Relocation Update 7/9

Hi everyone!  Thanks for all the encouragement and prayers!!  I’m seeing this as another opportunity to see God at work in our lives.  I can’t imagine moving away from Alabama, but know that there must be a reason God wants us in Georgia.  We’re frantically trying to get the house ready for sale.  Decluttering, repairing, painting, and yard work have kept us very busy this week.

The kids are moving through a range of emotions from excitement to fear and sadness.  Emily seems to be having the hardest time.  She’s very concerned about moving away without having the chance to say goodbye to everyone.  Both Emily and Sarah are sad to leave our house.  They were born and raise here and can’t imagine calling any place else home.  Bradley seems to be fine.  Once he was assured that there will be a McDonalds, playground, and swimming pool in Georgia he was fine!  I’m doing my best to help them process their emotions.  Please continue to pray for them.

Please pray for my parents and Graystone Engineering.  I’ve worked closely with my parents since I graduated from college fourteen years ago.  Dad and I make a great team.  I know that it will be difficult for both of us to adjust to working apart.  Please pray that Graystone will gain more work so that Mom and Dad will be financially secure.

Please continue to pray for Mountain Valley Church.  When I felt called to plant the church three years ago I though I would retire there.  I’m thankful for the loving and dedicated church family at Mountain Valley and have full confidence that they will continue the work we were all called to in Montevallo.  I will work with the church over the next several weeks to make a transition to new leadership.  We have incredible support from Westwood Church (our parent church), the Shelby Baptist Association, and Developing Churches Network.  The church has several great options for continuing the mission in Montevallo.

Most people wonder if I have another church in Atlanta.  I don’t have any ministry plans yet.  The move was driven by the need to support our family and not because I was looking for another church.  I have no doubt that God will provide opportunities for our family to serve Him in Georgia.  Please pray that we will be sensitive to God’s direction in ministry and that we will have the eyes and heart of a missionary when we arrive at our new home.

We have a lot of work ahead of us over the next several days as we plan to put the house up for sale on Monday the 12th.  To make things even more interesting, April signed up for a nursing travel trip in Fort Lauderdale next week before I was offered the job in Atlanta.  Then we plan on going to Atlanta on a house hunting trip for a week when April returns from her trip.

Well that’s all I know to tell you right now.  I’ll try to keep everyone updated on the blog.  Oh, I can’t forget to thank everyone who has pitched in around the house to help us get it ready for sale.  You know who you are and you’ve been a Godsend!!

We hope to see everyone before we leave.  I’d love to have a giant reunion before we move.  Let me know if you’d be interested!!

Go Out From Your Land

“The Lord said to Abram: Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. ” (Genesis 12:1, HCSB)

As many of you might know by now, we’re moving to Atlanta so I can take a job with Metso Corporation as a Design Engineer for Capital Projects in their Wood Handling division.  I’ve been privileged to work with my Dad for 14 years at Graystone Engineering.  The economy has taken a toll on our industry and many engineers are looking for work.  Dad and I agreed a couple of months ago that I should start looking for work elsewhere since we don’t see an upswing in the economy any time soon.  I’m thankful that God has given me an opportunity to work right at the time of our need.  I know that many people have been looking for work for weeks if not months.

This move is difficult for a number of reasons.  The first challenge is the change in geography.  This transition will uproot our family that has been in the same place for 14 years.  Our children have never known another home.  Neither April or I have ever lived anywhere except Alabama.

The second challenge is the change to our relationships.  I’ve worked for my family since I graduated from college and see them nearly every day.  April is very close to her family and being just an hour away from them in Northport has seemed like being half way around the world.  We’ve made countless friends in Alabaster during our time here that we will miss dearly.  We’ve counted each person as a blessing to us.  God has used each one of you to enrich our lives and help us grow.

Lastly, we face the challenge of leaving our church.  I couldn’t have imagined what God would do in my life when He first called me into ministry and then called me to plant Mountain Valley Church.  I’ll never forget God’s work in the lives of people inside our church and in the community of Montevallo as He has transformed them by His grace and love.

God has taught me many lessons over the last few years.  I have come to realize that we are called to be obedient no matter how strange God’s will for us might be.  My eyes have been opened to the overwhelming need for laborers in the mission fields of this world (Matthew 9:38).  I’ve learned that church leadership is not limited to the professional clergy (Acts 4:13).   God has reminded me over the last few weeks that the church belongs to Him (Colossians 1:18).  He has shown me that some of us are called to plant, some to water, but God is responsible for the growth (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).  I’ve learned that we’re simply called to trust, obey, and give God all the glory.

Please be in prayer for our family in the days ahead.  I’ll start my new job on August 1st.  We have so much preparation ahead of us in such a very short time.  Please pray that our house will sell quickly and that we’ll find a new home soon (we’re looking at the Alpharetta, John’s Creek, or Suwannee area).  Please pray for our children as they face the fear of the unknown.  Please pray that God will pour out His wisdom, grace, and strength on us as we go out from our land.  Please pray for Mountain Valley Church as they decide what the future holds for them.

I”m sorry that this post is so roughly written – several days of working on the house until midnight has left me delirious!  We’ll do our best to keep everyone up to date on our transition.  We love you all and hope to see you soon!