I can’t shake the smile off my face from all of the excitement!
I know I shouldn’t be surprised when God, in his goodness, steps into our lives in big ways. But I am. After years of grace and mercy from Him, I still get taken aback when He moves in a way that only He can.
So here I am, still (completely and utterly) surprised that I’m writing this. I mean, is this all really happening?!
Here’s what’s up:
We are going to England!
Anthony and I have been praying through the last few years that God would grant us opportunities where we can best serve him with our gifts and it looks like He has provided an amazing chance to minister.
Anthony and I have been invited to explore the possibility of serving in Northern England for an initial 2 years after he graduates from seminary.
This “exploring” thing means that we’re heading to England for a 10-day Vision Trip in July to meet the established churches that are a part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of England and Wales (EPCEW), get a taste (both literal and figurative) of the English culture, get to know and pray with the leaders of our host churches (Gateshead Presbyterian Church and Sheffield Presbyterian Church), and see if our family will “fit” while ministering there in a long-term context.
I’ve not been bashful about my love of English things in the past, so some of my excitement is because of the location but most of it is because this gives us both a chance to spread the gospel in a context that’s less-churched than our current one.
We want to tell people about the saving grace of Jesus Christ who don’t know the story.
We want to:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
That doesn’t mean ministry in places like The South isn’t necessary or worthwhile! We’ve spent the last 3 years in one of the most religious and most churched states in the United States and know the benefits that come with having a culture that embraces the general precepts contained in Scripture. I have a deep admiration for the ministers who have spent their lives faithfully ministering here and I’m extremely thankful that my earliest parenting years have been in a place where children are valued and respect and kindness is common.
All of this to say, we need prayers. Lots and lots of prayers. I’ve been returning to this favorite verse often as we prepare for this trip:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
It would mean so much if you’d join me in praying for these things:
Pray for God to reveal whether England is the mission field he wants us to serve in. We will be praying for God’s will throughout this process but it would mean so much to know that you were praying along with us! We want to serve God and glorify him with our gifts. We would love to serve him in Britain but we want to be sure that the choice is made with much prayer.
Pray for the church in Britain (and specifically the EPCEW Presbytery). Pray that they trust in the promises of God and that they are used to preach the gospel and disciple the saved.
Pray for safe travels for us. Also, please pray for Anthony’s Mother who has graciously volunteered to watch our children, Tamasin and Rowan, over her vacation while we are on this trip. In the meantime, we are in the middle of the passport application process; please pray that our passports will be received in time.
Pray for God to provide the means for us to go to Britain full-time. If this vision trip goes well, that’s the next step. We know God is generous and faithful to provide for his church and we’re praying that He will raise the funds needed to support our family on the mission field while we preach the gospel to the lost, help plant churches of growing Christians, and minister to the existing believers.
Also, if you want to take a look at the letter we’ve put together for our friends and family about the trip or print it out and pass them out, you can check it out here. AND if you want to donate to help off-set the costs of the tickets, we’ve put together a crowdfunding page.
I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, so let me know if you have any and thank you so much for your prayerful support!