This has been an incredible year for us as a family. I've got another blog post coming out soon where I'll spend more time reflecting on the past year, but in this post I want focus on expressing gratitude. With that said...
To the faithful individuals and families who have supported our family financially throughout the last year, thank you. Because of your generosity, I have been able to pursue the call God placed on my life to plant a new church without having to find another job for income. This has been an amazing gift. We wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for you. Thank you for investing in us!
To the faithful individuals and families who have supported our family with prayer and encouragement throughout the last year, thank you. Your prayers have truly made a difference. God has worked through them and answered them. Your support has been instrumental in our lives and our family. Thank you for praying for and encouraging us!
To the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches, thank you. Thank you for welcoming me and my family into your family. Thank you for believing in us, for investing in us, for equipping us, and for treating us like we truly belong. It is an honor to be a part of such an amazing network of churches who are laser-focused on establishing reproducing churches. Thank you for welcoming us with open arms!
To all of our dear friends and loved ones in the Dayton, Ohio area, thank you. Thank you for loving us so well for the seven years that we lived there. Thank you for believing in us, supporting us, and sending us out with nothing but love and encouragement. We miss you dearly, and we expect you all to come visit us all the time. Thank you for the friendships that will last a lifetime.
To all of our Fort Wayne friends and loved ones who welcomed us back to the city, thank you. In so many ways it feels like we never left. So many relationships seem to have picked up right where we left off. You have been a huge blessing to us and we are grateful for each one of you. Thank you for making Fort Wayne feel just like home again.
To Ginghamsburg Church, thank you. I still think about you and pray for you regularly. You are an amazing church, and God used you in some powerful ways in our lives. I learned so much from you and your impact is still having ripple effects into my ministry as a new pastor now. Thank you for being a world-changing church!
To Pine Hills Church, thank you. I'm not sure where to begin with this one. I'll just say this, you will probably never know or understand the impact you have made on my life and my family's lives this year. We have experienced healing from some emotional pain, we have experienced love that goes beyond words, and we have experienced God in ways we have never seen before because of you. You are truly the most selfless church I have ever known. You hold on to nothing. You have an open hand with everything. You give and give and give. As a result, God continues to give you more and more. Thank you for teaching me what a healthy church looks like and then launching me out to lead one as well!
To Pine Hills City Church, thank you. Thank you for allowing me to lead you, and for joining me on this crazy journey of starting a new church in the heart of the city of Fort Wayne. Every day I wake up I almost have to pinch myself because I still have a hard time believing this is real. I can't believe that I get to be your pastor. I know we are a brand new church, but I can say with complete sincerity that I LOVE my church with ALL my heart. I firmly believe that the best is yet to come for all of us. Thank you for being a church that is truly for the city!
Finally, to my wife, thank you. Thank you for saying yes to my wild ideas. Thank you for believing in me when most people thought I was crazy. Thank you for loving me and supporting me so well in this journey. Thank you for showing me the grace and compassion of Jesus on a daily basis. Thank you for loving our daughter and our son who should be here any day now. Thank you for being immeasurably more than I could ask for or imagine. I love you. Thank you!