For the past few months (and really the past year), Carrie and I have been living with the reality that God’s plan isn’t always clear for us. We have continued to learn about the primacy of our call to follow Him, with less and less concern for where we follow Him – where He leads, we are to follow. But, sometimes, just sometimes, we need to know where to follow Him next. With moving trucks to schedule, financial support goals to re-evaluate, and human resources people to communicate with – this has been one of those times.
In the midst of it, words from Jeremiah have been comforting and challenging:
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare…
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
In other words – live where God puts you. Own that place and love it. In the mean-time trust Him to lead your life’s direction.
Where we are right now.
I am writing this update from a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon – a city that I had never set foot in until this past Friday.
The reason that I am here is that God has led us down a months-long journey of figuring out where we are supposed to be next year. With our first daughter on the way and the door to DC closed to us for now there is a lot to consider and it has come down to two options:
Stay in Orlando and work with the Jesus Film, helping to update its effectiveness for the world-culture that is present and the one that seems to be just a few years around the corner.
Move to Portland to work on campus with the metro team there (here).
The past few days I’ve gotten a great tour from some of our good friends/ministry partners from DC who moved here to go to seminary shortly before we made our move south. I’ve seen downtown, Portland State U, the Cascade Gorge & Multnoma Falls (pictured) and a glimpse of the small but vibrant and growing Church in the area. When I leave the coffee shop that I’m in right now, I’ll take my caffeine-fueled self a few miles to meet with two of the team leaders from the Portland Metro Team and talk about what the work of reaching lost students looks like here.
Pray For Us.
We hope to have a decision made within the next 9 days. Please pray that God would speak clearly to both Carrie and I over the next week-and-change. We want to follow the Lord where he’s leading without being distracted by our own desires for comfort or adventure – He knows the plans that He has for us; now we just need to know them as well so we can follow in them.
We don’t fear that we’d be disobedient regardless of what we choose. We’ve been in prayer over this constantly and neither of these feel like a Tarshish-style decision – the Lord has clearly and genuinely led us away from everything but these two.
Thanks for your partnership and your prayers in this time. We look forward to announcing to you what we’re going to be doing in our next update.