The very first thing I saw when I got to San Antonio was the building I would be working in while I am here where Trinity Baptist Church runs their "contemporary service". I was very excited when I first got there, because this isn't your average church plant. The local YMCA rents a lot of the building and is always busy, and a nice coffee shop occupies the far corner. It basically means that this building is alive with activity all throughout the week and many people get to experience community life here in the context of this church.
Greetings from San Antonio
In the Bible, Jesus asks us to think about how birds do things (an extremely general personal paraphrase!) This winter, I did exactly that and fled to warmer latitudes to survive the winter. It's been crazy! While this is a humorous aspect of my trip down here, my first month here has been good. I feel like the Lord has been using my time here to give me pause to reflect on the burden He's given me for international missions. It has been an interesting couple of years since I left YWAM Denver after serving there most of my adult life. I've been stretched, prodded, and sounded to the core of who I am as I seek to sort out what it is that God has put on my heart.
He's been reminding me of specific moments in time that led me to this point. The chapel service in 8th grade where I first felt the tug on my heart to walk the land of other nations with Jesus, the moment I knew I was to come on staff in Denver while looking out the window at the mountains during my DTS, and the time while in Mexico I came to know that part of my calling was to work with the poor bringing them hope and uplifting them as we walk together. When it all adds up, I'm pretty much left with the single-minded determination that God has had his hand on me for a long time, and that I really must stay the course and continue to pursue international missions with my life.
It is funny though that after all of that, my first thought is "but how will that work for the long term?" I have found in my limited experience that this question rarely arises from, shall we say, my "faith"-er but from the side of me that wants to be absolutely positively sure of success before I step out into something. If you have been keeping up with these updates (bless your heart!) then you know I have gone this way and that trying to sort out the path ahead for me to settle into a rhythm that will carry me forward into the next season of my life (which will include turning 30). My time here in San Antonio has shown me that, like everyone else, I am quite unique in every way, and that the Lord does have a plan for me, and I can trust that this seemingly random road I've been on really and truly does take me somewhere in which I will find myself caught in the tension of the challenges I face and the grace to keep me there.
I'm not sure what that will mean exactly, or exactly when it will come together, but in my heart, I know that I can trust my Father to sustain me, as he sustains all of us in everything we do. I have come to believe that for my life, that means stepping out and continue to serve in missions, as scary and unsure as that might be...
Being someone who finds himself in new, unexplored places often, I go on a piece of advice I got from my friend Jonah in Italy in 2006. Get to know the place you find yourself in! Explore and be curious and find what makes it special! I did just that here. In wandering around a park here in the city, I happened to see what looked like an Asian building up on a hillside. Low and behold, I had stumbled upon San Antonio's unique and famous Japanese Tea Garden! It was an abandoned quarry in 1909, but the city decided to make it something beautiful and peaceful. I love redeeming spaces like this and making them into places that people cherish and experience God's beauty. You can also imagine my elation when I discovered that in the ponds here are the largest Koi I have ever seen in my life. I was like a kid in a candy store, and it was a nice treat to be able to enjoy this place.
Thanks for your prayers for and interest in me and what the Lord is doing during this time of my life!
Thanks for thinking of me! Please keep the following requests in mind: 1) Continued favor as I network here 2) Provision of more regular work 3) Health/Health Insurance