A Mini-Van and Table Leaves

It was a nice family; a mom, a dad, a son, and a daughter. Mom and Dad thought they always would have a larger family, but they were thankful for the two children God had given them.

Then, unexpectedly, Mom got pregnant. Dad had a nephew who needed a home. Son had a friend who was homeless. Daughter had petitioned the family to adopt for years and heard about a child who was bouncing around in foster care just cleared for adoption.

The family had a meeting. They had wanted more sitting around the dinner table. What would happen, though, if the family got bigger? They talked about some of the realities. Mom and Dad may have less time with Son and Daughter. They might miss some of their games and activities because the new children needed parent time, too. The new children may change the dynamic of the home; new personalities, new needs, new issues, new likes, new dislikes, and so on. Was everyone aware that routines and traditions may need to change? The comfort and predictable nature of a family of four would be tested. Was everyone on board?

Dad asked Mom. She said what a blessing it would be to care for more. Dad asked Son. He said it would be cool to play with new brothers and sisters. Dad asked Daughter. She said she wanted to help Mom more anyway, and new siblings would actually prompt her to do so. Dad then told them he was eager to work harder and smarter, knowing that God would give him the needed strength and wisdom.

There was no need to take a vote. It was clear. Dad, Mom, Son, and Daughter had all wanted the family to grow; now that it is—they couldn’t be happier.

God is building His church. He calls his sons and daughters to saving faith and sends them to His Bride to be shepherded, grow, and serve. In the past year He has sent several of His children to us. We have grown at a faster rate than we ever have. There are few Sundays where we aren’t meeting someone new.

The dinner table is getting bigger. The four-door sedan is being traded in for a mini-van. The new kids want to fit in. They are talented and eager to use their gifts inside and outside the home. There are lots of exciting things to talk about and do together.

The comfortable family of four has grown. God deemed us ready to do so. To the children who have been here for years, embrace your new brothers and sisters. I know you have yearned for a larger family. To the newer children; please be patient as we learn to love you. You may even need to repeat your name a time or two. It isn’t because we don’t value you, it’s because we have been blessed to have so many of you walk through the door at the same time.

This is a great family. Thank you for the vital role each of you play, and please be mindful, there may be some growing pains along the way. And truth be told, I never knew if I would be in a mini-van. I like it though, there’s a lot of laughter and excitement and life going on in the seats. And who knows, we may have to trade the mini-van for a bus.

Pastor Rich Hamlin

November 1, 2013


  1. We have prayed knowing that the church is built by God. He and only He gives the increase. And what a blessing the increase is! It makes me think back and remember when our family started coming to church at ERC. ERC is truly a blessing!

  2. To God be the glory! May it continue to be a fruitful body. May it continue to hold fast Rev 3:7-13

  3. What a blessing that more are being brought to ERC where the leadership looks to the Bible for direction as to what a church should look and act like. We and many others are blessed every day, not just Sunday, by what happens at ERC, via God and those who attend. Much prayer needed that we stay on the rails that we are now on because they are God’s rails…may we never stray…the road is narrow.

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