I had promised a few friends that I would use my blog as an opportunity to update on the ongoing of our lives from time to time. Those who know me probably aren’t surprised that most of my posts thus far have been more of Christian musings. Some recent events has caused me to again remember the desire others have had to hear of our life and ministries here in Maryland and in 8 months much has happened.
We arrived in Westminster on a fairly calm Halloween night and were immediately reassured that this congregation we were coming to has many who love us and care for our family. Shortly before we arrived in Westminster church members had filled our apartment with groceries and even toys for the kids that were donated by the various Sunday School classes. That night the church was having its Fall Festival and a member who has become a dear friend kindly took J to it so we could begin to unpack. The next day several guys from the church came out to help us and my wonderful in-laws unload our moving truck. This generosity continued especially into our first Sunday as we were blessed by gift cards and other gifts when people welcomed us to the body. The love of many members quickly helped us feel at home in a state we had only stopped through a few times before.
Our first month came and went pretty quickly as I spent much of it learning the different roles of the job and the different people who I would be serving. We were fairly exhausted with the process of switching everything over legally as new Maryland residents, but God provided and people were very much a resource in figuring things out. Danielle spent November getting to know some of the women of the church and adapting to life with two kids in a new state.
In December and January everything started to become our own. I began to develop some changes for children’s church, increased security measures in our children’s areas, and developed our childcare teams. Christmas time is always busy around churches and so I quickly was introduced to a great truth of ministry: we can never get done all the things we would like. We had a little scare with T’s health in December but God provided and we got through the holidays without too much difficulty. J really blossomed developmentally in that time and she has truly developed quite the little personality.
The first few months of the year began with a brief trip down to North Carolina to see Danielle’s family and not long afterwards we proceeded with some major events at the church. Around January I met with the homeschool group I help lead at the church for the first time and we had the first of many annual childcare thank you lunches. In February we had a fellowship with the young adults of the church that began my time leading our young adult LifeGroup (we are studying 1 Peter and What Did You Expect? together). Around this time we began to instill doctrinal teaching in our church and especially aimed towards the children with our “NorthStar Points” which have been a great success.
Our Spring was filled with challenges and a variety of events we both led. Around March we began to have car troubles and the car bills racked up throughout the spring on both of our cars. Some of these times it got frustrating and truly tried our patience especially as I had little time to repair our vehicles. T has been underweight and we have had to see a variety of doctors to improve his body fat. We led a variety of ministries around the church in the Spring but one of the highlights was a Family Ministry Saturday where we packed shoeboxes full of Easter goodies for some homeless children in our community and everyone had a blast. We ended our spring with a trip up to both Kentucky and Illinois to see friends and family on our first vacation. Another awesome perk this Spring was being treated to my first of many O’s games (they won). Go O’s.
This summer has already been busy despite no Wednesday night programs. I have been working hard on our upcoming VBS that has a nautical theme and is a study of the Gospel in the book of Jonah. I’m very excited to teach more kids the Gospel through VBS and to see our Senior Pastor have to dress up as a worm. The kids have been loving the nice but hot weather and Danielle has been able to have some summer fun with other moms.
Ministry has had its highs and lows thus far. We have found successes and we have fallen on our faces at times. We battle between discouragement and encouragement. This all being said we count it such a great joy to be able to spend our lives helping others grow in their walks with the Lord and it is a truly amazing experience to be able to see the children I work with come to understand the centrality of the Gospel more and more. Thank you to our friends in Westminster and to our friends and family across the globe, we miss you all dearly.