Below is an email that my beautiful bride sent out to friends here the other day:
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34)
What an incredibly “purifying journey”!
First, our Dallas house has sold after close to a year on the market. God preserved enough equity to actually purchase a home here in Moorhead, Minnesota (Fargo-Moorhead is an area here in Minnesota/North Dakota. Yes, we are still at Bethel!!). We are grateful as financial forecasts for us were sometimes worrisome and we feared foreclosure or worse. Bethel has been beyond generous, and God has used them to “hold up our arms” at this critical time. What a blessing!
Secondly, Emily and Katy have acclimated to their new city/town. Adjustment was especially hard for Katy as a major move had not happened in her “memory”, so the adjustments to be made were uncharted territory. They both attend Park Christian School in Moorhead, Minnesota; a wonderful ACSI accredited school in the area we are privileged to be a part of. They have been troopers through school changes, moving AGAIN in January (don’t recommend that!), and a very stressful winter of blizzards and winter storms that ended in a 500 year flood in March/April.
Third, we all came to terms with our “humanity” in a profound way as we experienced the flood of 2009. We evacuated our house in tears, grateful that our people (and new baby Labrador retriever Dixie) were well, but fearful as we worried about our own “stuff” and our neighbors’ well-being. Only days after evacuating we had another late spring winter storm to complicate matters. Our very full basement (full of stuff, that is – two finished rooms plus tons in storage) was emptied out and piled all over our upstairs on March 22nd, and was put back together after flood repair on May 27th. It was weeks upon weeks of household chaos, all the while still attempting to do school/work/church life. Yet – we found ourselves quite grateful as we saw many neighbors with large dumpsters of debris in their driveways. We found ourselves protected from a lot that others had to endure. Suffering is common to man, but painful nonetheless! Many dear ones we know are in apartments awaiting repair. We were blessed to be back in a livable home after only 8 days or so.
Fourth, God continues to be sweet and tender in confirming our sure call to Bethel Church. He is so kind to often evidence why He has called us here. Matthew remains busy as ever (maybe more so!!), but is able to focus on very specific areas of his calling and not be spread so thin. He manages to constantly squeeze 80 hours of work into 60! Christa was hired as the Director of Women’s Ministry as of December 1, 2008, and I find myself surprised, humbled, and energized by this new assignment. It is a blessing to be used in this arena and our family has been working on this adjustment too (among all of the others!!) as I have not worked outside the home since the girls were born. Matthew and I seek God’s equipping, wisdom, and courage as we desire to serve Him faithfully. He is so very good, and we are so very amazed at all He is up to! Anyone who feels God is boring or predictable, has simply allowed Him to get too small!!
And, we are delighting in a beautiful summer after what the locals have called a “worse than normal winter”. Snow blowing the driveway at the crack of dawn, layers upon layers of clothing, driving slow and not zipping ANYWHERE, parkas and snow boots – they have all been put aside for mild and long summer days. I don’t miss three digit temps or traffic in Dallas! When January gets long, I will be longing for 70 degrees again, however.
I realize this is a brief and somewhat cryptic update, but it has been on my heart to touch base with many of you and to quite honestly proclaim God’s goodness in the chaos of these times. I don’t ever recall a 12 month period of my life ever going this fast! It was just last weekend a year ago that we visitedFargo for the first time. Feel free to pass this along to any you might think would want an update of sorts on the St.John’s.
Praying this finds each of you sensing God’s great care, love and provision in your life. As God brings you to mind, we will always pray for His best for each of you and for His hand to be at work in your lives.
Christa for all of us