As I look back on Adam’s job search, and the way we have been led to Connecticut, I can’t help but remember the beautiful, and steadfast, faithfulness of God. It’s really amazing when I examine all the details of our journey, and see the way God has faithfully opened and closed doors along the way. This was our prayer from the start.
There were a handful of jobs we had hoped would work out, but they all fell through. We see now that this was a good thing, and came from the loving hand of a Father who knows us better than we know ourselves. So, imagine our surprise when we came across a worship pastor position, at a solid evangelical church in Southbury Connecticut, only thirty minutes away from my parents and younger sister. Southbury Baptist Church seemed like a good fit, and Adam was eager to pursue the position.
To back up the story a little bit, last summer, while spending a week in Cape Cod, Adam and I started praying about New England. We wondered if God was starting to stir up a desire in us to reach this “unreached people group” in our own country. To be completely honest, places like North Carolina, California, and Tennessee, sounded much more appealing to me (oh the WARM SUNSHINE in those places!). But, God is so good. About two months later Southbury Baptist Church came on the scene. This is where God is bringing us, and we couldn’t be more excited/nervous/eager to jump in. An added bonus – Connecticut still has far more sunshine than Pittsburgh, and will be wonderful for my seasonally depressed heart 😉
New England is now referred to as “the new American missional frontier.” It is the least-churched, and least-reached, area of the nation. There are quite a few churches in New England, but few are wakened to the gospel. It’s actually quite ironic because New England has some of the most picturesque, quaint, and historic, churches in the country. The Great Awakening began there (Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield), and the history of evangelicalism runs deep in that area of the country. Sadly, many of the churches there are dwindling, have no desire to change, or to become evangelical. Many have been dead for a long time now.
A personal story from my childhood, (and one that I will never forget), was sitting in a Christmas Eve service at a church our family attended for only a couple of years. The pastor at the time chose to read the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas for his “teaching” that evening. Needless to say, our family was in shock. I still experience a bit of righteous anger when I think about it today.
“The need for gospel-centered missional churches throughout new England is dire” ~ Jared Wilson, pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Vermont. Amen, Jared.
As I anticipate our move to Connecticut, there are varying emotions that I battle on a daily basis. It’s never good to place trust in feelings, so a constant look back at how God opened and closed doors for us eases my anxious heart. On one hand, it’s really hard to leave Pittsburgh, and our New Community Church family. We love our NCC family, and it has been incredibly difficult to move on, although we are confident in our decision to do so. Pittsburgh is where Adam has always called home, and I have grown to love this place deeply as we started our marriage here over three years ago. It’s just going to be hard to say goodbye.
On the other hand, Adam and I are daily growing in our excitement for this new adventure together in New England. Our house is on the market, we’ve packed up many of our belongings, and we’re growing in eager anticipation of what God may do as we take this huge step of faith. We are longing to start growing with our Southbury Baptist Church family, and be with them for as long as the Lord wills. We love them already!
We’re not naive to the fact that ministering in New England is going to have its challenges. It’s a tough area to do gospel work, but we know that God is moving, and starting to thaw the hardened hearts of the people who live there. We’re thrilled, and count it a huge privilege, to be a part of what God is doing in New England, Connecticut, and Southbury Baptist Church. Maybe he’s calling you to this unreached area as well?? Can’t hurt to throw it out there 🙂
We would love your prayers as we move forward. This transition is going to be a big one for us, and we have a little over a month left in Pittsburgh to get all our ducks in a row. We hope to sell our townhouse, find a home of our own near the church (we’ll be living with my parents until that happens), and get the adoption transferred to the Connecticut Bethany office asap. There are many unknowns at this point, so we continue to trust the only wise God, who knows all things, sees all things, and works all things out for the good of those who love Him.