Pastor Darren’s Message
In case you weren’t able to join us for worship service this past Sunday, our Youth Director, Stephen Okamoto, made an important announcement. Here’s Stephen:
Dear WCCC family,
It is with a great deal of emotion that I let you know that I will be stepping down from my post as Youth Director because I have accepted a full-time pastor position at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship church in Bellevue, WA. An obvious emotion I feel is sadness. I am sad to say bye because WCCC has been my church family for nearly 10 years now; in my time here, I have grown personally and professionally, I have made some of my best friends, and I even got married here at the church. The youth and families and individuals at the church have become some of the dearest, most cherished people in my life.
However, the Lord has made it clear that He is directing my steps up north, back to where my parents attend and where I grew up. I moved up from SoCal to WA once before in 2008 (from 10th-12th grade before returning to SoCal for college), and even though I didn’t want to leave then, the Lord blessed me immensely and helped me grow closer to Him, more than I ever could have if I remained. And so, for the second time, I am taking a step of faith to move up again for the second time, trusting that God will continue to be faithful and continue to bless not only me, but also my church family at WCCC.
Another somewhat unexpected emotion I have felt throughout this process is gratitude. I am so grateful for God’s people – all the wonderful times of fun & laughter, banding together in difficult times, and walking side-by-side in pursuit of Jesus. I will cherish these memories deeply. Most importantly, I am grateful to the Lord. In spite of my fears of leaving and taking risks, He has gently made Himself very evident to me throughout this whole process, and reinforced that He is with us and that He loves us and our community. While I am still sad I won’t get to see and experience and be a part of all the cool things the Lord is doing at WCCC on a daily basis, I am comforted and confident that the Holy Spirit will work mightily in your lives and in the life of the church, and that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6. Can’t wait to exchange stories of all that He has done! Until then, you will be in our thoughts and prayers often.
Love in Christ,
We are sad that Stephen and Kylie will be moving on. Even though it’s a wonderful opportunity for them and we know God’s will is good, it is still difficult to part ways. As a church, we have had the privilege of sharing life and ministry with them for years now. We’ve seen them grow and serve, get married, and serve some more. They have been a tremendous blessing to WCCC, but especially to the kids and families in the Fountain youth group. We will miss them dearly! So it’s bittersweet that we release them to God’s work elsewhere. But the Sovereign Lord that brought them here in the first place and will lead them in the future, will faithfully take care of our youth group as well as we transition and seek a new Youth Director. I Corinthians 1:9 says that God, who has called us into fellowship with His Son, is faithful.
We will be having a Goodbye Dinner and program for Stephen and Kylie on Friday, August 26th, at 6pm at the church. Please mark your calendars and join us as we express our appreciation for them and say goodbye. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Pastor Kory or myself.