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Our Long Journey Home

When we reflect on how far we’ve come, a wave of memories come flooding into the abyss of our minds and we stand forever changed by the experiences that we’ve encountered along the way.

 It was in the fall of 2002 that God implanted in our hearts and minds, the vision to rebuild Norwalk  Seventh-day Adventist church – a church now bursting at the seams with its increased membership and community visibility. The vision was clear to us; we needed to expand the church to accommodate a daycare and other community-based services. And so it was, our journey began and the Church zealously moved forward, inching its way along with God’s gentle guiding hands.

 We found a general contractor who quoted us a price that was well within our budget, and without further delay we sealed the deal and the work began.  With the reassurance that the project would only be a few months, the congregation excitedly moved to a temporary space at the Nathaniel Ely School in August of 2003, where we would continue to worship and praise our God for the great things that he was doing with this project.

 Not long after the renovation commenced, as the contractor gutted the building and the framing began for the second floor addition, the project encountered complications and came to a screeching halt; the contractor demanded more money than the original contracted price to complete the job.  Without notice, the contractor ceased work and we found ourselves in a predicament - - with a gymnasium as our only place of worship and no place to call “home” we were left with an overwhelming sense of despair.  In addition, we experienced a change in pastoral leadership and found ourselves having to make additional adjustments.

 However, as God’s people, we continued to pray and pleaded for his divine guidance.  But, how God chose to lead us was unanticipated.  We expected a general contractor to do the work, but God’s design was different.  He placed a passion in our hearts to rally the members of the church together to move the work along.  So tirelessly, we, the members, with the help of sub-contractors, labored to paint, tile and haul cement. Saturday nights and Sundays were designated work days and the church members, with vibrant fervor, showed up each and every time according to God’s divine leading.  In the meantime Sabbath services were still being held at the school, moving now from a spacious gymnasium to a crowded classroom due to renovations at the school.

 After 3 years of blisters, bruised hands, knees and tired feet, we’ve finally realized our dream and we are ready to return home.  This journey was not only physical in nature, but spiritual, as it was a true test of our faith and commitment.  As a result of this experience, the membership has grown stronger and formed a closer bond with God and with each other, as we clung to the belief that the vision to rebuild was received from God and therefore He would see us through until the completion of this project.  

 With pride we the members feel a bond with this brick; our sweat and tears are etched in every groove of this structure we now call home.  Our journey is a testimony of perseverance that even when wronged, hurt and abandoned and even when you have to take the long and difficult road, at the end victory will be yours if you remain steadfast in God.  God, through this process, has taught us how to depend on each other, and our renewed commitment to God’s service in the Norwalk community, will bring healing and hope to those who enter in through the doors of our Church. 

 The Norwalk Seventh-day Adventist church is a true example of how great things can be accomplished with very little when ordinary people and a supportive community work together for one cause, with one vision.  The work is not yet complete. The unfinished basement and the unfulfilled dream of a community room are still to come. This will require an additional $150,000.00 to $200,000.00, but the congregation rejoices nevertheless for we are finally home, sweet home.