Metro Kingdom Builders: Dawn Cruz

‘Metro Kingdom Builders’ is a series highlighting the partners and people that make up, and serve, at Metro Community Church. This week’s Kingdom Builder is Dawn Cruz!

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When did you start attending Metro? Why?
I started attending metro in 2015. My husband and I were looking for a church closer than crossing the bridge every Sunday. After visiting a few churches in New Jersey, we came to Metro and were very surprised and moved by the preaching of the Word in such openness and humility, and we were very willing to visit it again to see if the preaching was consistent.

What stood out to you about Metro?
What stood out most to me about Metro was definitely all the Asians and wondering if we were gonna fit in here. One of my concerns was that I liked the preaching but... would this be a place I can call my home church and build relationships? What I loved about Metro was the honesty from Pastor Peter from the pulpit. I had never heard a preacher openly confess and express his flaws yet still stand by the grace and mercy of God. His values and stance on race and injustice as someone of another ethnicity was a definite winner. After hearing him one Sunday, I remember saying to my husband, “This church is the one!“

What ministries are you involved with? What about those ministries made you want to serve?
I am a teacher and a core team member at MetroKids. I am also a core team member of the Arts Ministry, where I am part of the Sanctuary Team, Director of Cultural Day, and the Summer Arts Camp. I was called to be a servant of God in whatever capacity I am needed. I have been in Children's Ministry for years, so I gravitated there [when we came to] Metro. I enjoy ministering to kids and there's something about them that keeps me humble and reminds me to have childlike faith and that the purpose of knowing the Word is being able to share it with others starting with our young minds. I also love being creative and artistic so I get to bring that out in the other ministries I serve in that will help bring others to Christ in our community.

What do you do outside of Metro?
I work at Metro, so in my free or down time I really embrace my Sabbath. I love my alone time when needed. I love when I can get all of my kids together to spend time as a family. Apart from being a wife and mom, I enjoy connecting with friends to enjoy life, to talk, and to study the Word. I enjoy dancing with the ladies. I love being in nature – whether its just a walking or sitting on my blanket in the park. I would love to travel the world.

What does transformation mean to you? Have you seen or experienced transformation through Metro?
To me transformation means inviting God into every area of my life to walk with me, to hold my hand, to comfort me through all my pain and brokenness. It's allowing Him on my journey to mold me, change me, and shape me into the person He desires me to be. Transformation is me going to Him, sitting at His feet and Him picking me up so I can see things in a new light.

I have certainly experienced transformation at Metro! I lived a life of shame, judgement, regret, and guilt from family and my past. I carried my burdens on my shoulders everywhere I went - it was my baggage and I traveled with it thinking I deserved the weight because of the choices I made. I lived a life of unforgiveness for myself. I even equated it to my blessings - I thought I wasn't going to be blessed because I wasn't forgiven. I lived thinking God had the rod over me all the time, waiting to chastise me because he remembered all of my wrongs. I thought if this is how I see myself, this is how people would see me if they knew the 'unveiled' me. I walked trapped in a lie until I shared with Pastor Butcher and he proclaimed the never ending, never changing love of God as my Father to me. Today, I can walk unmasked in my heart day by day, allowing the freedom of God to empower me to live freely.

What is one thing you want people to know about you?
I love to laugh in spite of it all.

What brings you the most joy?
I love getaways/quality time with my hubby. I look forward to it and the world doesn't exist during that time.

Anything else you want to share?
I am very thankful for the values, the diversity, the transparency, and the direction of the leadership at Metro. They have helped me to feel at home, have shown me what the love of Christ should be in brothers and sisters, and the true meaning of having a community stand by your side.