Saturday, June 11, 2016

Reflections on the journey...

On the eve of our last day of ministry here at First Baptist Levelland, there are so many emotions, thoughts, memories, and feelings that have passed through my mind the last few days. We have just completed our final VBS here and it was a crazy busy week where I honestly didn't have much time to stop and think about what lie ahead...in fact, it really wasn't until yesterday that it really "hit" me that this was our final Sunday....June 12th it's always been that date out there, several months or weeks away and BOOM here it is....

Today, I was trying to summarize my thoughts, my feelings and...well, it is all so different than ever before. It finally dawned on me...

I remember how I felt the few weeks prior to going off to college at Wayland Baptist University. Here I was, this small town Colorado girl preparing to go 8 hours away, live away from friends and family, and begin preparation for "the real world" On the one hand - I was SO excited to get started on this grand new adventure, there was so much to look forward to. On the other hand - I was trembling with fear of the unknown that this new adventure would bring, so much uncertainty! I had been on my own somewhat that summer working at a resort - but this would be different in regards to getting up for class on time, being responsible for my grades, my schedule, etc.

This journey that we are venturing out on evokes much the same feelings. In many ways, it is similar - we are still doing ministry, we will still be reaching people for the Lord and discipling families. In so many other ways it is WAY different; we have always gone to an established church, with an established congregation, an established and defined ministry plan. On a more personal note - any time over the past 20 years that we have changed jobs/ministries I have spent countless hours in conversation with my mom - expressing my fears, my concerns, my excitement, my anticipation... I am thankful that the last conversation I had in person with my mom was about our ministry opportunity in Delta but at that time, it was still in the application process and we didn't know for sure if it would happen. Now that it is here - I find myself daily wishing I could pick up the phone and chat with her, to share with her where we are at, things that we are needing prayer on - my mom was an incredible prayer warrior - and just wanting to hear her words of encouragement and wisdom.

This brings me back to my original thought - trying to summarize my feelings and here it is - nervous anticipation! I am definitely anticipating the joy of meeting new people, getting the church plant up and going, and ABSOLUTELY looking forward to returning to Colorado! However, there is  A LOT of nervousness, anxiousness, etc. As of today, we do not have a place to live, we do not have jobs (both Joel and I will need to work secular jobs to supplement until the church plant is up and going strong) and the economy in Delta is struggling to say the least. It is frightening to leave a place where you have a home, a job, friends, and things are going well to the unknown and uncertain - and yet even that is somewhat exciting!

As I have been praying through these emotions and thoughts - I was reminded of the story of Abraham in Genesis 12. God commands Abram "Go out from your land, your relatives, your father's house to the land I will show you..." At this time, God doesn't reveal to Abram where exactly he is to go, where he will live, how it will all play out - He just tells Abram to GO!
This is where we find ourselves - there are a lot of details that we thought would already be in place that just aren't. We DO know that God has called us to go. We have spent countless hours in prayer, have sought out wise counsel in regards to going, have had it confirmed in so many ways. So, even in this time of uncertainty and unknown; I am choosing to trust Him, to GO out from the land in which I am comfortable and move toward the land in which He has shown us.

Here are ways in which you can join us in prayer:

1.) Joel will have a phone interview with a possible job opportunity this week. This particular job would also be a GREAT ministry opportunity and tie in well with church planting.

2.) There are some homes opening up - pray for the house that God would have for us and the details to come together.

3.) Financial support team - we are working with individuals and churches to put together a team of financial supporters who have a heart for missions and church growth.

4.) Economy in Delta - recently the only remaining coal mine in the area laid off 80 workers, including a family who will be in our church plant, pray for jobs, provision and needs to be met.

5.) A job for myself

6.) Our kids as they adjust to a new town, school, friends, etc.

As always, we are so thankful for our many friends and family who support us in prayer and encouragement!