During this furlough we’ve been reporting to each of our supporting churches, updating them on what God has been doing over the last 4 years and talking with them about the ministry transition we’ll soon be making. For as long as we’ve been processing a transition (2 years or so), we’ve been praying that each of our supporting churches would choose to stay with us through this transition and continue to support our ministry. Our church visits have gone well.
Another job this furlough has been to try and increase our support base. We’ve talked with several new churches and so far 3 have decided to partner with us. We know that is a huge blessing and we’re grateful.
But last week we had a frustrating phone call. We called one of our supporting churches, one we’d already reported to, only to hear that they’ve actually decided to discontinue support of our ministry at the year’s end.
Dan was actually the one on the phone and I walked in to hear his side of the conversation. As Dan looked at me I could tell it was not a good phone call.
He and I had a variety of emotions: frustration, anger, feeling let down….
We both wanted to rant a bit. After a bit I decided my frustration wasn’t due so much to the fact that they weren’t going to continue supporting us but rather that we were just now being told. But we were frustrated none the less. To be completely honest, we were in quite a tizzy.
And then God reminded . . .
- we might have been surprised but He wasn’t.
- Of ALL of our supporting churches only one decided to not transition with us.
- He has and will continue to provide.
- New churches have partnered with us.
- He has and will continue to provide (I know it’s a duplicate statement – it was a duplicate reminder).
- There was no reason for us to stew in frustration.
A bit of frustration remained, but we were calmer. And then came the further reminder to rejoice and be thankful for this church. They may not be transitioning with us, but they have still been faithful partners for many years and we are glad in that. We are thankful for them.
This weekend we were blessed to be part of the service at one of our supporting churches. Since it was here in Owensboro we didn’t have to travel, and the kids were able to attend classes with the friends they’ve been making through youth group activities.
It was a good weekend. Scott, the preaching minister, gave a short sermon and then we were “interviewed” by Shawn Green, the outreach minister and good friend. It was a great format to allow the congregation to get to know us, give an update about our ministry, gain a few new prayer partners, and (hopefully) challenge people. At the end, the kids joined us on stage for prayer.
Having 5 kids come into the sanctuary and then up to stage can prove a bit interesting. Here are a few funny (and unspiritual) things which happened during the church services which may or may not have been observed by those in the congregation.
- Last night, for the Saturday service, there was a miscommunication on when the children would come into the sanctuary. Therefore during Scott’s message, before the interview started, here came four children. Robin got up as discretely as possible (rather difficult when sitting up front) to usher the kids back to their classes and come back in to sit down. When the kids came in for the 2nd time it wasn’t as quietly as we’d have hoped. Jeremiah proceeded to bounce around in the pew and run around. It took everything in Dan to not get down off the stage during the interview to discipline him.
- During Saturday evening’s prayer Jeremiah took great delight in watching himself dance in the tv monitor. When the prayer was over he didn’t want to come down off the stage and had to be carried down (with some protesting).
- Sunday morning first service: the older kids were sitting in church with us. Karunia exited at the appropriate time to get the smaller kids however, when they came into the sanctuary Jeremiah came running down the aisle and immediately up on stage in the middle of our interview. Esperansa followed suite, though at a slightly slower pace. Thankfully they went and sat down without too much fuss.
- When it was time for all children to join us on stage for prayer (still Sunday 1st service), Josiah walked up and immediately showed Dan the tooth he had pulled – in church, during our interview. If you know us well then you know Dan’s laugh. It took everything in him to hold that laugh inside at that moment.
- During the 2nd Sunday morning service Dan zoned a bit while Robin was answering a question and quickly had to refocus to handle his part of the answer.
- Finally by Sunday third service all the funny/awkward moments seemed to have passed. At least we aren’t aware of any glitches.
Despite the funny or slightly embarrassing moments (at least, if there was any doubt, people now know we aren’t a perfect family), we were glad for the opportunity. We pray the Lord was honored. Thanks OCC for your support and the chance to share with the congregation.