So if you were eagerly waiting to hear more about living in a 17-foot trailer with our baby and our dog, wait no longer!
It was exactly as challenging as you’d expect, and way more rewarding than we could have imagined. See, when cabin fever started to set in, we were driven to explore the northern portion of our mission focus area (closer to I-45 and 242) and got to know some of the people who live/work there!
Among the people I met was Crystal at the Tractor Supply on 242 when I stopped by to ask about who their store was serving in an area that appears to have more suburban developments than local farms & ranches. I learned that the large pocket of development we had seen in the mission focus area is surrounded to the north and east by rural land that is rapidly developing (sparked by jobs in the energy and medical industries). This information was verified when I met with Pastor Dennis Parish at The Church on 242 to pick his brain on spiritual needs in the community.
Laura and Flint were busy during this time too! On days that I had meetings, Laura would take Flint to explore a nearby playground or shopping center (he especially liked visiting the doggie daycare at the local PetSmart).
When Laura was taking care of administrative tasks for the church plant, Flint and I went to check out toddler time at the library, the grocery store, and toddler parks. As you already know, Flint is a little people-magnet and just having his smiling face with me opened doors for conversation. We’re so proud of our little missionary! Long story short, because we didn’t have the typical “household chores” those first two weeks, our schedules were wide open for exploring our new community.
"Maybe this wasn’t the smartest idea." That’s the thought that went through my mind as we pulled up to the sketchiest U-haul pickup location I had ever seen. We were in San Antonio in mid-September moving the rest of our belongings to the apartment near IH-45 and 99.
We decided to christen the moving truck “Estelle” after the eccentric chain-smoking character from the show Friends. (Can you guess why? Ha ha!) After letting 'ol Estelle air out a bit, we started loading. We couldn’t have done it without the help of my parents. My mom spent some quality time with Flint and my dad even took a half-day of work to make sure we could load the bulky items.
I’ll admit that it was kind of emotional to leave the little house that had sheltered generations of my family. My grandparents called this “Little House” home for many years, and after they moved into Jesus’ house, my parents graciously let us rent it for seven years. During that time, we made a lot of personal touches to it. We even brought Flint home from the hospital to this house.
But although we loved the Little House and the people who cared for and supported us in San Antonio, God had made it clear that the time had come to serve Him in Spring. As Chip Gaines puts it in his book Capital Gaines, the “manna” was expiring and it was time to look forward to God’s next move.
So after saying our tearful goodbyes and prayers of thanksgiving, we started up the vehicles and headed on our way. The four-and-a-half hours of travel were a blur and the next thing we knew we were pulling up to the apartment and my phone was ringing. Scott, a member from one of our supporting churches, The Dwelling, had arrived and was ready to help. He was soon joined by Fred, John, Paul, Kelly, Jerry, Karen, Pastor Ted, Pastor Seth, Jacqueline, and five adorable little helpers. Laura was soon greeted inside our 700 sq. ft. apartment by acquaintances and strangers carrying armloads of our belongings and asking where they should put things.
Jacqueline must have seen our eyes widen as we tried to remember names, give directions, and figure out if everything was going to fit! She not only picked up the pizzas we wanted to provide, she even went to the store to get water bottles and drinks for our army of volunteers. What a Godsend!
As we reached the end of the day I found myself thinking again, “Maybe this wasn’t the smartest idea.” In hindsight, it was probably a poor decision to do all of this in one epic day. It had started before the sun came up with Flint screaming (his mouth is now complete with six pearly whites that he didn’t have at the beginning of September).
When we were finally laying dog-tired in bed after all of our gracious help had departed, Laura asked, “I’m just not adjusting to the Houston heat like I thought I would--does it seem warm in here to you?” By midnight, we were getting acquainted with our apartment’s maintenance guy, Gary, as he fixed our air conditioner. I’m trying to remember what happened that next day, but for some reason I can’t! "Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing." (Helen Keller)
Midweek at Resurrection
One of the big motivating factors for completing the move in one day was that on Wednesday of that week, we were starting a vision-casting Bible study at Resurrection. The church gathers on Wednesday nights to share a meal, fellowship, and study God’s Word. In each lesson during this 8-week series, we are reading a different Bible story and examining an “unusual” mission from God.
Each story will serve as a segway into conversation about a particular element of church planting. For example, last week, we talked a little about why our mission focus area is “so close” to Resurrection. And this week we are looking at Jesus’ prayer over the mission field in Matthew 9 and talking about the priority of prayer in the church planting process.
On October 14th we’ll be putting this study into action by having our first prayer gathering in the community at Momentum Coffee. If you’re in the area and would like to join us for the Bible study and/or prayer gathering, email us for more details! We’d love to see you there!
All this to say, we’re slowly but surely getting our feet back under us. We’re unpacked now, starting to meet people (both in the supporting congregations and the community), and getting acquainted with our new home… and, wow, are we enjoying it. There's a level of excitement in knowing that, well, there's so much unknown! God is completely in charge of each and every day.
We’re so appreciative of all the prayers you’ve said for us as we make this huge life change--new city, new ministry, new levels of humidity and mosquitoes--and ask that you would please continue to pray for the mission field in this area!