CHURCH IN THE MINIVAN
My husband and I sat under a Pastor that taught us how to surrender to God. Full surrender was saying yes Lord, any time-anywhere-anything-at any cost, yes Lord. We began to crave God more than anything and were willing to pray this surrendered pray from the bottom of our heart. A little time went by and we surrendered to my husband’s call to pastor and my call to be a supportive wife and prayer warrior. No couple goes into ministry alone! I was ready to move to Africa, but to my surprise he felt a specific call to pastor in the states. My husband had visited Malta New York and God stirred his heart deeply for the people there. God was calling him to start a church there. There was an obvious void of His presence in that specific area. As a confirmation we decided to visit the area together. During this time in our lives we were settled in South Carolina where family and friends were. We had gotten out of the military to raise our children around family. We were sure we would be there from now on so we really needed Gods confirmation.
As I was sitting in our hotel room in New York, after driving the area, I shared with my husband that I felt nothing toward this place or the people. I had no sense from God that we were to move here. Needless to say he was discouraged. I sat down and opened my bible to pick up my reading in Acts from where I had left off the previous day. I don’t recall why I was in the book of acts other than to simply read through the book. I picked back up in Acts 7 and by verse 3 I was sobbing. It was as if God Himself pulled the words off the page and poured them into my soul. It read, “Leave your country and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.” What He said to me through those words was for me to leave my home and my family and move to Malta New York for this is the place I will use you to honor Me and glorify My name. I could barely get the words out of my mouth to share with my husband my surrender and confirmation of what he too heard from the Lord.
We were ready to move right then! However, God had other plans and a different timing. He had two years of preparation for us both before opening the door for us to move. Over those two years our hearts were burdened for the people of Malta New York every day. When it was time we sold most everything we had. Things like our home we built with a pool, motorcycle, camper, and many other personal possessions. Our home sold the night before we were to leave! I learned that night God is the God of the eleventh hour. He is so faithful and His timing is best. We loaded up our family in a minivan to start on a two day journey the following morning.
Our entire church was in the minivan! The step of faith it took believing God would build His church from nothing to something was like jumping off a cliff. Other than a connection with the North American Mission Board and Mid America Seminary we had no connections there.
To meet people I would go to parks or places where my son could play. One day while at McDonalds my youngest child was playing in the play area without socks! An employee approached me letting me know I had to leave since he was not wearing socks. A lady over heard what was going on and approached me because of my southern accent. I briefly told here why we were in New York as I was exiting the restaurant quickly. The following Sunday her family visited with us at a church we were temporarily worshiping at. They became our first church members! Go God! I have so many God stories that transpired over the following three or so years. God was magnified, many souls were saved, disciple, and lives were changed forever for the sake of Christ.
Saying, “Yes Lord” can be a wild ride!
CHURCH IN THE MINIVAN