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  • Len & Natalie Raynor


Updated: May 1, 2023

There is just something special about Easter; the air seems fresher and the sun seems more pleasant. There is joy and hope - it’s the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. As the pastor, Easter service is my most favorite service event of the year. As our church has grown, it has become more difficult to find a place or to organize events, but this is a good problem to have. We always rent an offsite location and invite the church plus their families and friends are welcome to come. As a Calvary Chapel, we stress it isn’t necessary to dress up for church - just come. But on Easter Sunday, everyone dresses up. It’s a blessing to see all of the kids running around playing in their Sunday best.

Our Easter Sunday started with our youth worship team. This is a team Noah started and leads every week. They lead the young children in worship at our church location, but now on this Easter Sunday they are in front of the entire church leading people in a song of singing and dancing with joy to the Lord. It is incredible to see how much the little kids love it and how much the parents love seeing their children worship and have fun in church. After they were finished, they handed out goodie bags to all of the kids. Next, we had a time of worship and then teaching.

Looking at what God has done in our church is a blessing; just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. After the teaching was finished, we had a small break to prepare for baptism. I shared what it meant to be baptized as we usually have guests joining us. I have had an opportunity to baptize many people in my life and every one has been special and a blessing. But there is something different baptizing people here at Calvary Motul. I’m the pastor of a small church - I see the ups and downs and walk with so many on their journeys of faith. And so when they decide to be baptized, it’s like baptizing a family member. We had the opportuinty to baptize 2 people this time - Grisel and my son, Caleb. As a father, I never force my kids to be spiritual or be someone they are not; my thought is that I want their relationship with Jesus to be theirs. For Caleb, over the years he has always asked about being baptized, but has never been interested. So, as parents, we just gave him space and allowed God to work in his life.

And this was the time for Caleb. He was ready and I was blessed to baptize him. It was an honor and a privilege to baptize Grisel along with her husband and such a special time for me to baptize my son, Caleb, along with the help of Nelson, our elder and Abimael, Caleb’s youth leader.

Following the baptism, as a church, we all bring food to share and enjoy breaking bread as a family… and then we open up the pool. The smiles, the laughter, the breaking of bread together, the celebrating the resurrection of Jesus is like warm soup for the soul.

I just love it. Ohhhh, I want every Sunday to be like Easter Sunday.

At the beginning of this month we hosted the Calvary pastors’ regional breakfast at Calvary Motul. Natalie and 5 volunteers prepared breakfast and served about 20 men that serve in different Calvary Chapels all over the state. They meet at a different Calvary in a different city each month. Following the time of fellowship and eating breakfast, they headed off to the sanctuary for a time of worship, sharing of the Word, and informing about different upcoming events.

The women’s ministry continued with its second night as we studied Mary and Martha and the importance of listening and not being disctracted. Almost all of the ladies from the first women’s night returned plus a few more! The youth nights and children’s ministry are staying steady. We are always praying for new faces to come in and experience the love of Jesus with these events and classes.

We started our free music lessons and had 11 people come out. This was a 4-week class in which people in our church could come and learn how to play one of three instruments – the acoustic guitar, keyboard, or box drum. We now have one lesson left. At the final class, they will perform the worship song that they were taught and have been practicing all month. We hope to have a few that will want to continue to learn and commit to further lessons. Some of them do not have their own instrument and have only been able to practice at the church. If anyone would like to help by investing into their journey of learning music so that they would be able to play in worship when they are ready, please contact us and we will make sure that your donation goes 100% directly towards these students’ instruments.

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