Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Reminders

I’ve never felt anything comparable! Around Thanksgiving I began feeling Addilyn’s little flutters and right before Christmas Josh actually felt her kick. I absolutely love the little thuds (even when they wake me up in the middle of the night). Her movements are a constant reminder of God’s amazing blessing to us. Lately, she has started to kick a little harder. Hard enough in fact, that tonight was the first time Josh and I actually saw my belly move! Being pregnant is so fun. Thank you Lord for allowing me to experience this! Praise God today for something He has blessed you with and that may be easily taken advantage of. Give Him the credit for working miracles in the little things.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Unexpected Blessings that Demonstrate God’s Faithfulness

For several years Josh and I have been trying to determine where God wanted us after Josh graduated from seminary. There were many different possibilities on the table including pastoring a church somewhere in the Southeast, starting a new church, working on a college campus as a campus minister, or raising support to go on staff for a para-church organization like Campus Crusade or Campus Outreach. We have prayed over this decision for years and we finally have come to a conclusion; none of the above. Yep, instead the Lord has laid a completely different opportunity at our feet and we are thrilled. Since the fall of 2008 Josh has been meeting with our pastor and working to develop a college ministry at our church.

For about six months, Josh did lots of research in regards to college ministries and how they typically work at small new churches. Starting in January of 2009 we began meeting with students on NC State’s campus. We took a semester to read and discuss the book “Don’t waste Your Life” by John Piper. Although it was a great semester and we were able to build relationships with several college students, we saw many areas that needed improvement. This is when our pastor presented the idea to Josh that we could begin raising support so that he could work for our church. Instead of volunteering 25-30 hours a week in addition to working a full-time job, he could make the college ministry his priority and get paid to do so. Although our church would love to pay for Josh to work full-time with the college students, presently that is not a possibility. As a very new, and small church, the priority lies with getting a facility and maintaining our ministries to the poor and needy.

Over the summer Josh continued his research and began meeting with other college pastors in the area. Last semester he focused on deepening relationships with college students who are currently members of our church and preparing them for potential opportunities of leadership. Last fall was also a time of immense planning. Josh has been refining the vision, mission, and goals of the college ministry in addition to planning out what the logistics will look like in the future. We hope to begin weekly meetings in February that would push the college students to deepen their relationship with Christ and to provide opportunities for accountability.

With all this being said, Josh and I both have struggled with a lack of faith. Both of us have struggled over the past six months with doubt and anxiousness concerning fundraising. It was our desire to get the ministry up and going before even beginning to fundraise. In our opinion, we did not want to start asking for support for a ministry that was not already proving successful. We have not been certain about where to begin. Who do we ask? How could we possibly raise enough money to live off of? How do we even begin asking for money when the economy is so bad right now? This is when God chose to demonstrate yet again that he is in control.

We recently received a significant financial gift to help us prepare for raising support and finish out the planning stages of the college ministry. With this gift we were able to take care of a few things that will make starting the ministry and raising support dramatically easier. More importantly, this gift spurred us on in thankfulness. It was such an encouragement to see how God is already moving in people’s hearts to pray and give to this ministry. We have been shown that it is okay to ask for support in the anticipation of a future ministry and God is faithful to provide for the needs of those who pursue his glory. Whatever you may be going through right now, be encouraged that God knows your needs and he cares for you!