by Cate Moriasi
My name is Cate Moriasi, my husband Daniel and I have two children, Michael and Maria. About 13 years ago, Lori, a neighbor who lived in Colonial Hills Apartments, invited us to Covenant Community Church the same weekend we moved to Oklahoma because of Daniel’s job. Lori also introduced us to the Bible Club ladies.  When Maria was born a few weeks later, the church organized meals for us and Dawna Nelson brought and set up a Christmas tree in our apartment.  Other ladies from the church invited me and arranged for Debra Price to pick me up and bring me to meet with other mothers of preschoolers. These wonderful ladies didn’t judge me when I told them that I didn’t want to do a craft during the MOPS time. That year, Mitzi Ayler invited us to Thanksgiving with her family. Later, the Stringers decided to adopt us, such that now when our children think of Thanksgiving, Carlton and Judy Stringer are a big part of that thought process. I am thankful that now I have a sister, Sara, and a nephew, Bradley here in Oklahoma and at Covenant. But when we first came, we did not have any relatives. God brought us here and gave us a family. I couldn’t find a word in the English vocabulary to express exactly what this church family has meant to us over the last 13 years, but the Luganda word is TETUJUZA! And the closest English equivalent is “In Covenant Community Church we have found all that we have needed from a family.”

Our children didn’t have uncles, grandmas or any other relatives, yet the people of this church stepped up to fill those roles. I would need a whole day to list every single person who has contributed to helping us raise our children to be who they are now but I will give you some examples to show you what this church family has meant to us. For a long time Steve Lessman took Michael to Bible Club every Monday; close to one of Michael’s birthdays, Ralph Smith reached out to us because he heard that Michael loves trains, so he brought him a train set; Harry Dupree reached out to Michael and gave him a signed Gideon’s Bible; Ann David wrote a note telling Michael how special he was because he was named after an angel; Harriet Bottrell loved on Maria like she was her own child; Todd and Cyndi drove to our home to fix Michael’s bicycle when Daniel was out of town; the Stringer’s kept the children so we could go celebrate our anniversary. Recently, I sent out a GroupMe text to my community group about my garage door having problems. I received a quick response telling me about Bruce DeRose, a garage door guy who goes to our church.This church has been a one stop for us, God has met all our needs here.

It’s even better the way He continues to meet our spiritual needs. Our children have been prayed for, they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, got baptized and are growing spiritually.  They have role models and people to talk to so they can finally say, “Oh, that makes sense,” even when mom and dad have been saying the same thing all along. We are very thankful for the children and youth ministries! From the get go Daniel fell in love with Carlon’s teaching and if you have an hour for him, he will tell you what this church has meant for his spiritual growth.

For me, when we started coming, I was still in my little world but God has used this church to do a work in me. He has moved me out of my comfort zone and made sure that I have what I need to continue growing in Him. I will give you an example of how this has played out in my life. Through different encounters God began to impress upon me that the reason I was struggling in my Christian walk was because I was relying on my mind and wisdom of the world instead of relying on His wisdom. After several weeks of studying, praying, complaining and wondering what I was supposed to do with that in the practical sense, our community group leader, Kelly McGee, without knowing my struggles, decided to do a series on the attributes of God and one of the topics was the wisdom of God. It was answered prayer for me. By the time I was done learning what I could about the wisdom of God, I knew that my only hope of living the way God intended was to learn to rely on the Spirit of God. Then in the following months I prayed, many times it was whining actually – “Lord, I get it, I need to walk with Your Spirit, but how? Lord make it practical.” Guess what happened shortly after – Carlon started a series called, “People in Step with the Spirit!” I went back to God and said, “O Lord, You never cease to amaze me! You are a relentless pursuer! You see to it that I have what I need even when I don’t know what that is.”

So on behalf of my family, I say thank You to Covenant Community Church, for accepting to be used by the Lord to bless us, and our prayer is that we too will be faithful members of this family of God, committed to knowing Him more and allowing Him to use us to love others and live the gospel.