Personal Update – Week Ending 19 May 2012
It’s been one of those weeks where you think that nothing is going to happen and then God moves in several areas ever-so slightly. I have spoken with some friends and other contacts this week about different avenues for our next move. The most promising at this point is a church in Detroit has a parsonage available that they might be willing to let us stay in were we to minister in their church.
God also provided financial assistance through a friend of ours. It wasn’t much, but it was timely and very much a blessing to us. And other friends of ours have been a blessing for the girls, giving them clothes and what-not. God is showing himself faithful.
Harmony Baptist Church Beaver Dam, WI
My contact from Harmony Baptist Church sent me their questionnaire. It is indeed the longest and most thorough I’ve seen. I had wanted to finish it by today, but there are a couple questions where I am not quite satisfied with my answer. What is disappointing to me is that the committee has back-tracked and brought other men into the process again. They have sent out this questionnaire to their top five applicants. Their timeline would seem to have all but eliminated me from consideration, but the Lord can do as he pleases. I will make every effort to finish the questionnaire in the coming week, but the only hope I could possibly have before June 15 is that I can be eliminated by this church and move on.
(UPDATE – 19 May 2012 11:20 ET: A reader sent me an email wondering, based on the last sentence of this paragraph, whether I wanted Beaver Dam to eliminate me. Not at all. June 15 is their deadline for the questionnaires from five men. They will consider all the questionnaires they sent out. So it would seem to me, unless all five are returned in short order, the committee will not decide whether to move forward on an applicant until after June 15. It is possible, however, that the committee might review my questionnaire when they receive it and, after considering it, eliminate me from consideration. There is little hope of hearing from them about moving forward before June 15. But God can work if it pleases him.)
Late this week I corresponded with a friend who turned me on to a lead in the Detroit area. A church he is familiar with is looking to add a staff member in the next year. While this wouldn’t seem to affect my short term plans, it may work out long term should we move to Detroit. I am remaining passive in this situation, meaning if they ask for my resume or wish to talk to me, I will be happy to oblige. Otherwise I will pray that the Lord will lead where he pleases.
I have begun looking more purposefully at just moving to Detroit to settle, find a job, find a church to attend, and finish seminary. The obstacles for the Lord to overcome would be finding tenants for our apartment—we are under a lease through January 2013, finding a job and housing that would sustain a family of five over the long term, and finding a church where I can serve and grow.
Fellowship Over the Weekend
Early this afternoon I received an unexpected iMessage from a friend saying they were in the area. It was good to fellowship with the Bates on their way to a weekend meeting. The fellowship was refreshing. Tomorrow morning we will attend a church in Lima, OH where a dear friend of ours, John Vaughn, will be speaking. Then I will be hitching a ride with someone in Michigan to Illinois to attend the Conference on the Church for God’s Glory in Rockford, Illinois. I hope the next few days will be profitable to my sanctification.
Moving forward I am asking God to grant wisdom as he leads around these open doors. I was commenting today that even though we are in a position of having to trust in God for everything I still have to make decisions. God is teaching me that even in my own decisions I cannot control the outcomes and must trust in his wisdom to work through my choices to his appointed ends. That means not second-guessing or over-analyzing every decision I make, which is hard for me.
We appreciate your continued support and prayer. Trusting in the providence of the Almighty God.