Day 16: Michael Barbosa

2 Corinthians 5:16-18  
"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."

I was brought to Grace chapel in June of 2023 by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I did not choose our wonderful church because I knew nothing about Grace nor anything about the people who were there.  
In fact, when I arrived to a men’s Bible study in June, I couldn’t help myself but to confront the men I met and ask them if they believed every word in the Bible. Each time I asked someone they would give me a big smile, then answer wholeheartedly with an unwavering YES!  I couldn’t believe it, that the Lord put me in the middle of His people. I was so comforted hearing the men proclaim His truth just as I have felt.  I was very nervous that first day in the Round Room.  I was trying to follow the Spirit, but it was very tough for me being new and unknown. I had neglected God’s church for decades up until then.
The Lord called me to His house back in February 2023, but I resisted because I didn’t want to be seen as a hypocrite. I thought, “who am I, to go to church now and proclaim how much I love Jesus Christ while I neglected His church for so long?”  
It took me a few months of following the Spirit and allowing God to guide me before I would finally make it to Grace Chapel.  Kelly and I were on vacation in Mexico when we first learned about Grace Chapel.  I remember listening to a sermon and I became extremely emotional thinking about Jesus while sitting on our hotel patio. I needed church so badly; I could taste it. Thanks to God’s grace, my wife Kelly was led by the spirit to find Grace Chapel while we were there in Mexico. We watched a message from Pastor James and I felt the presence of the Lord, hallelujah! I immediately signed up for the Men’s Bible Study and felt like I was finally moving forward and coming home.
I had so many doubts but I wanted to be open and follow the Spirit- not hinder it. Earlier in the day before going to Bible study that first time, I had visited a church and while there I asked the Lord to show me scriptures which would help me.  I blindly opened my Bible to the book of Haggai. At that point, I had never seen or heard that name before! When I began to read the chapter, it began with “on the first day of the sixth month the word of the Lord came to...” Just then I realized I signed up on 5/31 and our class was on 6/2.  God had my attention!
I believe that God has brought me and my wife Kelly to Grace Chapel to be a part of this family of true believers. I don’t even know how many people of God we have met and spent time with from our church, but it’s a big number for sure.
I truly believe that I have made life-long friends in Christ because of coming to Grace Chapel, (which is something I’ve never done before.). I have never experienced so much love amongst strangers like I have since being a part of our church- people like Michael M, Paul C, David J, George R, Scott K, Tom S, Keith, John G, Jason, Brian etc. I’ve been so blessed there’s so many names that I can’t name everyone!
Since coming to Grace Chapel I have True brothers and sisters who share the same love for Jesus Christ as I do. Now I love going to church and worshipping with my new-found family and I feel my walk with the Lord has become more and more intimate every week.
"I have been blessed with the Lord’s grace and I pray that others would be blessed also. I pray that we could all be encouraged to earnestly seek Jesus more every day. I pray that others could feel the warmth and love of fellow believers as I have. I have experienced the light of Jesus growing within me when I am surrounded by God’s people and I pray that for all of us.  I pray that Grace Chapel and our leader, Pastor James would be overwhelmed with the goodness of God’s Love just as I have been overwhelmed with God’s love and grace."

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