Sunday, June 19, 2011

Greetings from Nakuru (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

After 29 hours of riding on and waiting for planes, trains and automobiles...Jacque, our daughter Bethany and I arrived at Springs of Hope Kenya this last Tuesday night. A little weary and stiff but no worse off for the wear of travel. We are still adjusting to the seven hour forward jump in time but that too shall pass...just about when we board a plane for the return trip home I'm sure!

We are spending two weeks with our partners here and Bethany is with us on her "senior trip" graduation present. I marvel again at what a beautiful place SOHK is both as a facility and more importantly as a sanctuary for some 30 children who have been orphaned by the horrid disease of HIV/AIDS. This place is a sanctuary for me as much as it is for these kids. For in this world where evil seems to triumph far too often, SOHK is evidence that gates of hell shall not prevail...evidence that we can bring a little heaven to earth. The worth of this orphanage is far greater than the number of children we rescue...for sometimes I think we rescue ourselves in the process as well. And to that end SOHK is more than a place, it is a place of hope. Keep us in your prayers...we want to serve the leaders and staff of this ministry well. There are times when I think one of the best ways to serve God is to serve His children.

Cypress you will be served well with the teachings the next two Sundays. Chuck Deitch our director of family life ministries will teach this weekend and one of our favorite ex-Cypress employees Jan Cox will have the teaching baton the following weekend.

Douglas (A.K.A. "The Mzungu Pastor")

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Connecting Worlds

While in Nakuru next month, our Kenya Mission Team will be doing a community outreach with a "story" theme and connecting the stories of kids at Springs of Hope and Cypress Meadows Community Church. See how you & your kids can be a part of this!

A Cosmic Switch (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

“There are times when life throws a cosmic switch that moves the tracks beneath us...hurling our lives headlong in a new and uncertain direction. Of these times three things are certain: It’s best we don’t know what’s ahead. We can never go back. God and His grace will sustain us.”

Yesterday I sent these words to a friend whose life has just been set on a new course that is not of their choosing.  Their future looks...different and a little uncertain. The bridge to the past has been burnt down. But their one constant, their one hope, their God and His grace.

I decided to send this out to you today as well seems to be no respecter or persons and maybe just maybe the tracks beneath you have just shifted and you are being sent in a new and uncertain direction that is not of your choosing. If so, you are not alone...and you are not forsaken. I don’t know what it is, how deep it hurts or how unjust the whole deal seems. I just know: It’s best we don’t know what’s ahead. We can never go back. God and His grace will sustain us.

If this is not for you...maybe it is for someone you know.

Okay a quick word about this weekend. It’s baptism weekend at Cypress this weekend. Don’t miss it. Let me say that again..don’t miss it! Saturday night at 6; Sunday at 9:15 or 11. We get to break in the new dock and deck!! Woohoo!

On Monday Jacque and I head to Kenya for a couple of weeks of working with our partners at Springs of Hope. Prayers appreciated. I’ll do my best to send you my Friday e-note and keep you up-dated.


Friday, June 3, 2011

The Big Three-O (from Douglas Poole)

Dear Cypress Family and Friends,

It seemed a little surreal to me as I drove onto the Cypress campus this morning...30 years. Not all that many people get the privilege of throwing themselves everyday into the vision that they believe in to the core of their being. Fewer still get to do it with co-laborers that feel more like family than colleagues. And how many get to do it for the substantial part of their adult life? Jacque and I truly feel like the most blessed people on the planet.

This Sunday night we all get to celebrate the One behind the whole thing...our Lord. Our creative team has outdone themselves in coming up with a way to honor God for His transforming power in the lives of so many people for so many years. We will all laugh at pictures of our founders with shaggy hair, old school glasses and vintage 80’s attire. We will be stirred to our soul by some ‘Yea God’ stories. And Dr. Hap Arnold, the chiropractor who started a bible study that eventually led to the launching of Cypress Meadows is driving over from Orlando to make a cameo appearance. Whatever you do...whatever you do...please don’t miss this moment and milestone in the history of our church. Sunday 5:30 PM, Countryside High School Auditorium. (Reminder: This will be the only service this weekend. No services on Saturday night or Sunday morning.)

Let me wrap this up by simply saying that 30 years ago I had a vision, hopes and dreams to be a part of building a prevailing church that would see a steady stream of lives transformed by God’s amazing grace. This morning I fell to my knees to thank God for the sheer outrageous grace of heaven that has so exceeded what a wretch like me deserves and turned vision into reality. Yea God! Yea God! Yea God! I hope sometime this Anniversary weekend you will find a quiet place to spend a few moments thanking God for including you as well.

Happy 30th!