Monday, January 19, 2015

A New Home and a New Name- Part I

A lot has happened since I last posted which was two years ago.  Mom had gotten worse so she had gone back to Florida to find out what was wrong.  In July of 2013 the doctors thought Mom had a form of cancer. Only Mom and Micah were in Florida so the rest of us flew down  to Florida to be with Mom. Thankfully, Mom ended up not having cancer. We couldn't find what the real problem was. They finally diagnosed her with tuberculosis. They gave her antibiotics to take for awhile. That still wasn't the problem so Mom became known as the lady with the mystery illness. We realized for some unknown reason that we needed to stop the work in St.Barths and stay in Florida to find out what Mom had.  Dad, Josh, and Grammy went to St.Barths and packed up our stuff to send it back to the States. We didn't know if we could ever go back to the West Indies.

  Finally in May 2014,  Mom was diagnosed with the cause of all her pain-- Lyme's disease! She had to go through treatment with a PICCline for a few months. It started helping her for awhile and we had seen a difference in her but then it just wasn't helping. So, they took the PICCline out and gave her oral antibiotics. She has done much better since 2012 but she still isn't all better.  Mom realizes that some days she will do good and then some days she will not and will have to rest those days. We are still praying though that God will get rid of all her Lyme Disease and heal her, but for now we are trusting that God knows best.

  We weren't sure what God had for us next. We knew we could no longer be missionaries to the West Indies and our work in St. Barths was finished because Mom needed to stay near doctors here in the US. Would we go on staff somewhere? Would we stay in the house that our church was letting us stay in and would Dad have to find a job? We didn't have any clue.

  We first thought we would have to resign from being missionaries with Macedonia, so, Dad and Mom decided to head up to our mission board and talk about resigning. What would we do then? We were sad thinking that we would no longer be missionaries. They headed up there in August of last year.  Macedonia was so  encouraging.  Macedonia wasn't ready to lose us as missionaries. They said we should think about staying with them and either do church rescue ( when a church is about to close their doors and missionaries go in to help them ) or we should do church planting.  Dad was a preacher through and through and didn't like the idea of a secular job so he readily accepted the idea.

    They came back and we started seriously praying about it. We knew that this was what the Lord wanted us to do but we weren't sure which one. We started looking at different states and prayerfully considered many. We thought we would go West, but one week when Dad and Mom were traveling to the doctor in Brooksville Mom mentioned Northwest Florida. So they started looking at houses for sale and for rent. Josh was already in college but Brenna and I went with Dad and Mom one week to look in the Trenton, Newberry, Chiefland and Old town area. We fell in love with the country- all of the cows, horses, rolling hills and  the old country town feel that you would see in a Hallmark Christmas movie. As we drove through that area our last place to see was the High Springs- Alachua area. We really loved that area. When we came back home we started praying more about those areas. We finally knew that God was calling us to be Church planters.

We knew that to start a church we would need to stay there at least two years or more. The houses for sale in those areas were really inexpensive and a lot of them had nice pieces of property. A preacher that we really respect said that with Mom being sick she really needed a place to settle down at for awhile and call her own, so he said we should buy a house. We really wanted to find a house that had a lot of property because we thought it would be nice to have church fellowships and teen activities at our house and also, me and Brenna wanted a horse. There were a few houses that we saw online that we really liked. Mom had been traveling every week to see doctors so they went back up to those areas to look at some houses. We also looked for buildings to rent for our church. We really liked High Springs and there was a house that we liked with 5 acres. It didn't  have any trees whatsoever but we thought it would be fun to pick out our own trees and we would also have room for a horse. The house needed a little work like new carpet ( because it was bright red ) and needed a good paint job but it wasn't too bad. We planned that we would leave the kids with grandparents and the rest of us would head up there to it up then Mom and Brenna would go back to Ft.Myers to pack up the house. When Dad and I finished the house we would head back down there too,  pick them up and our stuff and move to High Springs. We decided to try and get the house. We were so excited imagining how we would decorate the house and what trees we would pick.  We were so excited wondering what God had in store for us.