Spying on Tennessee
My friend Kenneth (www.williamsinthewilderness.com) sat across from me in a room full of missionary guys. The topic was spiritual strongholds here in New Castle, CO, and Lee invited us to spend a few minutes asking the Lord what He had to say about it.
The Lord kept bringing east TN to my mind. I reminded Him several times that we were supposed to be talking about New Castle.
I found myself praying for the people in east TN and planning a trip there in my mind. I wrote down that the Lord may want us to go to TN soon to pray about where we are supposed to move there.
Then Lee asked if the Lord had spoken anything.
I wasn’t gonna say anything…my conversation with the Lord had revolved around east TN!
Then Kenneth said, “Well, the Lord gave me something for Davy.” The Lord had told Kenneth that I needed to take a trip soon to east TN (with a “brother”) to pray about where we are supposed to be.
How great is that? I love it when God tells someone something on our behalf.
So! Kenneth (church planter/missionary), Lee Price (director of River Center/church planter), Glen Whatley (pastor in LA), and I are flying to east TN mid-January. They are my “dream team” of folks I wanted to join me. I had zero funds to put toward the trip, so I asked the Lord to make a way. Within about 3 weeks, all expenses were covered without me having to ask a soul. Very grateful.
Also, we’ve been praying for contacts in east TN…someone who will accept us and help us become accepted in the community. Today, I spoke with a former ministry leader in that area…the Lord not only gave me favor with her, she’s hoping I’m the next director of a ministry there (a mission center very similar to the River Center with an opening for a director…what are the odds?) I don’t know God’s plan regarding that, but I am grateful for a lady who I think will come alongside us in whatever the Lord leads us to do.
Seven Good Months
We’ve been in CO for 7 months now. Seven months well spent. We found a prayer list that we wrote before leaving LA. The Lord has met all of the needs, to some degree or another. How great.
We have said goodbye to both summer and fall here in CO and are stepping with snow boots into winter. Snow covers this southern family’s yard and roof. Quite different for us. Kids are enjoying sledding, snowballs, “igloos”, and licking ice cicles. And we have found it possible to drive in snow and ice (provided your city/county has snowplows and gravel or salt). We’ll see how we fare come February and March. I’m hoping snow entertainment, hot chocolate by the fire, puzzles, and board games will fend off the cabin fever.
The community here has been amazing. They have a wonderful understanding of what the church is (not a building, not an organization, not a denomination, but the living body of Christ, led by Christ.) Church meets in our home weekly.
We had a fun all-church gathering of some of the churches here in the Roaring Fork Valley. We all came together: the homeless church, the churches that meet at Lee’s house and Davy’s house and Desi’s house, etc., a mission team of teens from a Christian school in CA with an extra 15 exchange students from China, and a Southern Baptist church plant who hosted us in their tightly packed building. We heard testimonies of a mom and wife who found herself in prison last year due to substance abuse but now lives in the grace and love and life of Christ who experiences more joy in her family and church than she has ever known, a Chinese fellow whose mother told him there was nothing, pure nothing, after death who enrolled in a Christian exchange program and found Christ. One fellow who wandered into the meeting late and had no idea why all these different people came together asked, “What kind of church IS this?” 🙂 There were certainly lots of colors in the crayon box that day. All brought together by Jesus. How beautiful.
But Still Going to TN
But even with the beautiful community and scenery, we have never forgotten our purpose in being here. We haven’t settled; we know it’s temporary. Our minds are fixed on east TN because that is where God is drawing us.
After the “scouting” trip in January, we will begin planning the details of settling in TN. I expect the first year will be just living and working there, getting to know the area, the people, praying to understand what God is doing and what He wants to do. I’ve heard (and experienced) that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans; so, we will see. 🙂
I am imagining that I (and the boys with me, as often as possible) will do part-time work in TN, maybe landscaping and yard work. The other part of the time will be ministry. We have also started an online art business called Mud & Daisy (www.mudanddaisy.com) to help support our family, to serve as an avenue for the creativity that resides in us, and to bring art into other’s lives. It’s a business Laura and the kids can run at home. And there is plenty of homeschooling and learning to be had in running and operating a business!
This extreme faith-journey is 6+ years old now. Some of you have been with us the whole time.
Some of you have woven in and out, being the encouragement we needed at the moment.
As we hopefully round the bend with east TN in sight, we look forward to us all seeing what God has planned.