Thanks to all of you who have kept up with us over the last two weeks. Thomas was in England for meetings in Cambridge and London while Elizabeth kept life going in Raleigh. We have a huge week on the horizon and we're preparing for it over the weekend. Here’s a little update about all that is going on…
Thomas in England
Thomas left for England on Sunday, April 29. He traveled to Cambridge on Monday to give the keynote presentation for a Young Adult Ministry Summit. There he connected with leaders from the Us Air Force, Royal Air Force, and Cambridge University Chaplains. The gathering provided an important number of connections for our future work in England.
After Cambridge, Thomas traveled back to London for meetings for the rest of the week. During this time he up with the Evans - who were over to look for housing. Daniel, Paige, and Thomas had some good times in London. Thomas packed the schedule as tight as possible and met with friends old and new. We are thankful for all that got done this last week.
God has provided a number of friends and ministry partners over the last year. Some have been sought out, others referred, and still others have been connected in seemingly unexplainable ways. We are so thankful for the growing team of people that are coming together to plant this new church. God is gathering a team of friends from Raleigh to London with a whole lot of supporters in between. While we pack and say our goodbyes over this next month we do so with confidence and faith that Jesus is literally going before us in preparing the way to London.
For the first few days of this week Thomas hosted Biltmore Church for a few days of taking a look around London, praying, and planning. Biltmore has been very encouraging to us over the last year. From our fast connection to growing friendship - the Biltmore family is a joy to know. Also, we love Carl Porter. We connected with him in October are thankful for our growing friendship with him. He is one the most encouraging and Jesus-focused people we know.
Elizabeth in Raleigh
Elizabeth spent the last week doing what she always does: steadily and faithfully keeping our family intact! She celebrated her birthday on Monday with the other women from our launch team. We are thankful for the ways that people have rallied around us over the last year when we have had a lot going on.
Elizabeth’s mom (Susu, as the kiddos call her) and grandmother came up to visit for the better part of a week. Everyone had a really good time together. Elizabeth was able to be a part of two Mother’s Day gatherings at the kiddos school as well - we are thankful for friends who came to babysit to make this possible.
Elizabeth has prepared the house and our belongings for sale and transition. We’re ordering the children’s beds and mattresses here to load on the crate on Monday. We’re also selling a good deal of things and giving others away. All of this activity is run by the ever faithful Elizabeth. We would not be in the place we are today without her.
Jesus is our Captain. Elizabeth is our MVP.
We are excited to celebrate Elizabeth on Mother’s Day this weekend! She is the solid iron column that keeps are family steady. None of this moving to London to plant a church would be possible without her. She is beautiful, strong, discerning, and helpful in a million different ways. We are excited to honor her over the weekend.
The move is underway. Just today Thomas, Joey D, and Perry packed up all the books from his office (we're talking: a lot of books) and now they're stacked all over the house.
On Monday we are loading our possessions onto a moving crate that will (hopefully?!) meet us in London at the end of June. We will then move into a temporary house for the next couple of weeks. At the end of the month we are headed to Alabama to spend a couple of weeks with family before making the trip to London around late-June.
We’re also enjoying our last weekend in the house. While we will be busy preparing for the movers to come and load the crate on Monday, we are glad to have a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday around the house. There's so much to do and we're trying to savor the sweetness of this place we love so much.
Pray With Us
Would you pray with us in the week ahead? We need specific prayers of comfort for our last weekend on the house that we love so much. We need prayers for courage to pack boxes and sale our home (closing on Thursday the 16!). We need prayers for preparation as we travel to the mountains next weekend (as a family) for Thomas to officiate a wedding. All the while, we need prayers of thanksgiving for all that God has done in bringing us to this moment.
We are confident in God's guidance but the journey of faith is not without both hills and valleys. Pray that God would continue to keep the big picture before us as we make these next steps.
The things that God did over this last week are genuinely too good and too much to be shared in this one post. This is a simple update, more to come in the weeks ahead in unpacking all that God is doing in preparing us for London. For now, please pray with us as we take some big steps in the journey there.
Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God.
For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:3, 11