I'm coming to you live from my living room, inspired by my mocha spice latte from Dunkin' Donuts--a new favorite! There are men working on something or other outside (the street lamp?) and whatever they're doing involves a constant, rapid pounding on something in the ground. It actually shakes the entire apartment, especially the floor. So I'm blogging to take my mind off of it. Wait--they stopped! Ahhhh dang, they started again.
Today's post will hopefully provide you with an update on what's going on in our lives. I'm going to try to make it as clear as possible, as there is SO MUCH going on...I really don't know where to begin.
First of all, we are planting a church. I'm writing that in the present tense, even though we are some time away from the actual launch of this church, because the preparations for this new venture begin immediately in our minds and hearts. After a little while, Josh will no longer be in charge of Youth and Worship at Westside Community Church, and will be focusing full-time on developing the church. Basically, it will begin as a ministry of Westside, and continue to grow into a separate church. That is the bare-bones 30-second explanation of the whole thing. We are not sure what this looks like yet, which as you can imagine, is scary for both of us. We do know that since God has called us to plant, He will guide us and take care of us. Phillippians 1:6 (ESV) says "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." I firmly believe that no matter what happens, God will bring it to completion in the way He wants it to be done for His Kingdom. That may be COMPLETELY different than what we have in mind at this point, but I am also trusting that God will give us His vision. At this point, our focus is on the North Apopka area, by S.R. 429. This will allow us to continue to work with Westside once our church is established, and carry out their mission and vision, which we believe in strongly.
So, with all of that in mind, will you please partner with me in praying for a few things:
1. Please pray for Westside, as well as Josh and I, as this transition will probably be much more difficult than we expect it to be!
2. Pray for our living arrangements. We currently live in the Altamonte Springs area, which is close, but not close enough, to the area we wish to serve. Also, if we are going to begin small groups and meetings and such, we need a place to meet--a two bedroom apartment is not the place! I so desire to open up my home to others and make it an inviting place, which is just not possible where we are now. We have explored a few options, including renting a home and buying a home. I found an amazing home for rent in the area we are looking at, and it has been reduced from $1600 per month to $1450 (a CONSIDERABLE increase from our current rent), and they are desperate to rent it and will consider all offers. We have also looked at buying, and found an amazing new development steps away from Apopka Elementary School (which we will probably try to use as a resource or meeting space) called Clayton Estates, but would need the prices of these new homes to come down in order to afford it. With new home construction this is sort of unlikely, but we have seen several developments' prices come down in the recent months due to the housing "crisis." We also have no down payment. Ouch. But we know that this "crisis" could help us out as it makes it more likely for prices to come down. Plus, when we spoke to the agent at the sales center, she told us that the builder is throwing in TONS of extras for free, like tile, cabinets, appliances, etc.
3. In a completely unrelated prayer request, please pray for me this Friday (11/21) as I testify in a Termination of Parental Rights trial. You may know that I was a Family Case Manager in the child welfare field before having my son. This is the TPR trial from my very first case, which is now two years old....which means the child is now two years old. I have been hoping and praying for this day since I first received the case, as awful as that sounds...but this little boy needs to be adopted by his foster parents, for many reasons. So Friday is a big day, two whole years in the making, for all of us involved in his life.
Thanks for reading and praying if you are able...I hope you have a wonderful day! I'm excited because I'll be going to my old office to see some of my friends in a little while!