The time has come to announce our exciting news to all. We are stepping out once again and following the Lord to Tyler, Texas. This season in Waynesville has been good and brought much healing to our family. We’ve been loved very well here, but the time has come to move onward. When Molly came back in March and spoke at different places, giving her testimony of God’s healing work in her life, our hearts were filled to overflowing. We rejoiced over God’s redemptive work in our girl’s life, as well as in our family. What satan intended for evil to destroy us, God intended for good. It was at this time, Richard and I began to sense that an end had come, so we started praying about what God had in store for us next.
It’s a long story, but through much prayer, God began to remind us of the call to go into all the world and make disciples. Years ago, before we planted our church plant in Greenville SC, we wrote a personal mission statement: There are lives to be touched by God’s grace and hearts to be mended through freedom in Jesus Christ. This statement gave our lives purpose and would define our ministry roles in the years to come. When we moved to Greenville, our church plant’s vision statement said it in a slightly different way but similar: We are called to glorify God by helping lost and rejected people find freedom in Jesus Christ. As we were praying earlier this year, God reminded us of these two statements. At the time, I was also reading a book by Steve Saint, End of the Spear. A quote in this book really rocked my world: “A hundred years from now, who will care how successful we were or how comfortable our lives were? What will matter then is what we invested our lives in.” As we reflected on what we were going to invest our lives in, Richard and I both knew we could only invest in God’s kingdom and leading others to know Him. It was our life calling and the time had come to pursue this dream once again.
As we were praying, we began to research the possibilities of pioneering a YWAM (Youth With A Mission) base in a needed area. We truly love what YWAM does in this world and felt a tug on our hearts to get connected once again with this mission group. YWAM bases are engaged in the communities where they’re planted, showing the love of God to people in that local area, and they’re also training disciples to go into all the world. After some research, we saw that the YWAM Tyler base had been involved in several bases being pioneered and the training of leadership for those bases. So we began to knock on this door to see what it would take to be trained ourselves. In order to come on board as a staff member, we would need to do a school called the School of Evangelism. We applied for this school which begins January 3rd and got word of our acceptance Friday. Praise the Lord!! Lord willing, we will be heading to Tyler, Texas on January 1, 2016 to begin this new adventure.
We are excited about what the future holds. We’ve been making preparations to move, selling lots of our possessions and wrapping up our responsibilities here in Waynesville. We are hoping to sale our home by December 1st. This is a big prayer request of ours. The couple who owner financed our home for us has graciously agreed to take the house back if it doesn’t sale by Dec. 1st, but it would be in everybody’s best interest if it would sale. Please join us in prayer about this need.
YWAM is a volunteer ministry. No one within this organization is paid a salary. We are responsible to raise our own support. The school we will be attending cost $8020 for our family (Richard, Amy, and Audrey). We will be living on the base during this time, receiving all of our meals there as well. The first three months will be a lecture phase of studying together in a classroom setting. The remaining two months will be the outreach phase. The outreach phase will be an additional cost, which will depend on where we go. We won’t know the destination until we arrive because much time and prayer as a group is spent in deciding this. Please join us in prayer for God to equip us with all that we need to do His will.
Many of you may be wondering how our kids are doing with this news. Kyle and Kelly are doing great in Seattle and happily involved in their church and jobs. They were excited to hear our news and promptly encouraged us to consider planting a base in the Pacific Northwest. Molly is living in Denver currently. She recently got engaged to a wonderful young man named Matt. We have grown to love him a lot and are thrilled about this step they’ve taken together. Matt is actually from Tyler, Texas, which is a crazy connection that only God could orchestrate. The wedding will be in Tyler late May (Lord willing), after we finish the SOE school. Molly and Matt are excited for us and have mentioned that maybe someday they’ll join us in ministry, which would be so awesome! Emily is a freshman at Western Carolina University. She is enjoying her time there. The news of our leaving the area was hard for her to hear at first. Moving to Texas takes us farther away than she wanted us to be, but she is supportive of our decision. She wants us to follow the Lord as He leads. We look forward to bringing Emily to Texas in May to spend the summer with us once she’s done with school. Audrey is in 7th grade and still being homeschooled. She was also sad at first when she heard the news because she has some very good friends here that are hard to leave behind, but as the time has gone by, she is getting more and more excited. Thankfully with the way technology is, she can keep in touch with her friends here in NC. We are very thankful for all of our precious children and their support of this step we’re taking. We may be located in many different places, but we are united in heart, which is so very special.
Please join us in prayer over these next few months as we close things down in NC and depart for TX. We do not believe this is all about Richard and Amy following Jesus. We as a body of Christ are connected! As we take this step, we hope that all of you will feel a sense of connection and calling as well. We are thankful for the ways God has brought us together over the years, and we look forward to the ways He will continue to connect us in the future.
If you’d like to join our team as a specific prayer partner and/or financial supporter, please let us know. We are definitely going to need prayer support. We have learned over the years that prayer is powerful and effective. It is vital to any ministry, so we want every aspect of what we do to be bathed in prayer. We are also going to need financial support and are trusting God to guide the giving and provision. Faithful is He who calls you, and He will also bring it to pass! (1 Thess. 5:24) Amen!
We want to hear how God is working in your hearts and leading you on adventures too. Please keep in touch, for YOU are loved!
To God be the glory!
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. John 15:16