Written by: Kaitlin Schilling
Santa Ana, California – the hub of Orange County. For those who aren’t familiar with Southern California, Santa Ana is absolutely central to Orange County both geographically and politically. Like many urban cities it can be a place of brokenness, but also a place of great history and treasure.
Yesterday while working and driving from one patient home to another I happened to cut through the dynamic city. When I reached the other side I suddenly felt like I didn’t want to leave – like I couldn’t leave – this new city my heart now calls home.
Let me back up to June 2015 when my husband Cody and I were on a road trip to Palm Springs. We recently decided to start the house-hunting process, to make the financial commitment to home ownership. While driving the highway we talked about potential neighborhoods in central and south Orange County. We had the nagging feeling that something was missing in our equation. Where are we going and what is the purpose? Where are we settling and why are we settling there? I suddenly had a large fear of moving forward just to end up in a neighborhood where God’s Holy Spirit had not led us. Not that God would leave our family or withhold blessings in our home purchase, but we found ourselves wondering where is God already moving and how can we come alongside to partner in His Kingdom work.
Unexpectedly the City of Santa Ana came to mind. Yes that’s it, I think I remember something about a church plant and a group of people interested in being a light and loving the people of Santa Ana. We need to meet these people. Church planting, as I’m learning, is the process of developing a new Christian church in a local city.
Fast-forward through seven months of prayer, emails, first introductions and some Bible studies, now this distant group of strangers has become our tight-knit family. We meet, we pray, we love, we hang, we adventure, we join for meals and celebrations, we laugh, we share sorrow. We seek to be after Jesus, how He prayed and played, how He rested and worshipped, how He created family out of strangers and invited the sojourner in.
We are Reunion Church.
The next season will be one of trials, growth, frustration, excitement and discomfort as we initiate interest events and our first gatherings for Reunion Church. [We pray] It will be life close to Jesus as we continue to learn His heart for the city and what it looks like to love one person at a time.
Please join with us in prayer, for God to have His way:
– A home. Each member of the Reunion Church launch team is or shortly will be a resident of Santa Ana. Hopefully Cody and I can join our team in Santa Ana soon! Pray that God would lead Cody and I in our first home purchase, that He would provide a place for growing roots.
– Our hearts. That our hearts will desire Jesus and learn to love Santa Ana more.
– Protection. Over our growing church family, our deep friendships and the marriages within our group. Protection from darkness and from disunity.
– Employment. A number of our team members are experiencing job challenges or job changes. That God’s will would become apparent and those experiencing discomfort in employment would receive clarity as they move forward in faith.
– Peace + joy. Peace and joy over sorrow, weariness, and uncertainties. Confidence in Jesus, the sovereign servant we follow.
– Loving one person at a time. We pray that others will be invited to join the Reunion Church family in prayer, financial support, and excitement over how God is moving in the City of Santa Ana.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20