Big changes coming...
We pray that each of you had a great Christmas and New Year. 2020 was not the easiest year and we are praying that 2021 brings great opportunity for ministry for all of us. I was diagnosed with COVID 19 in December which quarantined us for the greater part of a month. I feel fine now and was blessed to come away with minor symptoms. So, for us, 2021 was a welcomed reentry into society. We have some changes in our lives coming in the new year that we would like to share with you.
Many of you know our deep passion for student ministry. Even when I had been away from it I still felt drawn back to it. Working in missions has given me many opportunities to work with young people again. For most
of 2020, I was asked to serve as the interim youth pastor at our church here in Chillicothe, as one youth pastor was leaving and another coming on board. I came alongside both youth pastors as they transitioned to help support them through the process. I have been developing mentoring relationships with youth both inside and outside of the mission too. Many of you are aware that many youth workers don’t last long in youth ministry roles and are often in crisis and transition. This is often devastating to the ministries and families they serve. The reasons for this are complex, but the solution is not - they simply need to be mentored and have an advocate. The opportunities for me to do this are growing to the point that I have been invited to create a national youth worker care ministry through InFaith. The need is great enough that I will not be able to be both a Field Director and run the youth worker care ministry simultaneously, so I will be focusing my efforts on continuing and further developing this national ministry. My prayer is that we can minister directly to youth workers all over the United States. I believe that much of the youth worker turnover and crisis in
youth ministry can be avoided thus bring stability to our youth ministries which will better serve our youth and families making sharing the gospel more effective.
With that in mind, your support is needed more than ever. Here are some exciting changes that will be happening with our family this coming year. We will be moving from Chillicothe, OH to Bend, OR as we make this transition to help a church there re-establish its youth ministry and begin to form a regional support network. Lisa will be finishing the school year in Chillicothe but will also be looking for a teaching position in Bend for next fall. We will continue with the mission as field staff just on a national level as I work with youth workers all over the United States. Both Rachel and Ryan (after his May graduation) will be coming with us. With Robyn and Dustin in Spokane, it will be nice to have our family back together in the same general region again. Please pray for this transition.
You can help as well. Obviously, we need your prayer and financial support more than ever. If you know of full or part-time youth workers that we could help please contact me. It is much easier for me to help if there is a relationship before a crisis. I will set up a monthly contact time that is designed to connect, encourage, and equip them for ministry. I will also be available for teaching and training of youth staff, special event speaking, and crisis care and mediation. Recently I have been involved in consulting for youth ministry search committees as well.
We are pursuing this on faith but opportunities are already there. I envision this growing much bigger than it is now as many conversations I’ve had with others have affirmed this need leading to this ministry already growing before we have made any formal transition. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or prayer requests. We are so thankful for each of you and pray blessings over you this upcoming year!