 5-6. After a long journey (18-24 mos.) of searching for a part-time job (to add to my full-time job) to supplement the lost income from a second job, God, our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit answered my prayer. In the middle of a pandemic, after trusting and relying only and solely upon Him, I was surprised when I was approached by someone with a job offer when I was not searching. I am grateful to know that I have the gift to seek Him and His will and to trust in Him with all my heart. Edith Juarez
Entering college virtually this fall was somewhat of a daunting prospect, especially in the realm of making friends. However, at this point, I am so thankful to have made a number of good friends, through my classes and particularly through the Christian group I am a part of. I thank God for bringing them into my life because especially in these circumstances it is clear that He was working to connect us because making connections is so much harder virtually. Katie Baldwin
I’m thankful for our baby’s insatiable appetite—a quality remarkable in light of her first months of life. A few weeks after she was born in late January, Aretae started throwing up, violently and often multiple times a day. Eliminating common allergens from my diet helped with some of her fussiness, but the vomiting remained, even after beginning reflux medication. Comparing her with her older sister only increased my anxiety, when I compared their respective growth charts and when Aretae moved into her sister’s hand-me-downs. Those first six months were awful, tortured with fear that my baby wasn’t getting enough nourishment, and racked with helplessness at not knowing how to give her more. Now Aretae is almost ten months old, and while she is still small for her age, I marvel at God’s creative power in driving her growth and her health. I am thankful every time she stuffs food in her face, every time she gets angry at seeing food she is not getting, every time she steals food from someone else’s plate. Rachel Zhang
We are thankful for the best possible outcomes in recent cancer treatments for my brother-in-law: an answer to many prayers. Thankful for more time at home over the past few months with our boys (teenagers headed out in just a few years). Thankful for weekly prayer time with other Stone Hill people (this has been so encouraging!), for friendships developing in our "pod," for the health of our parents, for beauty all around (crimson leaves, sunsets, bird song, worship music, walks in the woods). Thankful for reminders from pastors, friends, and God's word that He is still on His throne, He is good and He loves us! Betsy Ferrer
I'd like to thank God for blessing our church with Nathaniel Mariman; he had faithfully served as our "soundman" long before Covid-19 struck, but he has since spent hours and hours recording and editing myriad videos, sound clips, and who knows what else to enable us to still enjoy many aspects of "church" that would otherwise not have been possible for many in our congregation. Thank you Nathaniel for using the gifts that God has given you! Jackie Johnsen
Earlier this year, my back trouble was getting worse and worse, to the point where standing for more than ten or fifteen minutes at a time was extremely painful. During the summer, when they reopened the hospital for elective surgeries, I was able to go in for a spinal fusion. I had lots of concerns going in: Would the surgery solve my problem? Would there be terrible pain during the recovery? Would I ever get back to where I could do normal activities? Many people at Stone Hill and elsewhere were praying for me, for which I will always be thankful. The surgery, in late July, was an unqualified success. Within a few days, I was already able to walk better than before the surgery. The pain was entirely controllable with just Tylenol, which more than anything else is a testimony to God's goodness to me through all of this. For all this, I'm thankful to God, to my wife, who lovingly took care of me during my recovery, and our whole church family who prayed for me and provided us with meals during the recovery. God has been good! Steve Fischer
Thankful for this season of rest. Thankful for slower-paced living and our peaceful home. Thankful for FaceTime and Zoom and internet connections. Thankful for our bountiful garden and freezer full of food, for birds at the feeder, and split firewood for the winter ahead. Thankful for quality time together, for our good health, and rich time with our Lord and Savior. Thankful for 2020. Bill and Jane Van Zandt
I am thankful for the timely encouragement of friends!
Even before the pandemic hit, 2020 was going to be a year of big change for me. I was headed to training with WEC International to join them as a full-time missionary and the plan was for me to move to the UK. I did go to training and I did join WEC, but I did not move to the UK. Instead, I’m working remotely. Through all the changes and all the craziness, the Lord was with me. He opened doors, protected me, guided me, and encouraged me. I’m thankful for his great love for me! Without it, I would be nothing. Lara Holt
Lynn and I were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and concern from the Stone Hill Church family during the loss of both of my parents within a couple of weeks and my positive diagnosis of Covid 19 in the spring of 2020. During this difficult and trying time offers of prayers, cards, meals, and even groceries were generously provided by the Stone Hill Family. These love offerings were welcomed and appreciated and I just wanted to provide a special thanks to all our brothers and sisters in Christ who really made this time more bearable. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Paul writes “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort who comforts us in all of our afflictions so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”. Thank you, Lord, for your peace during that time, and thanks to all the brothers and sisters in Christ who lived out 2 Corinthians 1:4. Bob Pietras
I am thankful for the support and friendship of so many church staff members during my many trials this year. Paul Harrison