Although I did not do the Tuesday Challenge for this week, I'm going to write about life on a mission in Oregon and what God has been teaching me lately. I'll have to thank Kerrie for making me step out of my comfort zone twice this month and write about something serious! ha! I'm actually guest posting on her blog on Thursday. :)
So about 2 years ago...give or take, we started praying about what God had in store for our family next. Since before we were married, we always felt the call to "Go". We've both gone on several mission trips to different places and always prayed that if God called us to move away from Alabama that we would. I remember when we were engaged, our friends Chris and Lillie from First Baptist Albertville, AL were praying about moving to Maine. We actually met with them and started praying about what it would look like for us to get married early and move to Maine with them. We really wanted to go but after praying about it we didn't feel like it was the right time. Then we started the Church plant (LifePoint) in Alabama not too long after this. We definitely felt like we needed to be in Albertville at that time and LOVED being there and having a new ministry. There is nothing like the feeling of being where God wants you and doing exactly what He has called you to do. After about a year of the start of Lifepoint Church, our friends Neal and April were praying about moving to Oregon. We started praying with them about us moving with them. Again it didn't feel like God was calling us there at that time. So 3ish years later is when we realized it was time to go. This was about a year 1/2 or so ago. We told our families and spent the next few months preparing with our team to move. Last January (2011) we packed up and moved out to Oregon.
Why Oregon? Well, first off I believe it's a place God placed on our hearts. After we got here we discovered that the county that we live in is the #1 un-churched area in the United States. We came out with a Team...our first Crash team in hopes to help with a church plant. We've been here a little over a year and things are just now starting to come together... not that things haven't been happening this past year. God had done SO much in the past year in our team. We've learned what it means to really rely on him. It's a great place to be when you don't know whats next and you earnestly seek God for whats next. Honestly I've grown so much. Oregon has changed me for the better. To read more about the the past year you can read my one year update.
I also wanted to say that I don't believe there is anything special about us because we moved to Oregon...and I don't think there is anything wrong with Oregon...or that Oregon is worse off that Alabama. Or that Oregon has more "sinners" than Alabama... A friend here told me the other day that she thinks there needs to be missionaries sent to the South. :) I just want to encourage you to Share the Love of Christ where you are. You don't have to "Go" across the country to be a "missionary". (Check out Crashing From a Distance)
So, we've been approved to use a basement of a church in Eugene to start meeting on Sunday nights....this may not look like a typical church plant at first, with worship and preaching (but who knows) but more of getting out in the community and loving on people but having a place to invite them to join us.
And about what God has been teaching me lately: I need HIM. I need to seek Him. Jeremiah 29:13 "You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me!" I need to draw near to Him so He will draw near to me. James 4:8
Click the link below to join this week's link up!