Our big move
From north to south with the wind at our backs.
The most significant news of this month was our move to the mission field that God has lead us to. There was a lot of built up excitement about this for Rachel and me as we have been working toward this step for quite a while now. We traveled 2,225 miles over 5 days with overnight stops in 4 different states. We loaded the truck in two places along the way and unloaded finally on October 12th here in St. Petersburg. We were safe, had sunny skies almost the whole way and faced only one major traffic delay.
Stories are better told through pictures. Here are several from the adventure…
The journey was memorable in many ways and we have to give a huge shout out to so many who helped along the way. My family was a big help, especially my dad, our truck driver. We had tons of loading helpers in the Lansing, Michigan area and in Durham, North Carolina. Our unloading team in St. Pete was the biggest I’ve ever seen and the unpacking help from Rachel’s family and my dad was tremendous as well. Thank you all for your help and thank you to so many others who I know were praying for us along the way!
Prayer needs this month:
– Pray for us as we settle into our new home, neighborhood and community.
– Pray for me to keep focused on the work of raising support, this is difficult to maintain in the face of so much to be done to reach this city.
– Pray for progress in fundraising; we need many more monthly partners, church partnerships, special gifts and new connections to reach our goals.
– Please pray for our marriage; that adjusting to new surroundings serves to strengthen us, pray for our communication, unity and joy.
Hands to the plow
Progress as fundraising continues
With our feet on the ground here in St. Pete the immediate task before us has not changed. We’ll continue raising the funds for my support based salary (which will be in place for the early years of the church) and employment expenses. Our partnership with Great Commission Ministries (GCM) continues to reveal it’s benefits and it comes with a helpful caveat to keep me focused. GCM requires me to reach our funding goals before I officially begin the ministry work of starting the new church. It is serving me well to keep this focus now that we’re in St. Pete. Every church planter and missionary I’ve spoken with says this is a very good idea and a necessary requirement.
As we keep laboring in the support raising work it’s encouraging to feel that we are making progress. October was our biggest month to date for funds coming in. It was also a good month for new team members coming on to support on a recurring basis. We’re now at 35% of our support goal and while it’s only a third of the way it is major progress and we rejoice in the team that God is building for the sake of reaching many lost people in St. Pete with the Good News of Jesus.
If you’re reading this and want to join the team please let us know. You can also click on the giving link below in this email’s footer. Help us get to our goals so we can dig into the massive amount of Gospel work here in St. Pete! There are so many who need to know Jesus and it’s become clear to us that this is truly our mission field and God has brought us here to tell many about Jesus!
Our deepest gratitude to those of you who sacrifice regularly to make this progress visible and real for us. Without you we couldn’t be here and the dream wouldn’t be turning into a reality. Thank you with all sincerity! May you be encouraged by these words from the Apostle Paul, a support based church planting missionary to the lost in his day:
Philippians 4:10, 14-20:
“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”