Context is everything.

We can’t just jump right in to what’s going on in Allendale. You’d have to hear at least a little of the history, to know how amazing of a thing it is that we are here.

Instead of writing it out, I figured it would be easier to give a quick summary in an outline form. As a former scientist, I like outlines, and bullet point lists. Everyone does, right? Good.

  1. Childhood

    1. Born in northern NJ, & lived there for 11 years
    2. Raised in Judaism: including circumcised by a rabbi at 8 days old, Hebrew private school for 4 years, Bar Mitzvah at age 13
    3. Knew I wanted to become a chemist in the 4th grade
  2. Teenage

    1. Moved to Swansea, SC in the summer before 6th grade
    2. Started playing football and running track in the 8th grade; had great team success
    3. Was somewhere between agnostic and atheistic and deist
  3. College

    1. Studied chemistry at Furman University (Greenville, SC)
    2. Walked on football team; red-shirted, then 4-year letterman
    3. Became a believer in Jesus Christ after my freshman year; my spiritual birthday is July 31, 1995
    4. Started attending Grace Church in June after my sophomore year (1996)
    5. Graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in chemistry in 1998; started working on my M.S. (Chemistry) degree at Furman the next week
  4. 1999 (yes, this year deserves it’s own recognition)

    1. January-February: felt like God was leading me to be single the rest of my life; shared this with a select few mentors and friends
    2. March 3: started dating Joanna Wimmer
    3. Mid-April: after much prayer, counsel, and wrestling, declined offers to get my PhD in chemistry
    4. July 18: asked Joanna to marry me; she said yes (of course)
    5. Early-August: defended my Masters degree thesis
    6. Mid-August: started my first job, at Schweizerhall Development Company (in Greenville, SC)
    7. December 11: married Joanna
  5. Family (overlaps with #6 Career)

    1. Married December 11, 1999
    2. Hannah Adeline born September 25, 2001 (9 days late)
    3. Elijah Michael born December 10, 2003 (exact due date; and, yes, we celebrated our 4th anniversary in the hospital)
    4. Sender Philip born December 23, 2006 (5 days early)
  6. Career (overlaps with #5 Family)

    1. Development Chemist at Schweizerhall (August 1999 – April 2002); company was sold; mass dispersion of people
    2. Materials Chemist for Michelin Tire R&D (April 2002 – January 2007); great company; the decision to leave there was about a 14-month process
    3. Pastor of Children & Families at Grace Church (January 2007 – November 2010); incredible amount of personal growth
    4. Unit Director for Boys & Girls Club (January 2011 – December 2011); Allendale County
    5. Tutor / Teacher / Coach (January 2012 – current); 4 jobs at once in Allendale & Hampton Counties

So, that’s how we wound up in Allendale, doing something that is completely opposite of chemistry — what I spent almost 10 years doing (counting undergraduate and graduate research). I don’t know if I’ll ever get back into chemistry. But even if not, I will not feel like those 10 years were wasted. I would say that they prepared me to be what God needed me to be.

Be sure to subscribe to the blog to stay informed. And if you want to know more about the transition from being a pastor in Greenville to working with kids in Allendale, read “I Wish I Could Fast Forward and Look Back.”


Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Poll: In What Kind of Place Did You Grow Up? « Mission: Allendale - September 5, 2011

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