Saturday, February 21, 2009
Sweet Home Alabama
Yes, I know I know! For all who have followed us through this blog know this is our third move now. But to recap a bit and not get mired down in details, I will try and tell our story.
God has called Kris to preach the word. The Federal Bureau of Prisons does not give him much of a chance to do that. He knew this early on in his tenure, but God had to accomplish some things in our life first. This has been a 2 1/2 year journey of growth for us. But I would like to rely some pretty cool events that have accomplished this move.
1. The big disappointment. When we transferred to Jesup with the BOP, they were going to move us. Now when the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) moves you, they go all out. They buy your house, then pack and move you, give you money for a few months to live in a hotel till you find a place and then even provide some extra to get started in your new house. But if they move you, you have a 18 month commitment to the prison you are going to. They were suppose to move us, but they put a freeze on all the moves the week before Kris' transfer was approved. We decided to get closer to our family, we chose to move ourselves and sell our home and take the loss. Now if we had been moved by the BOP, we would not even be able to entertain the idea of going back to the church, Kris would have 12 more months of commitment to the BOP.
2. Our house selling in MS. The first week our house was on the market we got an offer. We turned it down (ironically we ended up selling it for less than that offer!). Had we accepted it, we would have bought another house in Jesup. I had already fell in love with a house in Jesup. We almost made an offer on it because at the time we had another offer on our house, but it fell through right as we were about to make an offer on this house in Jesup. Had we bought a house, we would not have been able to financially afford to go to a church, I am sure you have noticed the bad housing market right now.
3. Finally our house sells! In November our house finally closed. Praise the Lord! We were first contacted by a church near my dad, but for reasons we couldn't see at the time, we just didn't have peace about it. Later we found out there were some unresolved issues at that church which are now being addressed. The first of December First Baptist Church of Elba, Al contacted Kris and we proceeded with the journey of going through all the interviews and such that happens in Southern Baptist life when calling a pastor. From the beginning we both felt a real peace about going there. Kris has always had an interest in FBC Elba since I have known him. And Elba is 15 miles from where his parents live.
So Elba contacted us to meet with their committee the second week of January. The first week of Jan. we found out that Kris' dad had a tumor and then soon after that he had a type of lung cancer. So to make a long story short, Kris is now the pastor of First Baptist Church of Elba, AL and we are moving this coming week. Lots of good changes are coming for our family and we could not be more thrilled to be back serving the Lord in the church. Our house sold at just the right time for us to make this move.
It always amazes me how the Lord always answers our prayers in such a way that we could never had imagined. Trust me, when we were paying a mortgage payment and rent, we were really wondering when the Lord was going to get us out of this. But at the perfect timing he did and as always has provided for all our needs. Our short time in Jesup has been a real learning experience. And I know for some it looks like we are crazy people who move a lot, but Kris and I see the Lord's hand moving through it all to get us to where we are going now. Sometimes you just have to take the long way around the mountain. Lord willing we will be at First Baptist Elba a long time helping to further God's kingdom.
And to update on Kris' dad. He is doing okay, I would say, considering what he is undergoing. He is having chemo and radiation right now. The doctors have given him a short timeline, but only God knows the number of our days. We are praying for a miracle of healing on him, but know that God is in control of it all and will be glorified through all of this. Please continue to pray for him and lift him up as he is undergoing all this treatment. He isn't feeling the best, but he still is the same old "Big Jim" as the girls call him.