The Lord has done some remarkable things in our lives over the past fifteen months.
Fifteen months ago, my wife and I lamented the fact that we would have to sell our house and move. We had no idea where to go.
But the Lord prompted a former chairman of the church board and his wife to invite us to stay at their place in Surprise, Arizona, which we did for more than two months.
Fifteen months ago, my wife and I were so disoriented that we did not understand all that had happened to us or how to move on with our lives.
But the Lord put me in contact with Dr. Charles Chandler from the Ministering to Ministers Foundation, and Kim and I attended a Wellness Retreat in Tennessee that put us on the road to recovery.
Fifteen months ago, my wife and I knew that we would be leaving our wonderful church family behind, a prospect we dreaded.
But the Lord led us to a fantastic church (after visiting many not-so-fantastic ones) where we love the music, the preaching, their outreach orientation, and especially the way they do missions. (Kim is taking a class called Perspectives and absolutely loves it.)
Fifteen months ago, my wife and I thought that she might never visit or minister in Kenya again.
But the Lord arranged for a church in Georgia to seek Kim’s help in starting a ministry in Nairobi, and Kim was able to visit Kenya last May – while that church has invested thousands of dollars into the ministry of a pastor friend there.
Fifteen months ago, my wife and I were emotionally shattered and spiritually exhausted.
But the Lord led us to a wise and caring counselor, and He has slowly been rebuilding our strength. While it may take some time for us to be 100%, we’re at a much better place than we were. Several people have commented that it’s good to see us smiling again.
Fifteen months ago, my wife and I realized we would have to place our house up for sale, even though it was severely underwater financially.
But the Lord brought us a friend who proved to be a loving, persistent, and tireless realtor. Although we sold the house four times before the short sale transaction was completed, we are forever in her debt.
Fifteen months ago, the former board of our church treated us in a manner we will never fully understand.
But the Lord used the next board to pray for us, encourage us, and let us know that we were still loved, and for that we will be forever grateful.
Fifteen months ago, to be honest, life didn’t seem worth living.
But the Lord has been refining us to the point where we are looking forward to whatever He has in store for us in the days ahead.
Fifteen months ago, we were looking backwards, trying to figure out what in the world happened to us and our church family.
But the Lord has turned our heads around so we are increasingly looking forward to what He has for us in the future.
Fifteen months ago, my wife and I knew that we would have to leave our positions at a church that we loved (and still love) very much. We had no idea what else we might do because we felt that God had called us to local church ministry.
But the Lord helped Kim secure a job last summer at a charter school district office, and with her help, we are ready to launch a ministry for pastors and their families who have suffered in church ministry. In fact, we hold our first board meeting next week.
And the Lord continues to do amazing things in our lives. Because Kim’s work commute takes anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes each way, we knew we’d have to move toward her workplace when our current lease expired.
After enduring many frustrating experiences in trying to find the right place to rent, we discovered that our church had online classified ads. We went to their website and found a fun place to rent (the walls in each room are painted a different color) in an unusual neighborhood. We also discovered that our landlord went to my high school and that her step-mother was in my graduating class!
I have been passionate about pastoral conflict issues for more than 35 years, and now the Lord has called me to assist pastors who have suffered abuse, especially those who have experienced forced exits.
That’s why we’re launching our new ministry, Restoring Kingdom Builders. If the Lord can help us rebuild our lives after undergoing life-shattering experiences, then He can use us to touch wounded pastors and their families.
Will you join us in praying that God will continue to use us for His glory?
I wonder what is in store for us – and for you – in the next fifteen months.