There is a lot to report on and much to pray toward. Thanks for continuing to track with us!
Susan and I got to spend a few days in Charleston, SC participating in and celebrating the wedding of a great friend, Tom Duttweiler. We decided to make an early 5-year anniversary trip out of it (September 4th is the official day). A long time friend offered us great help on a hotel through a “friends and family” discount they have. My parents continued to demonstrate their heroic powers by coming to NYC and staying with our three kids for four nights. I think it wore them out. Susan and I were greatly refreshed. We needed the time together more than we realized. We enjoyed some of the first non-exhausted, undistracted conversation in a long time. We had good rest and were able to get refueled for a great fall.
Gallery Church Retreat.
The week after Charleston we held our first Gallery Church Wide retreat. God was gracious to us as over 50 adults and 9 kids retreated in the Poconos. That is over half of our average Sunday attendance! The pace of our retreat was exactly what New Yorkers needed as we took time to be still before God. Our teaching focused on God’s sovereignty in salvation, suffering, and our strengths. Challenging conversations were had by all. Fresh antisipation and faith was stirred as we considered how God has uniquely gifted all of us for service and all that He will do in our midst this fall.
Praying toward the Fall.
Please continue to pray with and for us. I believe God is positioning us for a fantastic fall for spiritual and numerical growth in the Gallery Church.
There are more specifics that I will continue to share with you in the days to come!
A new apartment?
Having never lived in Manhattan before (formerly we were in New Brunswick), Susan and I with the counsel of those living in NYC, charted a budget the best we could before we arrived last October. We wound that budget as tightly as possible. As we took our vision and budget before churches we met a lady in MO that I’ll never forget. She exclaimed “You’ll never make it with that grocery budget!” And though the grocery budget has worked out rather well, several other unforeseen expenses have required us to put a significant dent in our very modest savings. So, though things are very tight, we are not worried as God has met all of our needs during this amazing faith journey. We are however, excited about begin able to reduce our cost of living through a new apartment. Our current apartment has been a perfect grace from God and I could list a dozen reasons why. However, because the market dropped right after we moved in, and because we’ve had the opportunity to scout out the kinds of places that are available, we are confident that we can find cheaper rent that still meets our needs. Our greatest heartache will be moving off our floor away from several relationships we have been investing in. Though we can continue these relationships, it will not be quite as easy. Jack has two really good buddies on our floor. One of our neighbors died this week, while another had a baby this week. Please pray with us.
All reports are saying that this the best time to rent/buy/move in NYC in a decade. As crazy as it sounds, we will probably be able to find an apartment with an extra bedroom that is still significantly cheaper than our current rent. This is especially exciting because God has been burdening a good friend of ours to live the mission with us in NYC as our nanny/family helper. Thus, an extra bedroom would fulfill a critical piece. While in Charleston, Susan and I had the privilege of visiting with a couple who had served as missionaries to Africa for 19 years. We gained great insight and encouragement as we asked them lots of questions about their experiences of having people live with them in Africa. This is just one of the many ways God has been confirming this opportunity. Please pray for this process to be smooth and magnifying to Jesus in every way!
Thanks again for continuing to track with us! God is at work. We are humbled. We need your continued support!