Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A letter to the ones we love

Dear Friends,

Almost three years ago, the Lord led us away from a group of people we loved deeply at Daybreak Community church in Lapel, Indiana. We were newly engaged and knew that we needed a full time ministry where the Lord would use us. At that point in our lives he led us right to Our Savior’s Wesleyan church.

For the past three years you have been so wonderful to us. You have showed us love, and given us such great encouragement. We have made many great memories, like the canon on New Years Eve, sledding in the front yard, Ultimate Frisbee in the summers, Winter Rush, Noah’s Ark, and of course youth camp. We have laughed together at Sunday Night Live and LiveWire, and cried together over an open chair. We have grown in our walk with Christ, some still just beginning. Through the years we have committed deeper to one another as a family in LIFE Groups and Sunday night worship. Danielle and I see each of you as brothers and sisters, and have grown to love you so much! God has blessed us with an awesome youth group.

When we first arrived in Mukwonago, we were nervous, lonely and scared. We quickly poured ourselves into ministry and into your lives. We have loved watching you grow up, and have success in your lives and we rejoice in what God is doing in and through you. So as that first year came, we learned how God wanted us to spread the message of Jesus Christ to Mukwonago.

We learned that you love to be honest and real, so we shared Jesus honestly with people, and talked to them about the real impact Jesus can have on a life. Many of us experienced Christ in a fresh way.

We learned that you love to serve the Lord. Through rake and run, soup kitchens in Milwaukee and the missions trip to the dangerous South Chicago, we were able to join in the work of Jesus Christ in places where people were desperate, hurting and in great need. And we loved it! We laughed, cried, and even picked up glass so other kids could play tag.

We learned that you are full of love. We feel so blessed to be a part of your lives. Each one of you has invited us into your life, and offered us trust and a big smile. We needed you, and you allowed us to be your friends. Best friends!

We learned that God’s plan for Mukwonago was much greater than the two of us. We have seen God use you, time after time to bring people to SNL! or LIVEWire! God has used you to start chapel services before wrestling meets, morning prayer groups, or inviting friends to “See you at the Pole”. God used you in incredible ways.

As Danielle and I served in Mukwonago, we began to sense Him building us into the couple He has created us to be. We learned how to work together and how to serve the Lord with one heart and one vision. We know that God has used the students of CRM to develop us, probably more than we have developed them. Through the years we have worked hard to pass on to you, our deep love for Jesus Christ. Our life mission is to tell people of the transforming power of Jesus Christ. We truly hope you have gained this.

However, in the past couple of months we have felt God calling us to another adventure. We are not exactly sure where God is taking us, but we do know that He is calling us to obedience, trust, and readiness. We pass this letter on to you and your friends as a token of love and hopefully a tool of understanding. We would not trade our 3 years in Mukwonago for anything. We love and appreciate all of you and we see clearly many reasons why the Lord led us here 3 years ago. We know clearly that God has a plan and a calling on all of our lives and we have to be open to Him and the plans He has for us. While this may be a hard spot in the plan for all of us, we have to trust God, and be confident that he has this all in his control.

We want you to know that we did not go looking for a new church to serve in. We did not send out resumes, we were in the midst of our everyday ministry here when we received an invitation to explore the possibility of ministering in Fishers, Indiana. We took the invitation, after much prayer, and spent a few days with the people there. After more prayer, we were offered the position there, and we felt deep in our hearts that this was the next step in God’s plan for us. Many of our hearts

desires and personal goals were met in this new position.

We understand that our decisions seem very confusing, and not very concrete. And we understand if you feel very angry with us. But we want you to know that we love you, that this decision was extremely difficult for us. We hate the idea of moving from Mukwonago, and the people we love so much, but at the same time, we must be obedient to God’s calling on our lives. We must be sensitive to the Holy Spirits guidance to new places.

We would love to talk with each of you about this, and hear your hearts. We hope that in the next couple months you would call us, and let us know how you feel. We want to share with you; our hearts, and hopefully this letter will help a little. But we want you to know that this decision is not based on anything that this church or you did not offer us. It is based on a calling God has placed on our life, the same calling that led us here to you.

God is good in all He does. For us to teach that, we must be willing to live that out in every aspect of our life. We teach and talk with you all the time about the plan God has for your life, and at the same time, we are trying to live out God’s plan for John and Danielle. While moving is going to be so hard, we know that our new adventure will be exciting and God centered.

We love you,

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:3-8


nate richardson said...

all right, you made me sad and you are not even leaving me. now you have to tell us what job in fischers.

SuperBecca said...

as tears stream down my face, i want you to know that i love you both and you have both helped change my life so deeply at an incredible spiritual level. God's call is so powerful, and it is at His will that we follow Him.

E. Allen said...

I was just wondering when you are looking to move to Fishers? That'll be pretty close to us, so maybe Zachary and I could come visit you guys before we leave for Aussie (in early June). Also, if you've heard of Connor Prairie, it's just outside Fishers, and is there the Indpls. Symphony Orchestra preforms in the summer. If you ever want to go, we can probably get you in if you just ask!
I am sure it is sad to be leaving Mukwonago, but I'm sure God will bless you for following Him and moving to Fishers!
Also, that passage from Phil. is one of my favorite passages. I actually memorized Phil. 1, and also verses 3-4 were my graduating class's passage.

God Bless!

Mariaj said...

Wow, this must be very hard for you. I hope that GOd blesses your life in Fishers. You are still in my prayers.

Charity said...

I am so excited for you guys! Though I know it will be very hard for you to leave your church family there... I love those verses!

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Anonymous said...

this seems like so long ago..
dang, i miss my friends.
i really need to call you guys soon.