We are officially moving! Clay was voted in this morning as full-time youth and worship pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Salem, KY–a tiny town in Western KY near Paducah. This is something that has been in the air for a couple of months, with a couple of visits there, including last weekend when Clay preached and sang and we met with several church people. The final vote was this morning and we’re in! We are very excited about all the things this will mean for our family. Closer to family, more financial breathing room, back in the ministry, a full-time ministry job meaning not having to work two jobs, a more flexible schedule for Clay…all things we are super excited about. Plus the people that we’ve met there were incredibly friendly and welcoming, the church seems to be very excited about learning and doing the word of God, and we’re excited about getting to invest in the lives of a new youth group. Our prayer would be to put down some roots there and raise our family there and minister to these kids and families for a good long time. Our girls met some new friends last weekend that they are excited about getting to know better; it looked like there were several families and kids there for us to develop friendships with.
The big issue now is housing. There isn’t a whole lot available, but we found a couple of options that would be good for us, if we can get financing worked out since we also have to sell our house here. So please keep praying with us about that. I’m sure the next few weeks will be a blur of packing and hopefully moving before too long.
Our time in Lafayette still has some question marks to it. We can definitely see a couple of reasons why God would have wanted us here. Our church has just been wonderful. The preaching and teaching has been of huge benefit to us, even when it hurt sometimes to hear the truth. The people have loved on us and prayed for us and encouraged us and sacrificed for us, even to the point of coming to put a new roof on our house!! We have received wise counsel on different issues, made friendships that hopefully won’t end just because we’re moving, and watched our kids blossom as they took part in their activities. We feel blessed and privileged to have been able to call Faith Baptist “our” church. The growth we’ve experienced while at this church has to be one of the reasons God brought us here, and it is so significant that even if that was the only good to come from our time here, it is enough.
The past 2 1/2 years in Lafayette, and the year or so before that, have been interesting to say the least. God had some hard lessons to teach us, and we went through some hard times trying to learn them. We’ve been humbled in a lot of ways, but we have seen His hand like never before. The last 11 months, especially, we have seen Him provide abundantly, and we finally were at a point where we were content to stay put, be quiet, and watch what He would do. Since swearing off credit cards last December–even when we were using them just to make it from paycheck to paycheck–we have never come up short, and we have even paid off 25% of our debt. Many of you reading this have helped us out with gifts that have made this possible, and although we’ve tried to thank you each time, words are not enough to express our gratitude for your gifts and the love behind them. God has used you to be good to us.
Now, He is just pouring out His blessings on us. I have looked at this life we desired many times over the last couple of years with an attitude of, “That’s a nice thought, but it’s not going to happen for us.” We’ve heard of friends and family getting the new jobs and situations they desired and working hard to be content while God was leaving us where we were. And now, here we are, watching it happen right now in our own family. I am still a little mind-boggled. Our prayer is that we would take this gift, this ministry, this opportunity, and be excellent stewards of it. Our church is focusing on stewardship this month–may we be good stewards of the new life situation that God has given us. May we be found faithful in our home, in our new church, in our new community, to be diligent to carry out the commands of Scripture, to love the people and pour ourselves out for them.
God would still be good and we would still love Him even if they had voted no this morning. But I am so thankful that He chose to be good in this way for us at this time. God is so good!! Salem, here we come!!!