2016 will be an exciting year for our family. Also a little frightening!
This year we will leave behind our neighbourhood, schools, house, predictable employment and valuable friendships to start a church in another part of the city. Whilst it’s not like moving to another country (like our friends are doing) for us it feels costly. We are setting out without knowing where we are going, simply because we believe we have heard God speak to us.
Right now as it stands – we have sold our house and have to be out by Easter (6 weeks away).
We have applied for school places in the part of the city we are hoping to move to but will be turned down if we cannot prove our address by Easter time (also 6 weeks away).
We have had an offer on one house turned down and we are nervously awaiting the outcome of an offer on a different house.
This is just our personal unknowns. Let alone the set of unknowns attached to the church:
We are finishing our responsibilities in our current beloved church also at Easter.
We are trying to gather a group of people who will consider coming with us to resource the new church, whilst not being able to give them any idea of where the church will meet and only a rough idea of what the church might look like.
We’re doing this at the same time as grieving for the church were leaving as well as trying to involve our children in the ‘adventure’!
In so many ways we are literally setting off without knowing where we are going.
The story of Abraham (Genesis) is bringing me great hope and comfort at the moment.
Abraham was chosen by God. Set apart for His holy purposes. God wanted to use him to start something beyond human comprehension. But Abraham needed great faith. God told him:
“Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you”
Asked to set out not knowing where he was going, Abraham faced a choice. Be obedient and set off, trusting Gods promises of abundant blessing, not just for himself but for generations to come – OR – stay where He was and face a life knowing he had stepped out of God’s will simply to retain his comfort level.
John and I faced the same quandary.
God began to stir us (OK, mainly me) that He was beginning to do something new and different. He kept prompting us to ask – should we be part of it? It was tempting to look at the very settled life that we had and think “actually, we’re happy here God”.
Abraham was a rich man even before God spoke to him about his plan to bless him and make him a great nation. He could have looked around at the many family members, cattle, servants and possessions and thought “actually, I’m happy here God”.
Yet, as we read through whole of the bible we see what a difference Abraham’s willingness to take a risk of faith lead to. God is always true to His word. Abraham was the beginning of the people of God – the same people that still exist today – the church! What God began through Abraham, John and I (and those that are brave enough to come with us) have the privilege of carrying on today.
We are not only stepping out in faith into the individual promises God has given us about River City church but we also step into the promises God spoke to Abraham all those millennia ago.
Even though I can’t at this time say God has done the impossible and got us where He said He wants us – I know that one day in the future I will be able to. God’s plans for his people cannot be stopped.
I look forward to keeping you posted on all He has done!