Two weeks from today will be our first Sunday in Kentucky. Kentucky?! Four years ago when we moved overseas to serve missionary kids, I also began full-time Masters of Divinity (MDiv) studies on-line through Asbury Theological Seminary. I was awarded the Cooper family scholarship and Central UMC, Rogers paid for my books so we have been able to get this far without going into debt. Another miracle! On August 1 we will move to Kentucky to complete that degree (May 2015).
Valerie and I are eager to get back to Arkansas and begin a new phase of ministry, but we also feel that this year in Wilmore will actually help our transition back into western culture. Wilmore will be a lot like Kandern, because of it’s small-town charm, the transient nature of the seminary community, the numerous young families, the (hopefully) simple and quiet daily living and the international flavor of the student body.
We already have a place to live in seminary housing, a gracious community that is welcoming us and a part-time job pastoring Wesley Chapel – a little church 15 minutes from home. It’s exciting, but there are several more difficult hurdles that we have to overcome before August 1.
Praying and trusting – When we headed to Germany, we had several thousand dollars of donations that helped us get on our feet. (TeachBeyond does not have the same program for our return to the States.) Praise the Lord that we were already able to save up enough money to pay for our tickets home and to ship a few belongs back, but our monthly living budget has been squeezed (squashed actually) by the extra expenses of getting life restarted in Arkansas/Kentucky. It’s time to “let your requests be made known to God” and trust Him (Phil. 4:6).
We have seen God answer prayers time and time again over the past four years, both our prayers and the prayers of other missionary families. Does the Lord really delight in giving us the desires of our hearts? I believe He does, but what is in our hearts? God is good, but His primary purpose is to shape us to become more and more like Jesus. We need Him now more than ever in this difficult time of transition.