In the summer of 2016, several small and struggling churches from the Great Lakes area, southern Canada, and Miami called us.
“We’re small and struggling,” one said. “We need help with evangelism and outreach and we need training. We need help reaching our community. Can you come and stay with us for a week or two to help?”
My answer was yes. We have always travelled to churches on a “love offering” basis because we never wanted money to hinder ministry.
However, one by one, these churches told us that they couldn’t afford to have us come because where would we stay, what would we eat…In the end, it just wasn’t cost effective unless I was travelled alone (without my family) and slept in the church, which I have done in the past. But our ministry is a family ministry. God never called me to leave my family at home while I run around the world sharing the Gospel.
Mary Beth, my wife, and I were discussed this, while driving to a camp in Colorado, when she suddenly said, “Then let’s sell our house, buy an RV and spend a couple of years going to help the churches that want us to come.”
My response was super-spiritual: “Are you crazy! Seven people and two dogs in an RV for a couple of years sounds like a reality TV show.”
Two weeks later I came back to Mary Beth and agreed–That’s exactly what God wanted us to do.
Not long later, we sat down with our sons to tell them what was on our hearts. We didn’t know how they would respond. We had lived in the same house for almost 10 years and it was the only home that our younger sons really remembered. We had neighbors that they had grown up with. Moving would mean selling and giving away a lot what we had, packing the rest in storage and taking only a little with us. We would all be letting go and stepping out in faith.
None of our sons responded negatively. They had questions, naturally, but in the end all of them agreed that the Lord was calling us to step out. In the weeks that followed, one of our sons came up to me and said, “I can’t wait to be in the RV because everywhere we go, we’ll simply have to open up the door and there will be lost people right outside.”
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