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Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMPC

This scripture helps us understand that God has a purpose for each of our lives. Fulfilling this purpose is what brings real satisfaction. When each of us embraces that purpose, we discover who we and those around us can be with God.

As we enter the fall and get ready for our upcoming retreats for singles and marrieds, we want to tell you a story about how God worked through a group of young men in Alameda to help Naveen Dawson find his soul purpose. 

The power of purposeful training

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. [25] Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. [26] Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. [27] No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV

This scripture helps us understand that in order to fulfill the purpose God has for us, we need to embrace “strict training.” Naveen Dawson, a junior and accomplished competitor on his cross country team at Alameda High School, understands what it means to train for a purpose. He has allowed coaches in his life to influence and help him maximize his abilities as a runner. This led him to embrace spiritual training and coaching from God and friends.

God used Josh Maumalanga, Ronnie Perez, BJ Jones, and Jonathan Erikkson to inspire and love Naveen through his journey to building his friendship with God. These guys joined Naveen as his teammates on the spiritual race to change his heart and values to become a Christian. Through Bible studies and conversations, God used Naveen’s family, friends, and his own faith to help him change his heart. He developed a genuine heart for God and other people, and Naveen was got baptized just last month on August 13th.

Discover your soul purpose at our upcoming retreats 

We all have a soul purpose; we are meant to make a difference in the lives of others. That’s why we are excited to have two events—our Marriage Getaway and our Singles’ Retreat—next month on October 6th and 7th. At both events, we’ll be strengthened to fulfill our purpose and to help others find that deep satisfaction that comes with discovering their soul purpose as well. 

Register today for the Marriage Getaway Retreat or the Singles Retreat on our website!

‘Til next time,

Sam and Tenea Manuel

East Bay Lead Minister and Women’s Ministry Leader

Written by

Sam Manuel

Sam is a former outside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. Since retiring from the NFL, Sam has worked in the ministry serving communities in the Bay Area.