EAST NORTHPORT, N.Y., Oct. 2, 2015: There is really no better venue that fosters a real sense of Christian community than being a part of a small group, which is a wonderful distinctive of Island Christian Church, a Suffolk county church with campuses in Northport, Port Jefferson, and Holbrook. Life Groups, as the church calls them, meet in people’s homes, usually a couple of times per month, with the purpose of helping people grow in their relationship with God and one another. Lauren, who holds a Life Group in her home, shares the experience of three Life Group members and the impact the group had on each of them.
“Craig and I are blessed to lead a Life Group composed of young adults, ages 25-35 comprised of both single people and couples. Last year was a very difficult year as all three of the married couples in our group desired children, and all three were unable to conceive. As a group, we experienced the frustrations of miscarriages and ineffective fertility treatments. It was hard to imagine why God would not bless these wonderful couples with children, but individually and as a group, we learned to pray hard, be thankful, trust God for the outcome – and anticipate miracles! In His way and in His time, all three couples are now experiencing (or anticipating!) the joys of parenthood. Our joy is deeper and fuller as we praise God for His beautiful answers to prayer together.”
Danielle’s Story: Dave and I were excited to start our family. We struggled through many years of fertility treatments, surgery and a miscarriage. We felt God leading us to pursue adoption to grow our family. We’ve never had to let go of our own plans and trust in the Lord’s plans more than through this journey. We never could have anticipated the pure joy that we feel every single day by doing so. By following God’s plan for us, even through the hard times that broke our hearts, we were never alone and felt the Lord’s comforting hands on us the entire time. He was telling us to just trust in Him. Dave and I adopted our beautiful daughter, Ever Cosette, into our family in June of 2015. Every moment that we look at our daughter’s face, we see God’s miraculous work of art that He created just for us, because that’s how deep His love goes. We have never felt more blessed and grateful that she was the plan that was in store for us all along. Our life group was with us through this four year journey and has been such an amazing support and encouragement through love and prayer on our incredible path to parenthood.
Victoria’s Story: It’s always a blessing to have a community of believers where you can come together and be 100% transparent with. When Harry and I got married, right away we had complications with my pregnancies. Within a year, I had three ectopic pregnancies and the emotional scars to match. If it wasn’t for the resilient prayers and steadfast love of my life group family, we would not have gotten through it as easily as we did. From the studies we watched to the discussions after, we learned a lot. We learned patience, trusting in God and actually listening to Him! We had to accept the fact that if God didn’t deliver us from this, we would be okay. January 2015, we found out I was pregnant and of course, we thought this was another ectopic. So we prayed and asked God and He said, “Yes”. From Day 1, it was a roller coaster, I had every problem imaginable, but none of that mattered because we trusted in Him. And whatever problems came our way, we would handle it. I was put on bed rest twice, admitted multiple times to the hospital and the numerous physicians we saw were not hopeful, giving us bad news after bad news but we were able to trust in our Savior! Knowing He is the ultimate physician and with the love of our life group family and the love of God, we could get through this. Despite the odds, we now have a healthy beautiful baby boy who’s a constant reminder of God’s sovereignty and love! The bad times were the worst! The hard times got harder but being in a Life Group, we felt it was a safe place to share and we knew we had a family of believers praying for us. That really helped us get through the darkest of times.
Tricia’s Story: Dan and I have been attending the Marlow life group since 2013 and our group quickly became family. We have seen so many prayers answered, and, during trials, we have seen how God used this group to grow us all closer together as we grew closer to Him as well. Dan and I we blessed by our first child in January 2013 and we started trying for a second in 2014 but after a few months we suffered with a miscarriage when I was 7 weeks pregnant. At this time two other families in our life group were also struggling to get pregnant. It was a very difficult time, but the prayer, love and support we experienced was overwhelming. Still more time went by and we had no success, but we were thrilled to hear of the Alfords’ pregnancy. Due to the faith that was cultivated by our group prayer, we found out that I was expecting in June of this year! Shortly after this, news came that the Borgs were able to finalize their daughter’s adoption – you imagine how overjoyed we were that all of our prayers had come into fruition. God is so good, and we are so thankful for our life group family to be there for us when we needed it the most.
Indeed, the community at Island Christian Church is pursuing the kind of church life set forth in Scripture. The foundations of this church are Spirit-led worship, relevant teaching, authentic relationships, unceasing prayer and compassionate provision for the needy. We hope you will join us as we strive to demonstrate a compelling faith that will touch the lives of individuals within our larger communities.
Contact Rev. Joseph Garofalo for information about Island Christian Church.