Last week was...a wild one. We spent time in Raleigh, Wilmington, and Asheville. This post gives a day-by-day overview of what happened in this last week, who we visited with, and what God is doing in our lives. We also share a few ways that you can pray with our family as we depend on God to plant this new church in London...
Monday and Tuesday marked the last time that the guys will gather for Residency Training with Summit Network. The wives will join the guys in just a few weeks time for our final training, debrief, and final preparations before being commissioned to plant. We have loved our time with Summit Network so far and we are excited to represent the Network as we plant in London.
Here's a photo from the guys in Residency Training...
After Residency Training on Tuesday, Thomas and Daniel loaded up and headed over to Wilmington. Thomas preached at "Overflow" - the college ministry of Port City Community Church. We connected with Port City through their college pastor: Clay Everett. Clay is a wonderful person - he has a heart for church planting and for Europe through his time working in Italy. The guys had an encouraging time with the leaders and students. Meanwhile, Elizabeth kept running everything (as usual!) around the house and took great care of the kiddos. We only spent a few hours together as a family on Tuesday...it's part of this busy season of preparing to plant but also not something we take lightly as a family.
Here's a photo of Clay leading the worship team before Overflow...
After a morning of meetings in Wilmington the guys recorded a podcast episode at Dockside Restaurant. If you haven't listened to the podcast then you should definitely check it out. It's called "The Redemptive Discourse" and it is available on iTunes and Spotify. The guys returned to Raleigh a few hours before our next Launch Team meeting where Thomas taught on our fourth core value: We all have a role to play.
Here's a photo of the guys recording the podcast at Dockside...
Thursday morning our home church of Providence sent a crew to our house to record a video. The video captures some of what God has done in our hearts over the last year in preparing us for London. Together with the Evans family, we shared some of what God has done in leading us to where we are now in preparing to plant. After the video we dove in to preparations around the home. Thomas ended up throwing away his writing desk that was ground-zero for so much reading and writing over the last few years - this was home for MDiv and PhD studies, sermon prep, counseling, reading, and more. These are wild and unexpected days: taking kids to school, recording a video about calling, and cleaning out the house, before preparing for a family night together...it's a lot!
Here's the desk that was home to so much of Thomas' life over the last nine years...
To say that we really needed Friday is a drastic understatement. On Friday we departed for a few days in Asheville with our friends at Biltmore Church. After a morning around the house, we loaded up the car, picked up the kids from school, and headed to the mountains. We really needed this night together as a family. We ate burgers, checked in to the hotel, and the kids went swimming before a late bedtime.
Here are Perry and Shepherd outside of our hotel...
Saturday was refreshing. We had brunch and then spent the next 5 hours outside exploring Asheville. After a full morning of exploring we took big naps, had a nice dinner, and crashed hard that night. Well, the family crashed for the night. Thomas stayed up watching Auburn Men's Basketball on his phone - who knew Auburn had a basketball team?! This is exciting and different.
Here are a few photos from Saturday...
Sunday was a lot of fun. Biltmore Church hosted us for some introductions and meetings on Sunday and Monday. Pastor Bruce introduced us to the church family and prayed for us on Sunday morning. Along with that, Curt (one of the missions pastors at Biltmore) was the most gracious host for our family. We traveled around to different Connect Groups and met members, shared our story, and received loads of encouragements. We are so thankful for the Biltmore family and the important role they are playing in helping plant this church in London.
Here are the kiddos on the way to church this last Sunday morning...
What else? Wheels up.
We made it back to Raleigh on Monday, had a day around the house on Tuesday, and Thomas departed for London on Tuesday night. Thomas and Daniel are having a series of important meetings over the next couple of days in London. These conversations will be the final steps in building out our partnerships, securing safe landings for our families, and bringing this season of preparations to near-completion.
Pray With Us...
Would you pray with us in the week ahead? Pray specifically for Elizabeth and the kiddos in Raleigh. Pray for Elizabeth as she holds the house together, takes care of the children, and keeps life going. Pray for Perry and Shepherd as they endure another week without our family consolidated in one location. Pray for Thomas and Daniel as they make their way through London having a series of meetings with partners.
We talk about this all the time and we continue to do so because it is so true: We cannot plant this church alone. We need you. We need these partnerships. We need your prayers. Thank you for being on this journey with us. We will update you on social media as this next week unfolds.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?