Monday, June 3, 2013

A Change in Plans!

About 2 months ago our family had a major change in plans.  It's taken me a little bit to adjust and for all of the realities to sink in.  So in case you haven't heard yet, here's a little bit from our last ministry newsletter...

Ever since we found out last fall that we would be moving to New Hampshire we felt both excited and nervous, hopeful and yet sad.  We were, and still are, very excited for what the Lifelines team in New Hampshire will be doing across our region.  It’s our hope that God is going to use them to reach many, many students in New England never before exposed to the Gospel.  And yet as the months have gone on we have felt increasingly unsure and unsettled about moving our family to New Hampshire.  We were cautious, however, not to let our emotions get the best of us.  We didn’t want to go, but we were willing and we prayed over and over again for the Lord’s direction.  And we tried our best to let Him know each step of the way that as much as we wanted to stay we wanted His will MORE. 

And little by little, month by month came more reasons for us to stay.  Over the last semester the ministry on campus has really been growing!  We started the year with 3 students helping us to lead the ministry (all who are graduating seniors) and we are going to end the year with over 10 students who are excited to lead the ministry here with us.  Joe comes home from student meetings excited and amazed and encouraged to see these young leaders with a passion to share their faith.  God is working and we want to stay a part of it.  In addition, Joe accepted the role as the National Lifelines Medical Director.  He’ll spend some of the next two years getting more medical training so that he can in turn train all of our Lifelines staff across the country (helping to keep them, and our students, and our ministry as safe as possible).  It has become increasingly clear that it will be easier for Joe to receive the medical training he needs here than in New Hampshire. 

I could go on and on, but I’ll sum it up by saying that God was giving us more and more reasons to stay.  And yet we weren’t really sure if we could.  The Lifelines and Cru structure had changed and we weren’t sure if we would be allowed to stay here at U-Maine to do the things we believed the Lord was calling us to.  So in faith we decided to simply ask.  And after two days and many phone calls a little while back we were given permission to stay!!  In fact our Lifelines team agrees that it makes much more sense right now for us to stay.  And our regional Cru directors expressed how excited they were to have us stay and continue the ministry at U-Maine (especially since they didn’t have anyone currently to take our place)!  They are making some exceptions for us, but we couldn’t be more excited.  Such sweet, sweet confirmation!

So we will continue to call Maine home for at least a few more years!  And I am reminded again that God’s plans are good.  They aren’t always what we naturally desire (as we have certainly experienced over the last two years) but they are good and we can trust them.  The Christian life is full of adventure and it is our privilege to continue at U-Maine to bear witness to that adventure.  We’ll be excited to share more in the coming months about what God has been doing on campus and about how we believe He is leading us in this ministry moving forward.

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