About a year ago, both Drew and I began to discern a major shift happening in our lives.
Last July, I took a trip to Redding in California (Drew tagged along) to visit Bethel Church and attend a worship conference for those who felt called to further that particular gifting. I initially struggled with the idea of going, as it would take me away from my own ministry work for at least a week, but I remember clearly waking up one morning feeling urged by God to go. I didn't know what to expect but I went anyways, hesitantly but out of obedience—and as I approached the first day of the conference I was amazed by how strongly I felt God's presence.
Again and again I would silently find tears forming in my eyes as I felt God minister to my heart, healing places inside of me that I didn't realize needed to be tended to, culminating in a moment where I was healed unexpectedly from an issue I've had since I was 12.
Both Drew and myself left that trip feeling significantly impacted by our time there, and as months passed we both felt continually drawn back to the city in small but significant ways. At one point not too long ago, Drew asked me if I would consider moving there, and in earnest this was a hard question to answer—we both felt extremely committed to the ministries we have been connected to for the past six years, and the city which we have made our home.
We took another visit, and some incredible and unexpected things happened which we could attribute to nothing other than a miraculous God. At the end of that trip it was clear—God's desire for us was to take a step in faith, and commit to something new.
We're moving to California.
While we will forever hold Tampa and the ministries which we've been connected to near and dear to our heart, we felt like it was our time to step out in faith and follow where God was asking us to go. During that visit Kristine connected with Kimberly Johnson, the director of Extreme Love, an organization that works with foster children, orphaned children, and rescued and trafficked children around the world.
I have always felt called to work with the nations, and exploited and broken children have always had a special place in my heart. This ministry gives me a chance to work with this group of people that mean so much to me. The last few years have been invaluable and by far the best season of my life, and it's given me a unique perspective to see what happens to children who were never cared for.
All of the women who came through Created had experienced abuse as children, and were never given a fair chance to heal at a young age. I've first-hand seen the tragedy of what happens when orphans are left uncared for, and become hurting adults who then sadly perpetuate the cycle.
That cycle can be stopped if hurting children are met with the love and dignity that they so deserve. I can't wait to see what both Drew and myself can do to further this cause.
Please be praying for us—we'll be heading back out for one more visit this upcoming week to join in with some staff meetings and house-hunt. We're believing that God will use this time to solidify our plans and make clear our next steps forward.
If you're interested in giving to us financially as we step into this new mission field, you can do so through our website. We'll also have a lot of free time over the next few weeks, so if anyone wants to grab a coffee to learn more in person and catch up, don't hesitate to get in touch!
We'll be sending out continual updates as we continue this journey. Check back in soon!