1- the Move
Here's a little back story: For nearly a year, God has been working on our hearts, showing us the importance of reaching people groups and nations with the great hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through friends, family members, some fantastic sermons, and life experiences, we've seen the great need for all Christians to go out and live exactly what Christ commanded us to do- sharing the gospel with those who don't have access to it, and making it palatable for those who are confused by it.
In January, we applied with the International Mission Board to become international missionaries and we successfully passed the first two rounds of applications. Having spoken with our application adviser, it was recommended to us that we acquire more training, specifically a Master of Divinity degree and more college-level courses for Lindsey. While others have acknowledged our passion for missions, we want to be obedient to whatever God's will would be for our lives. Like most believers, we are committed to the gospel and want to see it spread throughout the world with urgency. However, we also want to do things in a way that glorifies God and does the most long-term good. We spent many months praying about God's leading and we felt that the best step for us was to come back to Wake Forest and turn Matt's M.A. in Christian Ethics into a Master of Divinity in Christian Apologetics with the goal being to use that degree to spread the gospel both far and wide.
Near the middle of July of last year, a pregnant Lindsey, myself and Pontouf, our faithful pup, headed off on an adventure to Randleman, NC to serve as the Minister to Youth and Families at Forest Park Baptist Church. We loved the people of Forest Park and worked hard to form bonds and relationships. We had many trials while there (as nearly all ministry does) the least of which were staff relationships and the greatest being a death threat. I learned a great deal while serving under the pastor there and I will continue to pray for the church and all of the people in it. There is still a great work to be done there in Randleman. In early April I turned in my notice, and today we reside in Wake Forest again. While we are still sorting through all of the details, boxes, memories, and disappointment, we are excited to be back among loved ones, excited about renewed fellowship with the SEBTS library, and excited to be finding new ways to serve and minister locally.
We do not know the exact route God will take us on or what amount of our experiences He will use in further ministry, but we are thankful to be used, wanting to be willing and bent to His will, and ready to be used in whatever way we can to see others take hold of the same hope we cling so tightly to.
2- the Milestones
Our baby girl is growing up much more quickly than we thought possible! She reached her 5 month 'birthday' on April 23rd, and with it, there have been lots of milestones and firsts!
Holding her own bottle:
She is rolling over by herself for the first time, talking to and playing with toys (favorite toys being her swing and the "little man" on her car seat toy)... and starting to eat some solids! I started her on baby yogurt right before the move and now she's had bananas and we're about to start trying rice cereal. She loves the yogurt and bananas so far.