day 24

CULTURE OF FATIH

I can remember grabbing the 6 train downtown almost a year ago to service at C3 NYC’s Downtown Manhattan location. At that time, I felt like I was on top of the world. I was in New York City, about to open what I thought would be my first restaurant of many in NYC. I had prayed that I would find a home church, somewhere to grow, and boy did find that.

As the months passed and I became planted at C3 NYC, I felt God starting to work deeper in my faith and deeper in my relationship with Him, which sometimes means closing some doors and unpacking some bags.

In a place like New York, it can be hard to not put your faith in the things around you. When everything and everyone around seems to be killing it, it can be hard to remember that God’s faithfulness is not limited to just what’s in front of you. By my fifth month at C3 NYC, everything that I thought was in my best interest had been broken. I hit what most would say was “rock bottom.” My business venture had fallen through, I lost my investor and business partner, vices that I had tried to hide for years had come to light, and financial pressures were tearing me apart.

During this time, it was the culture of faith at C3 NYC that keep me moving forward. For the first time in my life, I experienced a faith that was not built on my accomplishments and merits, nor my ability to hide imperfections and seemingly be a ‘ good Christian’. Rather, I experienced a faith that is built on the unconditional love and grace of Jesus; a faith that fosters a community of prayer, encouragement, and growth, a faith that is built on being transparent. It was calls, texts, coffees and Dinner Parties that helped keep my eyes focused on God’s faithfulness towards me. When our hopes and dreams fall apart, we have the tendency to forget God’s faithfulness because our eyes are set on what we can see, not on what God has said.

It is so incredibly important to have this type of culture around you because this community will endure through trials with you and rejoices in victories when they come. More importantly, this is the type of community that fosters the faith that even in times of uncertainty, God is faithful. God is the same today as he was when he told Joshua when he became Moses successor, “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). It is through faith that is rooted in Christ and His faithfulness, not my own ego or ability, that propels me forward,

— CARLOS SANTOS

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