Israel Houghton’s “Moving Forward” is my theme song these days, because it’s time for “The Move”.
We are making plans to move to Richmond, California this month. Actually. This week.
This season has been filled with so many emotions. One minute we are eagerly anticipating the possibilities that ministry in Richmond holds, the next minute there is anxiety over leaving the “ease” of the Bible belt.
There will be excitement over the close proximity to beaches, diverse cultural experiences, and California living, followed by a wave of sadness at not being able to enjoy these things with those that we are leaving behind.
Yet, we realize that we are not alone in this. The same God who has cared for us in the other places we have lived (Chicago, Johnson City, Dallas, Cape Town, Orlando, and Nashville) goes before us now. My favorite psalm still rings true…”you discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways…You hem me in, behind and before” (Psalm 139:3, 5).
Since we are in the throes of packing, visiting, and preparing for our lives in Richmond, it feels like we are caught in a whirlwind. But, God has graciously given us a year to prepare our hearts for the transition. Along the way, we have been asked many (many) questions about why we are moving. I hope to briefly answer a few of those here.
Why are you moving? We are moving to be a part of a church re-vitalization, Living Hope Neighborhood Church (http://www.lhnchurch.org)
Are you going alone? No. There is a couple from our current church that has already relocated, and another family will be going as well. In addition, there are 2 families from our church that “randomly” ended up with jobs in the same area.
What will you be doing? We are going with open minds and the desire to serve wherever, and however necessary. There are so many opportunities and various ways to use our gifts. It really feels like a blank slate and fresh start.
How did you make this decision? Long story. The short version is, a few years ago Reggie and I talked about our openness to being a part of a church that we believed some friends of ours would eventually plant. At the time, we assumed it would be in the Nashville area. Not. Years later they felt called to Richmond, CA and we decided to pray about joining them. One thing led to another, which led to another, and here we are. At some point I’ll share the full story.
How can we pray right now? Peace. Smooth transitions and adjustments. Peace. Employment (there are several possibilities, but nothing definite yet). Peace. J Long-term housing. Safe travels.
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