Today we got up super early, got dressed up, and headed down to Randleman for an exciting day of church. It started out with us teaching a Sunday school lesson on humility from 2 Chronicles 1:6-12 and while we were told to only expect 1 or 2 youth, 7 showed up and they were mostly interactive and excited (it was 9:45 on a summer, weekday morning; awake and listening was awesome for teenagers!). From there we went to the service where Linds and I got up to briefly give our testimonies after a Deacon ordination service and before the Lord's Table service and an incredible sermon from Acts (about Paul's call to Macedonia and everyone's call to service in the world). Three new families joined the church and while the congregation formed a line to welcome them, we were also greeted as they walked by our seats, and everyone was again very friendly to us.
Then came the Q & A with the church which about 3/4 of the church attended. We told them to ask whatever they liked and they took full advantage. While the questions were all polite, some were difficult, but all were fair game including the following by a 10 year old girl who had just started visiting: "Would you still praise God if your baby died?" That one will make it all very real, very quickly. Lindsey handled all of the questions and the whole day amazingly well. I know her Mom must have been giving her pointers from Heaven, because Nancy always knew how to charm a church crowd (even the tough ones) with a brilliant smile, encouraging words, and a wise answer to tricky questions. She's still teaching us all lessons even now or maybe we're just remembering them. Fortunately, Forest Park is full of loving people, and I never felt alone on stage because my best friend was standing right beside me. Lindsey always makes me feel at ease when I get nervous and start to ramble (which is often!). She is such an elegant, godly, beauty, full of poise and class. I wish you all could have seen and heard her! I love my amazing wife!
We left after an hour of questions and the church voted. We got a call 5 minutes later that the church had voted unanimously to hire us. We will start officially August 1st and we can't wait! We went to lunch with a handful of members and the Pastor John, Julie (his wife), and their two children after the vote. We went back to their house afterwards and played their Wii, which I am quite fond of, and then went to evening services. I got to see my new office and move the majority of my books in and it was such a cool feeling to have my own church office. I'll post pictures as soon as I have them, but it's such an amazing blessing from God to have all of this happen so swiftly! We just keep thanking God and doing silly, happy dances every chance we get. The church is excited, we're passionately seeking to serve alongside them, and we believe God has blessed this "union," for lack of a better word after a days worth of activities and talking. Thank you for all of your prayers, love, encouragement, and support!