Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Heaven on Earth: The Church

Before we left for Indiana, God made it clear that we weren't to attend a local church here. In so many ways, this development knocked me off my feet a bit, wondering how we'd plant a church while we didn't have any other relationships here. I struggled with worry about being isolated and about not having other believers to meet with and pray with.

As I shared with Andy what God had told me, he agreed. "I think we'll get too caught up in spending all our time with Christians if we start going to a church. We'll want to get involved, but then our life won't be spent reaching out to people who don't yet know Jesus." I hadn't thought about that - how Christians feel like home to me and how easy it is just to spend all our time with them, but in doing that, we have missed out on relationships with people who don't know Jesus.

You see, while at one time, I struggled to love the church at all, God so radically changed my heart over the last 10 years that I find myself wishing to spend all my time with other believers - talking about God together, praying, worshiping, and growing together. It feels like home because it is the only picture on earth that is actually even close to my future home with Jesus in heaven.  God has placed a longing in me for heaven, and the church is the closest place on earth where we'll find that. True, the church is affected by sin and that used to be all I saw, but when God changed me, it changed how I saw the church. Now I see these beautiful people that God has created and He has given me vision to see them as they will be when we are all finally home; He's given me vision to see them as they truly are: redeemed saints.

And so to ask me to temporarily set aside my little heaven here on earth was like asking Abraham to give up Isaac. My heart and passion is the church. My home is the church. My life is about building God's church.And yet, God was asking me to set this on the altar too.

I tested the request a bit, bringing up verses like "Don't forsake the gathering together of believers." And His gentle spirit reminded me that we weren't - we may be a small gathering of believers, but we are still gathering and meeting and praying and learning and growing as a family of missionary servants. We are still holding up God's word over our life and even meeting with believers during the week and praying with believers over the phone. We hadn't forsaken His church, we'd committed ourselves to building it. And maybe from the outside that distinction isn't obvious, but it is a clear difference in our hearts and purpose.

We aren't disillusioned with the church. We are not bitter or angry or resentful. We are not exploring our identities separate of Christ and His church. We are missionaries walking in faith in a new environment, choosing to set aside the cultural norms of religion to reach people with the gospel: that the God of the universe has provided a way for people to know Him and talk with Him through His Son, Jesus.

Many leave the church because the sin in the church is too much for them. How can you love something tainted by sin? "There are so many hypocritical christians." "I was burned by this church or that church." "I was burned by these christians or those christians." Sin in the church is real. Sin in me is real. Sin in all people everywhere is real. It's a painful reality - the very reality that draws us to the foot of the cross. It's a reality the church needs to start from because it is the very place that leads us to cry out for Jesus' forgiveness. We cannot ignore the fact that there is sin in the church, Jesus certainly didn't, but we can follow Jesus' example and give our lives for that same church. We can choose to see people who are tainted by sin as people who are worth loving and giving our lives up for; it is the example set by our Savior and if we are a people who are remade to be little "christs" (christians), our lives will take on the same theme as His life. Besides, like Paul, we know our hearts and can likely cry out with him that we are the chief of sinners. We know that it is only His grace and strength that enable us to be anything other than a slave to sin.

As a christian, the church isn't something we flee. It is something we labor alongside Christ to build.

So what is the church? It's the collection of God's people everywhere. The Church isn't an institution. It's a family. It's a people-group. So, perhaps many have rejected the institution of christianity called the church, and I can hardly blame them. Religion has never been the means to knowing God and never will be. Jesus is the means to knowing God and He alone is able to bring dead hearts to life. Jesus is the one who ignited the first church (in the book of Acts) and He alone is able to keep our fires burning.

We build this church upon the rock of Christ and we labor over it like a child we've given birth to. Paul uses this terminology throughout his epistles because when God gives you a heart for the church, you cannot abandon it anymore than a mother could abandon her child. You labor over it in prayer and in love because the very heart of God labors over his church in love and sacrifice. In fact, the bible says that Jesus intercedes for us (Romans 8:34). Isn't that an amazing thought? Jesus is laboring over us in His own intercession even now!

The church is the body that Christ fills. Picture it in your mind with me now: a human body filled with God's Spirit; then expand your imagination - the person of Christ filled with all of us. It boggles my mind, but in John 14:20 Jesus says, "In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you." Wow! Jesus in us and us in Him and all in God - made possible by the work of Christ on the cross and the filling of the Holy Spirit.

This is a glimpse of abiding in Christ. Him in us and us in Him and all of us in God. It boggles my mind and yet, at moments, makes perfect sense. It's above my understanding and yet God makes it a reality that I can understand and experience! This, my dear sweet friends, is the Church. Us in Him and Him in us and all brought together in love of Jesus.

How can we abandon the church when the Church lives in us and us in it?

We may be a small church gathering right now, but we are the church. Church isn't something we do, it is who we are - a people filled by the Spirit of God. And as His people, we devote not just a gathering to Him, but our very lives. We devote time day and night to pray and worship, to laugh and encourage, to challenge and rebuke (especially our children, but often our own hearts also), to teach and train in the Truth, to build up and strengthen. Our lives are characterized by the work of the church and it's size does not determine its function. The number of people gathered does not determine the strength and value of the work that God is doing among us.

"For where two or three are gathered, there I am in there midst." (Matthew 18:20)

We may only be two or three gathered, but He is here in our midst.

Perhaps what matters most is not how many gather or where they gather, but that we are a people gathered together filled with Christ and centering our days and lives around His person, purpose, and praise - giving Him glory for all that He has done for us and in us & surrendering ourselves to His work in us and in the world around us. 

To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever.

Photo by Jeff Patterson of our Church family in Oregon City: Renew Church
We miss you all!

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Faith and other ramblings...

All of my couch cushions, save one, have been peed on at least once in the last twenty-four hours. They are now soaked in rubbing alcohol in a desperate attempt to prevent any urine smells. As you can see, potty training is going well.

We had tacos for dinner last night.

I spilled tea on myself twice just this morning, and on my remaining dry couch cushion.

Those are some random facts of our life in Indiana. Engaging, I'm sure.

In actuality, people have been curious about the differences between Indiana and Oregon and here is what I've noted so far.

1. Indianians (okay, that's awkward, which is probably why they refer to themselves as Hoosiers) don't know how to drive. If you thought Californians were bad, this is worse. Much worse.

2. Red lights and speed limit signs are apparently only a suggestion here.

3. People are ridiculously and genuinely friendly. I'm thoroughly enjoying the social aspect and getting to know people. And it's genuine. It seems as though community is highly valued and inclusive of newcomers. Oregon is much more individualistic, but community is still a real and thriving thing here.

4. Apparently the weather isn't always this nice, but it has been a perfect 70-ish degrees since the first week we arrived and I feel like I might be dying of happiness.

5. People sit on their front porches and get to know their neighbors. Since you can't see my face, it is an expression of happy awe and pure shock.

6. Birds don't just cheep here, they actually serenade you. It's hard to describe, but the birds just sing differently and it's so soothing and magical.

In spite of all this, I'm beginning to miss "home" and my people. It's been wonderful getting to know new people, exploring, and enjoying all that Indiana has to offer, but there isn't a replacement for the people who are already in your heart. We're transitioning out of feeling like we're on vacation in a new place, to really settling in, and I'm finding myself waking up missing my family and my people. I'm grateful for facetime and phone calls and getting to share our hearts with one another even from a distance.

God has been teaching me so much recently. I wrote a list in my journal, but the one that seems to keep coming up is faith. Our house in Oregon hasn't sold yet and I have been really struggling with frustration and impatience with this issue. But on Sunday, as Andy led our little family in "church," we looked at a passage in Hebrews where Paul commends Abraham's faith. He talks about how Abraham followed God initially because of faith, but he had to continue living by faith even in the land that was promised to him. It really struck a chord in my heart because I realized that we made this journey in faith and yet we must continue in that same faith even as we live in the place that God has called us to.

I spent some time on Sunday afternoon, asking God what that looks like, and I realized in so many ways that faith and surrender must always go together. That it is our faith that allows us to surrender because we believe that God is who He says He is and does what He says He will do. We cannot have surrender without faith. So I surrendered what I thought ministry should look like here. I surrendered our financial situation to God. I surrendered my hopes and dreams to him. Everything and anything that I was worried or struggling with was laid at His feet in surrender. And then peace came flooding in and the ability to pray, "Your will be done," was genuine and brought so much comfort to my heart because I knew I could and can trust Him to do what is best for His kingdom and our lives.

I don't want to control God's work in my life. If he would have us poor for His kingdom, then I will be content in that. If He would have us live in a beautiful home, then I will be content in that. If my ministry is homeschooling and loving my husband, then I will be content in that. If my ministry is teaching and preaching, then I will be content in that. Whether I or my children are healthy, I will trust Him. In all things, I long to say, by surrender through faith, that I'm content in whatever circumstances that God leads and calls me into.

It is by faith, through grace, that we are saved. If our salvation started in this way, it must also continue in this way. Trusting and surrendering to Him all that we are and all that we desire in confident expectation knowing that He is faithful to us in all circumstances and that ultimately His will for us is good, even if it is also, at times, hard.

Faith is the evidence of things hoped for - and do we not hope for Him? I've been baffled by this verse at times (Hebrews 11:1), wondering if faith is being confident that God will do what I want, but I've come to the conclusion that faith is being confident that I belong to Jesus and that He is mine also. That desiring Him, hoping for Him, is where you find faith.

It's amazing that when we take our eyes off of what we hope for, what we plan for ourselves, and place them squarely on the person of Jesus and His love and power and goodness, that we find the tangible substance of our faith. He is the evidence of our faith because He is who we place our hope in. He is the author and perfecter of our faith because He is also the object of our faith.

And yet we continue to pray for our home to sell because know His great love for us and His concern for His people. We've been asking Him to sell our home, but our hearts add a "Your will be done because we trust You in this," knowing that He will work all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.

Our faith is more precious to Him than solid gold (1 Peter 1:7), so we pray most that He would refine our faith. Surely, we desire far greater riches than what will come from the sale of our home. We seek after heavenly riches which are only given by grace through faith. Like Abraham, we wander through the world as strangers because we are waiting for a "better place, a heavenly homeland" (Hebrews 11:16). And so, like Abraham, we also seek to live this life in faith trusting His promises because "God has far better things in mind for us..." at the end of this journey (Hebrews 11:40).

All that said, we would still love for our home to sell. Would you be willing to pray that it would sell and that God would strengthen our faith in the meantime? Please pray that we would trust in Him and put our hope in Him, regardless of our circumstances or desires?

Praise Him for the peace He has given us in the meantime, and for wisdom as we move forward in our life here. Please pray for the people we've met here that they would come to know Jesus personally or that they would grow in their faith also. We are getting to know our neighbors who are all such wonderful people and we would love those relationships to deepen and the gospel to permeate them in every way.

May we all grow in faith together, knowing that our Father is good and that He loves us.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Learning to Dance: An Ode to a Friend on Discipleship

I remember the day I heard her name. I wandered into a Bible Study and was handed a beautifully made bible study book with a woman's feet sunk deep in ocean waves. I hadn't been to a women's bible study before. Ever. This workbook was handed around the room and I held it in my hands and thummed through it and there her name was, written in the corner. The woman who had put this whole thing together.

I passed over her name quickly and dove into my first women's bible study and the beauty of scripture. Walking in Freedom, I think it was called, and my heart craved the nuggets of truth it helped us uncover as we dove into the scriptures together. My soul began unfolding like a flower as her words drew us to scripture and the truth that we are free from performance and from needing to be good enough. There was grace and we couldn't be perfected by our own efforts.

Then, months later, an invitation came through facebook to a young women's retreat from this lovely woman. We had met, I had seen her face around church, but I remember this retreat so vividly. We walked into her family's home in the country and her bright smile made me feel welcome and loved immediately. She hugged me and laughed and welcomed me, and though I didn't know many women, I immediately felt drawn to her. She was beautiful inside and out. She taught that weekend, opening the scriptures and sharing her heart and all that God had taught her. I drank in her words and God's words through her. One small phrase, possibly said off-handedly, changed my life.

"If you read the scriptures for five minutes a day, you'll finish the bible in a year." What? I realized I didn't know whether I had ever read through all of scripture. Most of it certainly, but all of it? I didn't know. "You can do almost anything for five minutes a day." How many other things did I waste five minutes a day on? Too many. And this was important. I made a commitment that day that began to change my life - to read through scripture daily.

The retreat ended and life went on. She continued to follow Jesus and I continued to watch from afar, picking up bits and pieces here and there. She wrote a blog that I began to follow - the only blog I've ever followed - and her words daily felt like they were written just for me. As if the Spirit had authored those words in her specifically for me. Sometimes, it felt as if she had read my thoughts and my struggles and was laying them bare with her words and then offering me the solution I didn't have the wisdom yet to find myself.

I was asked, one day, who were people I trusted to give me council on my life, and I realized, though I had little relationship with this woman, that she was on my "board of directors," as they called it. She didn't know it, but Jesus in her life was changing my life.

Then an announcement on Sunday at church, this woman and her husband were going to plant a church. Our church sent them with love and support and I felt a sudden need to somehow support them. We didn't know what that meant, but Andy and I both knew immediately that we either needed to give to the church or go with them to start it.

It ended up being a bit of both. We joined their church plant and stayed at our other church (which was a bit complicated, but God worked it out in the end!) and this woman and I began to develop a friendship.

We did bible studies together and our children played together. We announced the pregnancy of our second child and they rejoiced with us. We prayed and walked with them as they had a woman who lived on the streets come and live with them. We became closer friends and began meeting regularly to pray and share our hearts with a couple other women from our church.  We led bible studies together and I shared hard things from my past with her that brought freedom to my life. We learned about healing and deliverance together. We learned about prayer together. We grew in the knowledge of Christ and His love for us together. Their church became our home and they became our family.

And through the years we've spent together, I've watched and learned. You see, after all these years watching this woman and learning from her, I've realized something about discipleship.

Following Jesus isn't something you can learn.

Before you throw me under the bus for that statement, please keep reading. Following Jesus isn't something you can learn, it's something you can do.

Please hear my heart - having good theology is essential, but all the head knowledge in the world won't mean anything if it doesn't translate to what we do.

A verse in the bible says, "Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

I grew up in the church, watching people who just listened to the word and who were themselves deceived. You can listen to the word and know the truth, but it means absolutely nothing if you don't live it out in your life.

I watched this woman live her life for the past 6 or 7 years DOING what the word said. It captivated me in a way that nothing else in this world has. For so long, I had only seen people who knew what the word said, but I hadn't met someone who so radically DID what it said. I started following her because she was actually and literally following Jesus.

Paul says, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ." In so many ways, we need less learning in the American church and more people imitating Christ. But it is a hard jump from normal daily life to imitating the God of the universe, which is why I think He gives us other Christians who are following Him to imitate. I "learned" more about following Jesus from watching her follow Jesus than I have from anything I've ever read anywhere.

I saw her suffer for His sake, and give radically and joyfully for His sake. I got to see her faithfulness in showing up when it was hard or didn't have any immediate rewards. I watched her faithfully obey His quiet directions to her to buy or not buy certain things, to eat or not eat certain things, to do or not do certain things, to pray, to fast, to give, to serve, to love, to share, to teach, to train, to hug, to speak truth in challenging situations, to surrender, to honor, to build up. Her life was a constant picture to me of how to listen to God's Spirit and apply His word and to live for Him.

It changed me in ways I don't even have words to describe - far beyond probably what she has any idea.

But it wasn't my dear friend who changed me - it was Christ. Her yielded submission to Him became the model I began to imitate and as I learned His rhythms, I began to find a new place of freedom in Him. Where I started imitating her, I ended up imitating Him. Where she inspired me, He took reign.

Slowly, like learning the patterns of a complicated dance, I began to grow confident in the steps. I had leaned on her in the beginning to show me how the steps went from theory to practice, but I was developing my own strength and beginning to dance out the steps with God Himself.

You see, I think this is how God intended discipleship. So often we think head knowledge is enough to equip someone .to follow Jesus, and maybe for some with the partnership of the Holy Spirit, it is. But more often than not, it seems to me, that God chooses to use people surrendered to Him to teach the steps through their own life to those who are just learning the ways.

You can grow up in church all your life and know the Bible, you can even preach the Bible, but until you learn the steps, until you learn to do what the Word says, you aren't dancing. You aren't following Jesus until you start moving. It's so easy to deceive yourself, that you are living according to the word - we're not bad people after all - and that's a sobering thought. But when we see with our own eyes someone dancing to the rhythm with God - someone living in complete surrender to His will - we can see clearly that we aren't dancing like that. When you see how beautiful it is to dance with Him, it creates a longing in our hearts to join in and to learn the steps.

This is discipleship, and it is beautiful. May we all join the dance.

{To my dear friend, Kari, on Mother's Day: 
words are not enough to say thank you for leading with your life} 

Photo by Lacey Meyers Photography

[Update: This dear friend recently released her book, Sacred Mundane,
and I highly recommend everyone order a copy.
It is a book worth reading from a life worth imitating.
I pray it impacts you as much as it did me.]

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Jesus-Centered Church

It was a year ago that I sat on my couch one evening in prayer and suddenly, my mind came alive with inspiration and started whirling with a crazy idea. I grabbed my journal and began wildly scribbling thoughts as they poured into my head. It was called Novo, and it was a church, but really it was the Church.

You see, since I first started diving into the scriptures as a young adult, I began to see something of a discrepancy. Every time I read the book of Acts, I was confronted with the reality that my churches didn't look like the Church described in this book. It shook me up as a young person and even made me question whether I wanted anything to do with going to church in our modern-world. I wrestled with questions about whether a pastor was a biblical thing and why our churches felt more like performances than Christ-centered people building each other up and taking the gospel out. Over the years, God began to show me that He loved His church - it is His betrothed after all - and that if I am of Him, I must also love His church and His people. So we got involved in a wonderful church and joined a church plant several years later and I have embraced His people with a passion and a heart to see them know Christ and make Him known.

And then one day, quiet on my couch, head bowed in prayer, this radical idea of a church that looked like the first church in Acts idea could be a real possibility. I know this isn't new. In fact, the more I dive into this idea, the more I keep seeing it being lived out around me. Home-groups and Life-groups and House-churches and Missional Communities. So many names and diverse cultures, but the heart is the same.We've been involved in many of these and my in-laws have even started a house-church movement of their own.

And I'm coming to realize, that this idea that God planted in my heart has been planted in the hearts of so many who love him across this expansive nation of ours. I'm beginning to see churches leave programs and christian culture for a more radical Christ-following life-on-life style of ministry. I'm excited to join what God is leading in the hearts of so many of my brothers and sisters. I know what we are doing isn't going to be unique to us, but rather is just a small extension of what the Spirit is doing in the lives of many believers and churches across our nation and throughout the world.

I don't know that we'll be different from so many of these beautiful churches and home-groups, but here is what we will be:

We will break bread in our homes and eat together with glad and sincere heart. Acts 2:46
We will be a people who pray. 2nd Chronicles 7:14/1 Thess 5:17-18
We will have no one who is called by a title of Pastor/Teacher/Father/Master. Matthew 23:8-10
We will be led by a group of godly men, called Elders who share in teaching, nurturing, shepherding, and discipling the spiritual lives of those who become part of our church family.
We will be Word-centered and, therefore, Christ-centered. John 1:1
We will be led by the Spirit. Romans 8:14
We will be a family of missionary servants, modeling our lives after Jesus' life and living in relationship with Him, His people, and inviting the world into the joy of knowing and following Him. 

This is a starting list of our foundations and I'm sure we will be much more than these things and we may struggle in many of these areas, but this is a starting point for our little home-church.

As I prayed a year ago, I had this beautiful picture in my mind of a church that met in homes, and businesses like coffee shops and restaurants, and was led by God's Spirit and gave space for people to grow in their spiritual gifts and be discipled in the truth. It was warm and inviting and relational and people who didn't know Jesus felt at home with us and intrigued by the love among us and the Spirit of God at work in us. It was a place where people experienced spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical healing. It was a place where people met Jesus, maybe for the first time, and constructs of religion fell away to give a place for relationship with God our Father. It was a family - growing and changing and making room for more - but it was God's family being created among us and God, our Father, instructing us, loving us, and changing us. It was centered on Jesus, and full of Jesus, and brought Jesus glory and honor on earth and made his name known.

A verse in the old testament says that the people perish for lack of vision. It may take us a lifetime to see something that looks like the above. It may cost us everything to see it happen - it certainly cost Jesus everything. But it is something worth living and even dying for. Without this vision - the vision that Jesus cast for His church - the people perish. I long to see churches revived, people revived, christians revived, the world revived by Jesus' vision for His church and I long to see His Kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. So we pray for that and we live for that and we let Him lead and accomplish the work in us and through us and in the church and through the church.

Will you pray with us? Pray for our little church, pray for the big Church, pray for His kingdom to come, His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven? Will you ask Him what role He would have you play in accomplishing these goals and what vision He has for your life and what purpose He has in mind for you in this grand vision of His?

He who started this work is faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. Let it be.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

7 Joys to Share

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and I feel like I'm just getting settled into a rhythm of life again. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us and this journey we are on. I can feel your prayers and I see the fruit of them! Since many of you are joining us on this journey through your prayers, I wanted to share some praises!

1. The plane trip was far better than expected. Our gate happened to be right next to the only playground in the airport (I didn't know they even had one!), so the kids were able to get all their wiggles out before flying.  Samuel fell asleep in my mother-in-law's arms on the first plane and spent the second flight treating me as his personal jungle gym, but there was very little fussing and no crying, so I'm calling that a miracle!

2. We were SOOO blessed by the homeschool community we're joining here in Fort Wayne. We told them we were coming and they offered hands, and help, and meals, and we felt so embraced and overwhelmed by their generosity and kindness. The first two days we had families from the community bring us dinner and donuts and dessert and helped move our furniture into the house and so much more. I was near to tears with gratitude and I'm still reeling by what a blessing they've been to us! Also, these donuts are called "Amish Crack" for a reason. :)

3. We live down their street to an amazing homeschool family who has a little girl who is 6 years old. Her and Isabel made an instant heart connection and everyday Isabel asks, "Can we play with Lucy today?"  The fact that Isabel has one person she's excited to see and play with warms my heart and gives me a joy I can't describe. The view from our yard:

4. Our rental home has been absolutely lovely. I love the layout and the space and the neighbors. We've been spending the last couple days lounging in the front and backyards eating watermelon, catching bugs, picking flowers, and getting to know our neighbors. AND the family we are renting from is fabulous and I've had so much fun getting to know them. I think we may be kindred spirits. :)

Our fabulous rental home:

5. The library!!! Oh seriously, this is probably my favorite part of Fort Wayne so far. Their library system is seriously fantastic and THERE. IS. NO. BOOK. LIMIT. Oh my goodness. I feel like I fell into homeschool heaven. Plus you can check out homeschool curriculum at the library and they have a whole section of their library devoted to homeschool curriculum and support. Seriously, I was not expecting this and I can't explain the level of giddiness I feel at thinking of all the homeschooling resources available to us here! Logic of English, here we come. Eeee!

6. The zoo is mind-blowingly awesome! I wasn't expecting it to rival Oregon's zoo, and while they do have less animals, I would dare say that I enjoy their zoo better. There are so many animals you can interact with (ie. petting sting rays and feeding giraffes!) and the zoo is much more interactive and engaging.

7. Church Planting has been a surprising blessing also. At this point, it has been only our immediate family worshiping and learning together, but I was praying about what God wants this whole thing to look like and He reminded me of the verse that talks about how if an elder can't manage his home, how can he care for the church? The Lord showed me how this time is like taking a magnifying glass to the church within our home and building a strong foundation with the bare minimum, so that as God adds to our church family, we are fully equipped to lead, disciple, and care for the people God brings to us. As the Church, we are a family of missionary servants and it is no surprise that God is strengthening our immediate family in gospel rhythms before others are brought into our home and life and family to join along.  I am eager though to have fellowship and times of prayer with adult believers though, so please pray God brings people who would be willing to be a part of our little church family and/or who would be willing to meet weekly to have prayer and worship together.

Andy leading us in worship Sunday morning:

Thank you to all who have been praying for us! Everything has been so smooth and I feel so at peace being here. There are so many unknowns at this point, but we are taking it one day at a time and just embracing the moments, the place, and the people right in front of us each day and asking God for opportunities to speak and share His love with others.

Two quick adorable photos to leave you with of our little two splashing in rain puddles in our alley behind the house: 

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