The following account was written by a member of Mars Hill Church Huntington Beach (and submitted by Pastor Matt Wallace) who experienced first hand what community in action looks like. May it serve as both encouragement and instruction in what Jesus meant by loving one another.
I wanted to take a few minutes this morning to let you all know how grateful my wife and I are for our church and to make sure you guys know about what a blessing it has been to us recently.
On December 3rd I came home from work feeling pretty bad and experiencing a significant amount of pain in my midsection and lower back. I was planning on trying to sleep it off, but my wife wisely decided we were going to the emergency room. However, I was in no shape to drive, so this meant that we would have to find someone to watch our four kids while my wife drove me or I’d have to call an ambulance and go to the ER alone—thank the Lord for our Community Group. My wife called our Community Group leaders to notify them of the situation. Twenty minutes later, we were dropping our four kids off at their apartment with the peace of mind that they were in good hands.
At the hospital, doctors determined that I was experiencing kidney failure and unfortunately my emergency room visit turned into a six-day hospital stay. This was a problem for us. My wife and I are from Georgia and, as a military family on the West Coast, we are isolated from our parents, brothers, sisters, and family support system who all live on the East Coast. The choice was either get help with the kids or be in the hospital for the next six days by myself.
Once again our Laguna Hills Community Group stepped in. One couple came over to our house the next day, cooked dinner for our kids, played Xbox with my son, and spent what I am pretty sure was a sleepless night with our stubborn one-year-old who was determined to stay up all night. Then they both went straight from our house to work the next day. Amazingly, two ladies (one who is not even a member of our community group!) showed up at our house the next day at 6 a.m. to take care of the kids, put food in our refrigerator, and start cleaning up the house. They restocked toilet paper and soap, scrubbed our bathrooms, and even took care of our dog. Later, yet another couple stopped by the house with more groceries for us. Amidst all of this, our Community Group leader was calling on the members of our group to pray for my speedy recovery.
I had never experienced a hospital stay like that before. Thankfully, I’ve made a full recovery and the doctors don’t anticipate any long-term damage. The time I spent in the hospital was a time of real vulnerability for us. I really cannot imagine how we would have gotten through it without Mars Hill Huntington Beach. You all took care of my kids, put food in my refrigerator, and kept my house in order. And what I’m struck by is how sacrificial everyone was in providing for us: you sacrificed sleep, time, convenience, money during the Christmas season, and one woman in her first trimester of pregnancy did all of these things while battling serious morning sickness. We are so grateful. Mars Hill Huntington Beach was family to us. Mars Hill Huntington Beach was Jesus to us. Thank you for leading our church and thank you for serving us!
If you have a story you would like to share with the church, please submit it here. We would love to hear how God is revealing himself through his people.
For more about community at Mars Hill and to get connected to a local church or Community Group near you, check out marshill.com/community.