Memorable Moments: The Best and Worst of 2012

Family 12Nov

Our second year in Allendale was quite the adventure. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here that long already; time has flown by!

I’ll never forget the rapid transition from Greenville to Allendale. Here’s a shortened version:

  • Tuesday, December 14, 2010 — Joanna and I take our first trip Allendale, with two leaders from Grace Church
  • Wednesday, January 12, 2011 — Interview with the Boys and Girls Club
  • Thursday, January 13, 2011 — Offered (and accepted) job with the Boys and Girls Club
  • Sunday, January 16, 2011 — Spent my first night in Allendale, to start work the next day
  • Saturday, April 16, 2011 — After 3 months of me commuting (weekly) and several short trips to Allendale by Joanna and the kids, we all moved into our Allendale home (with the help of a flock of friends)

Even though I left my first job in Allendale, we knew that didn’t change our love of Allendale, or our commitment to serving the children of this community. We saw how God Provided Through My Job in 2011, but we were confident that He would do the same in 2012.

Well, 2012 brought more adventures, and many unexpected moments.

My Favorite Memories from 2012

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” (James 1:17)

  1. We have never lacked sufficient Financial Support for our family, even when I asked for extra money for the summer
  2. Support for other endeavors, such as when this community raised almost $1000 for Healthy Learners
  3. Leadership Retreat with Grace Church; it was a much-needed time of rest at the Grove Park Inn
  4. Our week-long Elevate Spring Break Camp; one of the biggest blessings was seeing 3 dozen people and organizations that contributed to making this camp happen
  5. Our month-long Elevate Summer Camp, where we partnered with the school district in their summer school program
  6. The blessing of coaching football for AF High School, both with the relationships formed and winning the region championship
  7. Taking five teenage boys to the mountains for a retreat; especially when God sent a specific message to me
  8. At least three churches making significant contributions to Allendale:  1) Grace Church (now in about their 4th year of ministry in Allendale), 2) Community Bible Church – Savannah, and 3) Radius Church
  9. Went to Florida 3 times in less than 12 months: 1) to see my grandmother (see the pic below), 2) for a post-spring break beach trip, and 3) for our Secret Vacation (LegoLand and Disney World)

2011-12-30 18.27.45

… And My Not-So-Favorite

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.” (Romans 8:28)

  1. Not being allowed to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club
  2. After our spring break camp, learning that some folks are accusing us with being self-serving
  3. Before our summer camp, learning that people are working against us helping kids
  4. Struggling with not having the job with the schools that I hoped, or at least not as many hours as I was expecting
  5. My grandmother (who lived in Florida) passing away; she helped raise me, but had been declining in health since she had a stroke a few years ago

The Sum of the Matter

I look at this list and realize that the good outnumbers and outweighs the bad. And God is sovereign over all, and He is using those moments to help me depend on Him more, to reveal my heart, to shape me, and to help me understand His grace.

The opposition we received? I examined my heart and saw the pride I was filled with, and I saw people who really are on our side.

Not working many hours? It gave me more time to volunteer and build relationships. And as mentioned, God raised up a body of givers to provide for our family.

My grandmother passing away? We rejoice that the last time our kids saw her, it was during a week where she was surprisingly alert and well.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

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