Both Andrew and I moved to St. Louis directly out of college. We came from Kansas and California respectively, never having lived in the inner city, but the minute we both moved to North St. Louis (he 11 years ago and I 6) we felt at home. We spent our formative adult years here, we were married here, we were blessed with our first child here. St. Louis is a part of us. Inner-city ministry here in our neighborhood has shaped us and stretched us and we feel a deep connection to our community and our neighbors.
And so, it is with a mixture of excitement and deep sadness that we are now called to move on. We have served with World Impact these past years and now our service is directing our journey to new opportunities with a branch of World Impact's ministry, The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI). This requires a move to Wichita, Kansas. While Andrew gets to return to his roots, never did I imagine this California girl would be a Kansan!
The change in service was a surprise to us, and at first the thought of leaving our cherished city was heart-breaking, but we have done a lot of praying and wrestling with the Lord and believe that He is leading us into a new season of ministry. Our calling remains unchanged, even if our role in ministry is changing. TUMI is committed to equipping urban leaders for church planting through establishing and supporting satellites around the world to provide theological and ministry training for these leaders. For more information about TUMI visit our website here.
We are excited to serve and learn with TUMI and to discover new ways that we can flesh out our calling to seeing churches planted in the inner cities of America. TUMI is a powerful ministry and we can't wait to see first-hand how God transforms lives in U.S. cities and cities around the world.
We move in exactly two weeks! It is unreal to think we will no longer walk out in the morning and see our neighbors on their porch. We will not be spending our summers with the youth from our neighborhood, or Thursday nights with the men from our Basketball Outreach. For these things we are grieving; there are so many that are dear to us here. This is more than a move for us. It is a bit like tearing apart the fibers of our lives and the lives of people here which have grown together over the last decade. It hurts.
Yet, we know God goes before us and with us and behind us and we are in His hands. Often, God uses times where we are stripped away from the things we know to teach us more dependence on Him. Wherever we go in life, we will go in faith. We've seen some hard times but God has always been faithful, it's who He is. Forever we are grateful for the opportunity to serve here in St. Louis and look forward to the journey God has stretching out before us.