Ascent Christian Church

Being a faithful and generous church

ascentcc-old-logo I am pretty excited about something! So I'm sharing with you what happened to our Ascent family recently—God used us to be generous church!

Read the story below:

At our All-church meeting a few weeks ago, we expressed our desire and the necessity for us as a church family to expand our generosity with missions partnerships. We shared with all of you a couple of different ministry organizations that we would like to be generous towards—one of these partnerships was with YoungLife Prineville.

We had an opportunity to be generous toward YoungLife Prineville last week! What an incredible story we have to share with you! Last weekend, YoungLife Prineville was having a garage sale to help raise money for teens to attend summer camp. The Ascent had some old stuff from our yard sale from a few years back, which we didn’t sell, so we donated it to YoungLife for their garage sale. And we also made the decision to donate the old rickety trailer for them to sell. Well, they were able to sell the trailer for $500!

It gets even better.

Someone from the community said they would match whatever it was YoungLife Prineville made from the garage sale—so the $500 they made from our donation, ended up becoming $1000! Believe me that will send several teens to YoungLife camp, teens who need to know Jesus.

Thank you Ascent family for your heart of generosity and your desire to share the love of Jesus in any and every way possible! THIS is only the beginning of things to come.

 

I am so excited about this! Can you tell I'm excited?!?

One of our desires for The Ascent is to be a generous church. We are a small church with a big heart, but limited resources. Nevertheless, we hope to be a faithful church with everything God has given us to be stewards over.

We are still in need of prayers and financial support, as we seek to bring the gospel to Central Oregon and the pacific northwest.

Ways to Partner With Us…

We’d love it if you partnered with us prayerfully and financially. If you want to know more about our new adventure—please read the full story here: We are moving to Oregon

We always need and appreciate your prayers! But we also have financial needs. Fina and I have to raise a portion of our salary. Our commitment to the church is to raise support for two years (That’s $1800 a month for two years—a total of $43,200).

You can help by…

Send financial contributions to:

Ascent Christian Church P O Box 2117 Prineville, OR 97754 Make checks payable to Ascent Christian Church… Please indicate on the check “Puentes Missions” so we can apply it to the correct account. (Your contribution is a tax deductible donation).

OR

Online giving is available: http://www.ascentcc.com/giving/ (Be sure to check the box – “I would like to designate this donation to a specific fund” AND select: “Help Pastor Joe Puentes & Family”).

What's on my mind.

Can I tell you what I am really excited about? I am really excited about our church! My family and I have only been here for about 5 months, and sometimes it's been a mini-roller coaster ride—nothing major or anything to complain about—no one would listen if I complained anyways. We are experiencing what you'd expect when a family goes through major transition.

I'm just excited about Ascent Church! We are not a big church, and we aren't doing anything ground breaking or earth-shattering. You probably won't write a book about how we do things—we don's always do things the way experts say you should.

We are just doing everything we can with what we have to love God and love people.

In these past five months, we've been able to partner with some other local churches in loving our schools, teachers, students, and families. We've helped with a community-wide sunrise service. We've had people within our church family help their neighbors in both big and small ways—we are doing what we can to love people to Jesus.

ascentcc-old-logoCommunity

Internally, the people of Ascent Church have discovered we can love each other well, and everyone genuinely cares for one another. We've had our first All-church meeting, and talked about what the future holds for our church. We've had a few baptisms, and it looks like we will be having another one soon.

We have amazing ministry leaders! All of them are volunteers, who sacrifice so much to enable people to worship the exalted Jesus and proclaim the good news. Our worship team is comprised of many different ages—retired, middle-aged, high schoolers, just graduated, and young adults. And our children's ministry is awesome! Our leaders in that ministry illuminate Jesus for our kids and our church.

We are discovering our need to be a praying church—we had a month of prayer back in April. And we are trying to incorporate more prayer into our Sunday morning gathering.

We know how to party and have great potlucks! Oh. And we can help people move with the best of them.

Above all, the people of Ascent Church are okay with the fact that we all have a messy faith—there are no perfect people at our church. We are all on a journey, discovering what it means to be like Jesus. Shoot—they asked me, the least deserving of all sheep, to be the lead sheep-herder of all things Ascent!

Sure we get anxious and worry about stuff. And sometimes things dont always work out the way we had hoped. We don't always have it right, but we seek to become more like Jesus... Together.

We have no bandwidth for trying to be in competition with other churches and other Christians—seriously there is no room for that at our church.

Ascent Church doesn't pretend to be something we are not. What you see is what you get. That doesnt mean we don't want to get better—we do! We don't have a lot of programs or resources, but we hope to be able to meet the needs of our church, city, and neighborhoods fully one day.

There is more I can say, but I think you get the idea of what Ascent is like, and why I am excited to be a part of what's happening here.

What's on my mind this morning.

What's on my mind this morning:

- I'm so thankful that I get to be the pastor of Ascent Christian Church - I really love preaching. - And I really love preaching through our current series--I believe it will have a huge impact on our church. - We have some amazing people leading ministries in our church. - I'm very excited about who God has placed at our church and the gifts they have. - I am very excited about this coming year. - And the ministry that will be happening at Ascent!

- The realization that we are all made in the image of God is having an impact on how I view and treat people. - #LoveYourNeighbor - We are all broken people. Just some recognize it. Get healing. and become better for it. - I love the fact our church family is willing to acknowledge our messy spirituality.

- The state of Oregon just passed legislature on Marriage. - It was an emotional moment in Oregon history. - #OregonMarriageEqualityRuling. - I don't agree with everything Rep. Mike McLane said. - But he had some wise words to say to the people of Oregon:

20140519-214147-78107394.jpg - Regardless your view of this legislation, we are all made in the image of God and need Jesus. - Now is the time for the church to live out Jesus commandment to love your neighbor. - Luke 10:25-37 - #LoveYourNeighbor

- Humbled that I get to be a part of the Sisters, OR church plant management team: Mountain Range Christian Church - This makes me look forward to our next partnership church plant in Oregon with the OCEF.

- There are a lot of exciting things happening at Boise Bible College in Boise, ID.

- Jeff Walling is one of the best story tellers I've ever heard.

- You're never to old to get a lecture from your dad... - I did yesterday. Yes I deserved it. And no I'm not ready to talk about it :) - I have the best wife a man could ever hope for. - I don't deserve my kids--they are most amazing people I've ever met! - My kids have made some really cool friends--they are a blessing from The Lord.

- I'm fortunate to have friends like Mike, Tony, and Gavin--I love those guys from Warrenton and Astoria, OR.

- Prineville, OR is a beautiful place.20140519-212815-77295210.jpg - I went to The Kilns coffee house yesterday--it's in Bend, OR. - It has a very cool vibe. - And it houses Kilns College. They have a Master of Arts in Social Justice, which I find a bit intriguing.

- The movie 12 Years A Slave, makes me angry (I watched it last night for the first time). - I prefer Smallville over 24. - I like beards. - And probably will grow mine back in the next couple of weeks.

Joe

Moving Update: Oregon or Bust...

Photo Credit: Arthur Rothstein, Library of Congress, USA  

What a whirled-wind the last five and a half weeks have been!

I'm sitting here in my office trying to gather my thoughts about the adventure we have been journeying on. Racing through my mind are so many people, places, and things we've experienced since we left Longmont, CO.

a few of the highlights from our travels to our new home and ministry...

  • We drove through a blizzard in Wyoming. There was about 4 feet of visibility and the winds were awful. Yep. I thought we were going to not make it at one point.
  • We decided to not stop overnight in Salt Lake City and drive through to California... We're too old do to that.
  • We had Christmas and New years with our family in Northern California (First time in thirteen years).
  • I got eyeglasses.
  • Elle celebrated her sixteenth birthday
  • We spent three fun and eventful weeks with family in Northern California (We went to the ocean a few times, hung-out with family, went to San Francisco and had a great time, saw a guy wreck his motorcycle and I tried to help stabilize him—he was hurt pretty bad, saw the aftermath of a guy trying to harm himself at a department store, and witnessed people across the street from where we were staying get into a domestic dispute... We also tried to secure a home in Prineville during this time, but found it difficult to do so...).
  • Drove through a blizzard in Oregon as we journeyed to our new home and ministry (There was one moment when cars and semi-trucks were sliding off the road when I though it wasn't going to end well for us. Thankfully for our time of driving in Missouri and Colorado, I was able to keep going without any mishaps).

new home & ministry...

We just finished our third week of living in Oregon. We have been so blessed by our new church family. What amazing, welcoming, and loving people!

We arrived in Oregon without having secured a home to live in, so a family from the church let us stay with them for a week. During that time we searched for a place to live and eventually found a place—thanks to some people from the church.

Since then, time has been going by so fast! We are feeling our way through as we go about repotting Ascent Christian Church. This is a great church with amazing people! I have preached at three of our gatherings so far as the pastor of Ascent.

My schedule is full of connecting with people and spending time in the community. I am learning all I can about our new city and praying about finding ways the Holy Spirit can use us to be the best church for our city.

Fina and the kids are doing well. Thomas and Elle started school this past week and seem to really enjoy it. Angelica has already made a friend and has gone horseback riding, has been to a young adult Bible study, and hung-out with some friends in Bend, OR... Fina is keeping busy by focusing on the kids their schedules and routines set and getting our home in order.

a couple of exciting things going on at Ascent Christian Church...

  • We are going to have our first baptism soon, once we find a place to have it (The issues of being a mobile church...).

ALSO

  • Ascent Christian Church is already involved in helping plant a new church in Sisters, OR and I am on the management team of this new work. As the new church plant in Sisters gets underway, I hope to share more about this in the future.

We are so thankful for every one of you! Your support both in prayers and financially are a huge encouragement to us! We couldn't do this without all of you and by the grace of our Father in heaven.

We are still in need of prayers and financial support, as we seek to bring the gospel to Central Oregon and the pacific northwest.20140119_105748

Ways to Partner With Us…

We’d love it if you partnered with us prayerfully and financially. If you want to know more about our new adventure—please read the full story here: We are moving to Oregon

We always need and appreciate your prayers! But we also have financial needs. Fina and I have to raise a portion of our salary. Our commitment to the church is to raise support for two years (That’s $1800 a month for two years—a total of $43,200).

You can help by…

Send financial contributions to:

Ascent Christian Church P O Box 2117 Prineville, OR 97754 Make checks payable to Ascent Christian Church… Please indicate on the check “Puentes Missions” so we can apply it to the correct account. (Your contribution is a tax deductible donation).

OR

Online giving is available: http://www.ascentcc.com/giving/ (Be sure to check the box - "I would like to designate this donation to a specific fund" AND select: “Help Pastor Joe Puentes & Family”).

Joe

Quick Moving Update...

Photo Credit: Thomas Puentes

I'm back... Although just for a quick moving update. We have been spending some time in Northern California with family. We got to spend Christmas with family, which the last time we did so was back in 2000—Yep, it was thirteen years ago.

Another thing we haven't done was see the Pacific Ocean. So yesterday we make the trek to the Northern California coast and went to Dillion Beach. We started with stopping off at a bakery in Freestone, CA—the bread was fresh and absolutely amazing. We traveled some backroads to the coast and got to spend several hours walking along the beach, climbing sand dunes, seashell hunting, smelling the salty air, and cherishing every moment. The photo at the top of this blog post is from my son. He captured the flight of the seagull at just the right moment as it flew across the sun.

Photo Credit: Joe Puentes

We don't have an exact date of leaving California and heading to Prineville, OR. We are waiting to see if we can find a place to live there, and once we do, we will pack up the Explorer and head north—we are very impatient and can't wait to be in Prineville and go fully into our new adventure—we can't wait to be a part of what God is already doing in Prineville, OR.

Once we get a casa in Oregon, we will let all of you know—until then please continue to pray for us, the churches in Prineville, and the city...

Ways to Partner With Us…

We’d love it if you partnered with us prayerfully and financially. If you want to know more about our new adventure—please read the full story here: We are moving to Oregon

We always need and appreciate your prayers! But we also have financial needs. Fina and I have to raise a portion of our salary. Our commitment to the church is to raise support for two years (That’s $1800 a month for two years—a total of $43,200).

You can help by...

Send financial contributions to:

Ascent Christian Church P O Box 2117 Prineville, OR 97754 Make checks payable to Ascent Christian Church… Please indicate on the check “Puentes Missions” so we can apply it to the correct account. (Your contribution is a tax deductible donation).

OR

Online giving is available: http://www.ascentcc.com/giving/  (Be sure to check the box - I would like to designate this donation to a specific fund AND select: “Help Pastor Joe Puentes & Family”).

Moving Update: Another step closer to being in Oregon... A Toyota Previa story.

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Packing day...

Well today the POD was picked up from our house. It just means we are another step closer to being in Oregon...

And yesterday we had several friends come over and help us load the POD. Even with all the hanging out, talking, drinking coffee, and eating doughnuts we still managed to load the POD in about an hour (If you know my wife, then you know we don't really have a whole lot of stuff). A BIG thanks to all of you who came to help us!

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Stuff I'll miss... No really there is something I'll miss.

I actually won't miss too much of the stuff that is in the POD headed to Oregon. Sure there are my books, commentaries, my bike, my Weber Charcoal Grill, and my Apple Wireless Keyboard that I accidentally packed in one of the boxes...

I can't speak for my wife and kids, but I know I won't miss too much of that stuff since we will be reunited with it in a few short weeks. What I will miss is our 1994 Toyota Previa van we donated to a friend. Hopefully he will get it working and it will become a blessing to a single mom.

We, the Previa and our family, have been through a lot over the years! It was the second vehicle I ever bought outright with cash. My oldest daughter had a seizure in it, when she was a very young child as we were getting ready to move from California to Missouri.

ImageIt made the trek—from California to Missouri, towing a small U-Haul trailer with all of our belongings in it. The Previa received heavy tornado damage from the May 2003 Carl Junction tornado (She recovered and was restored to full operation). It was in mid-June 2008 when the Previa turned 200,000 miles as she crossed the Kansas/Colorado border, when yet again she moved my family to another state and a new adventure.

About two week into us moving to Colorado, the Previa couldn't go anymore. She gave us her best. She gave us her all. And today she is moving on to her own journey and her own adventure. I will always be grateful for how the Previa got us from place to place. And how she kept us warm and safe, and how she experienced new journeys and new adventures with us.

Many of you probably won't understand, but some of you know that when I say it was a good thing I wasn't here when Rich took her away—I mean it was a very good thing.

Travel News...

Our goal now is to leave Colorado this Sunday, early morning (Before all the LifeBridge traffic clogs up Hwy 66—Boulder County really needs to put a traffic light there...). We will travel to Salt Lake City where we will stay the night with our friend's parents. I'll let you know what course we will take from there as we cross that bridge :)

PLEASE pray for us and our travels. It seems a storm is passing through that area and might still be when we travel to that part of the country.

Ways to Partner With Us...

We'd love it if you partnered with us prayerfully and financially. If you want to know more about our new adventure—please read the full story here: We are moving to Oregon

We always need and appreciate your prayers! But we also have financial needs. Fina and I will have to raise a portion of our salary. Our commitment to the church is to raise support for two years (That’s $1800 a month for two years—a total of $43,200).

You can help by:

Send financial contributions to: Ascent Christian Church P O Box 2117 Prineville, OR 97754 Make checks payable to Ascent Christian Church… Please indicate on the check “Puentes Missions” so we can apply it to the correct account. (Your contribution is a tax deductible donation).

OR

Online giving is available: http://www.ascentcc.com/giving/  (Be sure to check the box - I would like to designate this donation to a specific fund AND select: “Help Pastor Joe Puentes & Family”).