This is the question we have gotten quite often from all of our friends and family as our Campus Missionary in Training (CMIT) year ends. We have been praying and making plans for what comes next for our family and we are so excited to share our next steps with all of you!
LONG TERM PLANS
We have been offered and accepted the Chi Alpha director position at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas! We will relocate to Dallas next Summer (2018) and begin the path to re-pioneering Chi Alpha at this campus.
For the 2017-2018 school year we will stay in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia as we focus on three key elements before pioneering at SMU:
- Recruiting a team of full-time staff to go with us to SMU.
- Focusing on learning a few more key items here at UVA – specifically reaching out to Fraternities/Sororities and evangelism.
- Raising support – our budget will increase as we take on a Director position and we will also be applying for National Appointment as U.S. Missionaries with the Assemblies of God.
We are excited about the potential to reach students who are on the trajectory to be national and world leaders. Also, we hope to target and engage students in the Greek Life system. According to USA Today, all but two U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents, 75% of U.S. Congressmen and Senators, and 86% of Fortune 500 executives came out of a fraternity. What an incredibly strategic mission field!
It’s been one year since we said good-bye to our fourth son, Tobias.
One year since I labored in the hospital and delivered a tiny little baby who would never get to meet his incredible brothers.
Having never lost anyone really close, I never quite understood why people always remember the anniversary of someone’s death each year. However, what I’ve realized now is that you can’t forget that date. It’s seared into your memory and you see it coming on the calendar each day that it approaches. September 7th. I saw it in my planner last month when I was penciling in dates and knew it was looming on the horizon.
I wasn’t quite sure what emotions this day was going to bring – I’ve never done this before. It’s been such a whirlwind year, that it’s easy to push that part of our life aside and just look to the future. I’d be lying, though, if I said that a single day goes by without a shadow of fear as I worry about our fifth son due in October. Every cramp or pain causes pause. Each day, we pray for a healthy baby and mark the days until he gets here.
We still wonder why we had to go through this, we don’t have any answers about that and probably never will. We know that God has continued to care for us by putting such an circle of support around us and it has definitely opened up conversations with others who have experienced similar loss.
It’s been a year and as I look back and see this picture I posted last September 7th – it still rings true.
So here we are facing a moment we never thought would happen to us. Many unanswered questions fill our minds, confusion of unexpected and uncharted waters are before us, watery eyes and hearts that ache are inevitable. After having three boys and expecting our fourth we found out Friday Sept. 4th during a routine doctor visit that Paige had miscarried at almost 16 weeks. The doctor explained to us that there was nothing we could have done to change it. Because of it being the holiday weekend we were not able to schedule a hospital induction till today (Sunday evening). Your prayers for Paige would be much appreciated as the induction can take up to 2 days for the delivery to happen. We are praying for a speedy induction process and quick physical healing upon Paige’s body as she recovers over the next several weeks.
We are thankful for friends, family, ministry partners, and a church that has extended their love in so many ways (prayers, food, hugs, texts, etc.) to help us through this hard season of life that has blindsided us. Honestly, we feel very broken right now and know in time He will bring restoration and purpose to this part of our story. Till then we will lean on His perfect strength and will place our trust in Him. We don’t know what the next few days, weeks, months or even years will hold, but we know that this is part of His plan and that it is greater than ours. Thanks friends for walking with us, being there to ask “how are you doing?” even months from now, and willing to check-in and bring a cup of coffee unannounced. We can’t do this without you and we are thankful for the community God has given us to make it through a moment like this.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”