It was hot and stuffy in the partially finished building in the midst of last summer. A fine layer of construction dust still covered almost every surface. Praises were lifted up in song throughout the unfinished Sanctuary that night. Earnest prayers were said for friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Sharpies were passed excitedly around the room. Ink covered the hands of each child as the Lake Mary Campus took part in what is becoming a Summit tradition.
About a year ago, one week before the carpets were laid in the Lake Mary Campus’ building, the congregation joined together to praise God for where he had brought them, to look toward to what they hoped he would do in the future, and to leave a meaningful mark on their campus.
You can’t see it now, but each Sunday, every person attending service walks up a ramp that was covered in names and handprints that night. Names of the families that call Summit home, handprints of the children who are growing up in this community, and, perhaps most importantly, the names of those who haven’t yet encountered God—names that Lake Mary partners are praying will someday walk up that ramp too. The names were written in faith that none are beyond his reach—not even the ones they did not yet know to write. The Lake Mary community is now looking back on that day and starting to see the extent of what those prayers meant.
They didn’t know it then, but when they prayed that they would be able to honor God with their new space, they were praying for the Connect group that meets weekly in the Lobby after outgrowing their members’ homes. They were praying for the support group that uses the space to care for families of special needs children.
When they prayed for spiritual growth in their community, they were praying for more than 50 people who were able to participate in Lake Mary’s first Summit University class in their own neighborhood. They were praying for the group from Lake Mary that met at the first round of You Are Here seminars and now use the meeting space to study the Bible together each week.
When they prayed for deepening Christ-centered relationships, they were praying for the students who circled around their friend during his long recovery from a hit and run accident. They were praying for the support system that has surrounded two families walking through cancer treatments.
When they prayed that more of their community would be invited into worship alongside them, they were praying for Kimberly who joined the First Impressions team on her first week at Summit this year. They were praying for the families who became neighbors as a result of a flooded home and now have children who worship together in Base Camp each Sunday.
And as they prepare to gather together in that same Sanctuary this year for another night of worship, a lot will be different. There will be many new voices lifting up prayers and praises. There will be even more to thank God for. There will be many new prayers said for new friends, neighbors, and co-workers. And, thankfully, there will be air conditioning and chairs to sit in!
However, some will still be praying for the same names written on that floor. And, though they may walk in with the same ache on their hearts for the ones they love, they will come together and trust, once again, that God is far from done in the Lake Mary community and that there are still none beyond his reach.