God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns...."Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Though many may look upon our time in Missouri and think fast-paced and quick, we would describe it as serene and intentional. Our purpose in moving to Missouri was for Ben to help begin a new service at Second Baptist as teaching pastor. Hundreds of people made the swap from sitting under the teaching of Pastor Marshall to branching out to hear this new guy and be led by a band rather than an orchestra and choir. In our time at Second Baptist and in particular at the secondeleven service, we witnessed God's presence and salvation. We watched and participated in our church's heart for missions locally and globally. It was during Ben's talks on the life of Esther that we sensed God calling our family to leverage our lives for great Kingdom impact. Within months we knew the call was for church planting in San Francisco.
We have chosen to walk through this journey publicly. Often, the church family hears word two weeks before a minister is leaving. We thought we'd give a 14 month notice! And in these months, our journey stories complimented Ben's teachings in Scripture and were often shared around the table with friends and over a cup of coffee. We have facebooked, blogged, and tweeted about God's movement in the process. And yet as we watch how God is preparing the future for us, we have certainly soaked in the present:
God has been gracious to allow our family unit to strengthen as Ben has coached the boy's sports, as we have participated in many family activities at church, and as we have daily shared with our children why we are moving to San Francisco and their role in this adventure.
Precious people at Second have played a key role in Elijah coming to faith a few months ago. Sam and Elijah have received great instruction and care at preschool. Asher has been loved so much by great caregivers in Tiny Town.
We have been blessed with many date nights with couples that encourage us in our marriage. Shauna has been refreshed as she has gathered with many moms at MOPS. Ben has surrounded himself with men who have poured wisdom and leadership principles into his life.
Springfield will always be remembered as our Watering Hole. God brought us from a ministry that grew exponentially in a short amount of time to a ministry that allowed us to slow down and connect as a family and a couple. We have been refreshed and have been still to hear and discern the voice of God.
We are honored to have served alongside Pastor John Marshall and Ruth and will always treasure their guidance, prayers, friendship, and lovely drives around Springfield talking with one another.
We have come to the watering hole and leave with our hearts full...over and abundantly full!