Almost 8 years ago Lara and I since that they Lord was telling us to sell our new home that we had built just a couple of years ago. We knew that God was leading us into a life of full-time ministry and wanted to make sure we had more financial margin than we currently did. We are so glad we listened and did sell it! We had no idea of the journey that was before us.
We thankfully had a great home to move into but planned to only be there for 6 months – 1 year. Well, we never really had a chance to move out of that home and we never felt like God was saying it was time. Until now.
Also, 4 years ago we were led to start a ministry in a local neighborhood (Piney Grove) after serving in a variety of countries for that past few years. This became a large focus of ours and our church’s (Ridge Church). We have seen God do some really awesome things around the school, with the staff of the school, and with a handful of families in the neighborhoods surrounding the school. There are some pretty amazing stories we can tell and some that are still in the making! Then towards the end of 2014 around the same time I was privilege to take this new role with United World Mission, the RouseHouse felt the Lord might want us to move into the Piney Grove neighborhood. We toyed with the idea and prayed some about it but didn’t know if we were ready just yet. Some of our closest friends began to feel the same stirring to move into the neighborhood which seemed really cool to imagine both of our families living and serving together. Then our pastor, Chris Brown asked us, “Have you thought about moving into the neighborhood?”
We began wondering what it would look like for “us” to become a “them”? How much more could we live intentionally and missionally if we were in the midst of the community? Why wouldn’t we do this? Is God putting all of the pieces together for us to take this step? This could actually be a huge blessing for the RouseHouse in so many ways.
As we began praying through and wrestling with these and other questions we quickly found our hearts becoming more attached to the idea of living in this community. Therefore we started looking for houses with our friends. Every home that was for sale over the last 6 months in this neighborhood we have looked at. Early on in our search we found one house that was in much better shape than most and it seemed to have a lot of community living space; 2 living rooms, patio, large back yard, and a front porch. For the reasons we want to move in this neighborhood we knew that we needed living spaces like this. So, we made an offer! Unfortunately, the night before the seller accepted someone elses offer. We were bummed but had to try to move on. We just couldn’t move on though. At least I couldn’t. I genuinely felt that the Lord had told me that this was the house He had for the RouseHouse but it didn’t make sense because someone else was already buying it, so I prayed that if it was His will He would make a way. And He did, about a month later the contract fell through and we were the first offer on the table!
It isn’t the dream house, it isn’t the biggest house, it isn’t the newest house, it isn’t the area we would normally choose to move too…it is however the place God has called us too! It is our mission field and these are the people He has put on our heart and in our path to serve/love for this season of our life. This is our home and we love it already!
The RouseHouse is so excited and so nervous all at the same time. We know that there will be days that may not be the easiest or the most comfortable. We are also hopeful for the days when we get to sit on the front porch or in our living room with new friends laughing with them and caring for them. Our goals are simple. We want to be the best neighbors, make good friends, serve those in need, seek ways to bless those around us, and after all of this, we want to show people how to follow Jesus and worship our God.
As we take this next step in life and ministry we would love for you to remember us in your prayers often. Please be praying for His Spirit to be so evident, His blessings to cover us and our new home, that we may be a “city on a hill”, that we will gain favor from our neighbors and have great influence in their lives, that God will provide a smooth transition for us and the kids, that our kids will build some great friendships, and for the Fathers blessings and presence to flood us during this season of life.
The best is yet to come!