An update from the Garay Family:
As many of you are aware, the last few years have been a rollercoaster of sorts for Cely’s health. Along with increasingly intense and frequent migraines, she also suffers from an autoimmune disease. Most recently (in January), a blood clot was found in her lung which led to more medications and further tests that brought to light some areas of concern that become more prevalent and difficult when exposed to the cold and the varying changes in the seasons.
After much prayer, discerning, tears, and doctor recommendations, we have made the difficult decision to relocate to Florida in June. As you can imagine, we are sad to leave our beloved Urban Poiema Church, and the amazing people that this ministry is composed of. However, God has provided confirmation to us in several ways that this is the best step for our family. We will be pastoring a church in Florida, but will also have the opportunity to provide the best environment for Cely to recover and receive healing in Jesus’ name.
As the founding pastors of Urban Poiema Church, we feel proud of our directors and leaders for all of the amazing work they have done right alongside us, and for the work they will continue to do when this transition takes place.
1 Corinthians 3:6-11 says, “6 I planted the seed,Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
The best is yet to come for sure. Our love and appreciation for Urban Poiema Church is too great for words. We love you all. We expect to hear great things!
Pastor Juan, Cely, Dariana and Markito
Obedience to loving God, loving people & making disciples is our focus.
Larissa’s story is one of redemptive grace, love and faithfulness. Her past was rough. Her life was hard. Her stories were down right unfair and difficult to digest, even.
Last Sunday we got a glimpse of Larissa’s story. Her story was sad and exciting all at the same time. I know that is a dichotomy, however, God is what makes this story so. She went from being lost and without hope, to being found by God and given hope beyond her imagination.
Larissa came to the warehouse and had a great experience with God, however, that’s just the beginning. What transformed her heart was not one event, it was her desire to be discipled. Her desire to grow in love so she may operate in love and grace.
Now she is in charge of our Hope Dealers ministry. Evangelizing our streets and telling people about the love and hope that is in Jesus! Since she is being discipled, she can go and make disciples.
Church, I want to be a ministry filled with people who are discipled so they can go and make disciples. This is why our final value in our church is: Obedience to loving God, loving people and making disciples is our focus.
Why is this our focus? Because we can’t:
Have Compassion be our heart if we aren’t loving God, loving people and making disciples.
Have Audacious spirit (or faith) we aren’t loving God, loving people and making disciples.
Have Relevance be our approach we aren’t loving God, loving people and making disciples.
Have Excellence be our aim we aren’t loving God, loving people and making disciples.
Have Service be our distinctiveness if we aren’t loving God, loving people and making disciples.
Have Generosity be our privilege if we aren’t loving God, loving people and making disciples.
All of our values in our church mean nothing, our church will mean nothing to our city, our attempts will mean nothing, if we can’t love God, love people, and make disciples of Jesus Christ.
And we can’t make disciples if we are not being discipled.
Friends, we have to have a fire over this value, nothing else will ever matter more than this. I’m as flawed as there is as a leader and even a Christian. But that is why I need to be discipled. Because I’m flawed, I need to serve God and serve people… I need life groups… I need to grow spiritually… I need prayer… I need to read the Bible… I need generous… I need to be around people even if I disagree with them… I need accountability in every area of my life.
Why?! Because it will change my life. If you don’t believe me, ask Larissa. Her story will let us see that discipleship is never in vain. Let’s go! Gather, Grow, Give, and Go!
In His Grace and Love,
The lead and social media team will be bringing you content on all things UP church! Subscribe to our page!