FAQ: Where Are You Going Next?

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Since we began communicating about Our Season in Allendale coming to a close, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from friends in Allendale, Greenville, and all over. These questions have been especially common over the last month, as we’ve seen a lot of friends and family.

In truth, the biggest question has not been, “Where are you going next?” People have been more specific, usually asking one of these questions:

  • “When are you going back to Greenville?”
  • “Are you excited to go back to Greenville?”

More often than not, our answer surprises them.

So, Where Are We Going?

We typically respond, “Actually, we are not sure where we are going next. We really do not know if we’ll be going back to Greenville.”

First of all, we only plan to move to a place that has a job offer. (Gotta’ pay those bills, right?) And for now, we have no offers on the table. But I’ve spent the last few months making connections and exploring opportunities all over the place (at least, all over the southeast). I have been keeping the funnel wide, for now.

Most of these opportunities have been in South Carolina, but we are not limiting our search to this state. And after spending a week in 75+ degree weather, two of our kids have said, “I think Florida would be a good place to live.”

If Not Greenville, Then What?

Of course, we would love to go back to Greenville, where we lived for over 12 years. We miss friends and family, and we miss the teaching and community of Grace Church.

But we don’t want to be presumptuous that we will move there for sure. After all, when I left my chemistry job to become a children’s pastor in 2007, I assumed (and proudly told people) that when I was done working for the church, I’d just go back to being a chemist. (Then again, I once assumed that I never would be a pastor, despite what one crazy girl told me.) In 2010, when I was looking for chemistry jobs, God emphatically shut all those doors.

It was when we saw those closed doors that God was able to open our eyes and hearts to Allendale. And though we never would have picked Allendale on our own, we see how He has blessed us immensely by allowing us to be a part of this community.

So, even though we don’t yet know where we will be going, we know that God will be with us. And just as we trusted Him with moving to Allendale, we can trust Him wherever He leads us next.

Please pray that God will guide us in this decision process.

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**image courtesy of dunechaser via flickr and photopin

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4 responses to “FAQ: Where Are You Going Next?”

  1. chris Stalnaker says :

    Joey,
    We are praying for clear direction for you and for God to bless your ministry in Allendale:)

  2. Ellen says :

    We watched your video and are somewhat confused. Our question is not where, or when, or what, but why. Why would you leave Allendale when clearly God is working through your family there. Why, when you have no apprentice groomed to fill your void.

    Try to imagine Paul leaving the churches he planted without a capable protege, and you may understand our confusion.

    • joeyespinosa says :

      Thanks for bringing up this point. Yes, “why” is another frequent question that we have been getting. I plan to answer it later in a blog post, but I’d like to say a few things now in response.

      This is an issue that we have thought of many times in this decision. We have seen God work through us, and we know that we will be missing a lot by moving.

      But we also know that our purpose in moving to Allendale was not to plant a church (unlike with Paul, and others). And we never felt like God was calling us to build a new program or initiative.

      From the start, we mostly felt like God was just calling us to be a part of this community. That’s why although we have led a lot of our own stuff, we’ve also spent plenty of time volunteering and serving in existing programs.

      God has been at work in Allendale long before we got here. And we feel that there are people (here and from outside this county) who can do much of what we’ve done. We haven’t done anything all that unique or special. But many people have told us that our energy and service has inspired them to step up and do “their part.”

      Still, we have been praying for months (and having conversations) about someone else (or multiple families) moving here. But even if they do, we don’t feel like they need to follow what we’ve done (as far as programs). They just need to BE here.

      Again, thanks for this great question. I will answer it more in the future, but I hope this at least gives a small explanation of where we are coming from.

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