A lot has happened since my last blog with was, ironically, about change. Just after challenging all of us to step out onto the wings of faith through change, I was given that exact opportunity.
This week is actually my first week as the new Children's Director of Woodlawn UMC in Panama City Beach, Florida. In the last few weeks, Evan and I have turned our lives upside down and are in the midst of landing them right side up again. We relocated last Friday and are getting accustomed to our new world (we actually live in a town now and probably resemble The Beverly Hillbillies as we get excited over fast food and grocery stores). It was very bitter-sweet to leave Sumatanga. Neither of us wanted to leave the wonderful people and beauty of Sumatanga but we felt a strong tugging for us to take on this new adventure in ministry. There was A LOT of back and forth on our part in the beginning on if we were making the right decision but we have do doubt now that we have. God has continually shown us the way and has taken care of things in a way that only He can! We have been ushered in by the people of Woodlawn and made to feel more than welcome and we can already see some of the fruit produced by the church. We have been amazed at how quickly we have felt at home and how fast things have fallen into place. As we begin to serve and be ministered to ourselves, I will update as to what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
The first on the list of awesome God moments found here in Panama City Beach will be tonight:
Tonight I have the incredible privilege to join with my new church family at the county pier and take part of a service where 42 (yes! 42!) people will be baptized in the ocean. I will be there to pray and encourage the people and I already feel more than humbled to be able to take part in such an experience. I woke up this morning jumping out of my skin with excitement for the people bold enough to say yes to Christ and His spirit and acknowledge an inner change through such a powerful outward sign. God is doing BIG THINGS in this city and I am so glad he has called Evan and myself to be a part on it. I have chills just thinking about it!
And, while we are on the subject of change and all the mighty things God can do, please take to prayer all those who were effected by the tornadoes and storms across the southeast last week. These people have experienced change like they never could have imaged. It has been incredible to see the outpouring of help and prayer but those efforts cannot stop now. It will take much more time than any one person or church has to rebuild all the communities and to help such a large amount of people get back on their feet.
Today I ask for everyone out there in media land to pray. Pray for me and Evan as begin our new lives in PCB, pray for the people of Woodlawn UMC that they would truly feel the spirit of the Lord and His guidance and pray for all those recovering from the tornadoes that they would find comfort and peace in this hard time.
And just for fun: yes, I finally changed the picture at the top of the page. Wow, we look different!