I’ve heard this several times in Allendale over the past two months: “I thought you were gone already.”
I guess this reaction is a combination of us:
- communicating in waaayyyy back in October that we would be moving,
- being out-of-town for almost half of December, (including travelling almost 2000 miles in 30 days), and
- not having many programs going on in the community during these cold winter months (besides Robotics and the upcoming spring break camp)
I’d like to think that people are pleasantly surprised to find out that we are still in Allendale, instead of them thinking, “I was hoping you’d be gone already.”
(I’m sure there are people in both camps, and that’s fine.)
Last year, a 16-year old boy from a rich family got drunk (while also having Valium and marijuana in his system), drove a pickup truck (owned by his father’s company), and killed four people. He got absolutely no jail time as a result.
The defense team successfully argued that “because of his family’s wealth and child-rearing style, [the teenager] never learned that his actions had consequences.” In other words, because his parents didn’t do their job, he didn’t deserve to go to prison.
Upon learning that story, my first thought (and Tweet) was,
— Joey Espinosa (@EspinosaJoey) December 28, 2013
It’s been just over one year since I last gave a reason why Allendale is so great. Trust me — my lack of not posting to this series is not because I’ve run out of reasons. I have a handful of ideas that I’ve considered writing about, but I’ve been busy writing about other things. (140+ posts on this blog alone in the past 12 months, but who’s counting?)
Two related incidents in the past couple of weeks reconfirmed to myself how much we have loved living in this community. And they both have to do with my favorite hobby — eating.
Now when I talk about “home cooking” in Allendale, you may be thinking of fried chicken, collard greens, ribs, barbecue, rice, spaghetti with a sweet meat sauce (beef, sausage, and sugar), and so on. And you better believe that I’ve enjoyed all that in the past three years.
But I never expected that we would get two other kinds of home cooking in Allendale — authentic Mexican and Chinese dinners.
A few weeks ago, I answered the frequently asked question, “Where are you going next?” with a solid “I don’t know.”
Today, I want to address another question that we’ve been getting a lot, “What will you do next?”
Don’t be surprised if I will answer this question with another, “I don’t know.” (Or, since I’m learning Spanish, maybe I can mix it up and reply with “Yo no se.”)
You should move to Allendale.
No, I’m not saying that you would absolutely be disobedient to stay where you are. On the other hand that may be true.
And even if it’s not about obedience, I still think you should. I can’t tell you all the ways that God will bless you if you move here, but He has blessed us in at least these 6 ways:
- We have great opportunities for ministry.
- We can serve with less distraction.
- God has drawn us closer to Him.
- We understand the Bible more deeply.
- God has broadened our perspectives of different cultures.
- Our own children have had their worldviews expanded.
Moving to Allendale is as simple as Ready, Set, Go. I’m serious. We did it in exactly 56 days.
Want to learn more? Check out my guest post on the Grace Church Pastors Blog, 6 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Move to Allendale.
If you have any questions, please comment below or contact me.
Last summer and fall, I did a series called “Questions You Can Ask a Missionary.” I answered the 12 questions listed in an article on the Paracletos blog. These questions address the most common stressors that missionaries feel.
In case you missed any of the posts, or as a way to review what I already wrote (especially in light of us transitioning from Allendale over the next six months), here is a list of those questions and answers:
If you are looking for some books to read this year, may I suggest a few?
If you missed any of these, I hope you will enjoy catching up:
Can 45 minutes a week be meaningful to a child? Read this and you’ll find out.
If our child needed help, we wouldn’t accept these excuses. So why do we give them?
Here’s a wonderful a capella rendition of my favorite Christmas song:
I will only have a single blog post next week, on my other blog (for my son’s birthday). Other than that, I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the rest of the year, to spend time with family and friends.
Merry Christmas, to you and yours.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
This guest post is from my friend Dan Bracken. I hope you will take his words to heart.
I once knew a young man named Shane. He was bright, engaging, and looked like a normal 17-year-old. Shane was different from his peers in one life altering way; he grew up in foster care.
Like most kids in care Shane longed for permanency, a word I take for granted. He wanted to know his place, to establish roots, and to have a home. One day that hope changed, and I also changed with this conversation: