It's incredible to think about what can happen in a year. As I get older, the old adage that time flies begins to ring more and more true. But the brevity has yet to affect the weight that a year holds, and as we look back and rejoice over all God has done in our family in 2010 we are even more excited about what is to come in 2011...
And this is where our next chapter will be: in Hattiesburg, Mississippi being the campus directors for Campus Crusade at Southern Miss.
Rewind.... Two years ago the regional team asked Andrew and me to pray about moving to Hattiesburg in the fall of 2010. I cried. A lot. I knew we wouldn't be in Auburn forever, but being faced with the reality of leaving this perfect little town hit me smack in the face and I did not like it, Sam I am. We took a vision trip to the campus and I was really floored with the need for the gospel (as if there are places on this earth where the gospel is not needed!) There are around 16,000 students and 11% of those students are Greek (not the ethnicity, but in fraternities/sororities). There are currently no known churches or ministries taking the gospel into the greek system. There is a need.
So much so that upon our first visit we struck up a conversation with the then Sigma Chi president, Travis Raley. He was so excited about what we were wanting to come and do that he ended up going with us to South Africa that summer. He came back that next year and started a gospel-centered community group in the fraternity system... and it is still going! God is already working and preparing. We even met with the Greek advisor that visit and he kept saying "Come... we need you."
A need. You would think that would be enough for me to drop my nets and go, but at the time it was not. As a family we decided to postpone the decision for one more year and pray about the fall of 2011. Little did we know that God was totally in control of my emotions, because had we moved we would have done so and had a newborn in the same month!
All of last year God began a work on my heart (Andrew was already ready to pack and go!) and I became not just willing but excited and anxious to get to Hattiesburg. I knew that's where we were called to go to be light-bearers in the dark corners of Southern Miss.
And so... that's where we will be headed hopefully sometime this spring. We are putting our house on the market in January and waiting for it to sell before we make the move to settle in and start preparing for the work we know God is going to do at Southern Miss.
Our vision is to:
Make Christ known
Send Christ-centered laborers
We hope God will use us to not only bring the gospel to students in Hattiesburg, but as a result to also send out laborers to the world. We haven't officially decided on an overseas partnership, but I imagine it will most likely be East Asia.
Please join us in prayer for our house to sell quickly, for the Lord to provide a home in Hattiesburg, for God to prepare His work for us to walk into, and for the grace to transition from a place and a community of people that we love so dearly.
Happy New Year!!! May God richly bless you as you enjoy Him.