MAPLE: IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN WE COULD EVER DREAM
Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
I love this verse, because I happen to consider myself a big dreamer, an “imagineer” if you will…but these words compel me to believe that God’s ideas are far beyond mine. As the Maple Initiative Director, I have had a front row seat to seeing God answer unbelievable stuff.
We were recently informed that the land our 601 Maple Community Center resides on was in the process of being purchased by a housing developer whose plans didn’t include keeping the 601 building.
The initial 24 hours of processing this information included a wide spread of emotions: tears, fears, anger, sadness, and worry. It didn’t take long to reflect on our history, however, and see how, regardless of the outcome, we are always favored.
The 601 Maple Community Center has a history of answered prayers. Looking back I can see a rhythm of uncertainty and God responding to my prayers.
When Solidarity entered the Maple neighborhood, we came without resources, popping up After School Program under tents on the street. Driven by the phrase “break bread, bless it and multiply,” I rejoiced as God responded by increasing our capacity and providing us with a shared space in what we now know as the 601 Maple Community Center.
It was so awesome to have indoor space, even bathrooms, but it was just a few months before being asked to leave. Again the worry tried to overtake, but God provided another local church who opened doors.
Shortly after that, the renters occupying 601 left, and we became the leaseholders. The whole building was ours, but it was in bad shape. My imagination immediately started dreaming of an ideal re-modeled building, but we were hundreds of thousands of dollars short.
Four months later, EV Free Fullerton showed up and blessed us through their Grace Works outreach. I felt like I was on the “extreme home-makeover” show, as I watched my dreams for a new building unfold before me.
So, as you can imagine, the thought of losing this building and being displaced hit a nerve. Why God? Would you really take us from this very building in which we have watched your faithfulness unfold? Would you really remove us from this land I’ve felt so called to steward for Kingdom purposes?
Gently, in my spirit I asked God, “Will we lose this building?” and His answer was so profound… “Megan, even if I took it, would you believe who I am, and that my goodness will still take care of you and all of this community you know I love?”
Deep inside I no longer had doubts. I had no idea how this process would resolve, but I didn’t feel the need to carry the weight of its implications. My prayers simply became, “Thank you God for always taking care of us. Thank you for always increasing us. I trust you. I trust we will be favored.”
On August 17th, we gathered in solidarity as neighborhood residents and church partners to listen to plans proposed. Concerns were voiced, letters were written to our city planning department, and evenings of prayer and worship took place as we sought God, surrendered to God and put our hope in Him alone.
Just a week after our meeting, Solidarity was approached by a new developer who had also attended the community meeting. “This developer proposed a new idea that included building Solidarity a brand new building to house the new 601 community center.” Not only were we included in the plans, but Solidarity was invited to shape them.
I dreamed of a vibrant community center in the heart of the Maple neighborhood, and for a time, we thought that dream felt threatened, but God has answered our prayers. This arrangement isn’t just a victory for Solidarity, but a true “win-win” for the Kingdom of God.
Maple Initiative Director