Dearest Friends and Family,
I write to you today with gratitude in my heart for all that God is doing for our family. I am truly exhausted with moving preparations - we load the truck on Wednesday! - but I wanted to take a moment to give you the Readers Digest version of our story, for those of you who haven't heard.
When Roger and I met, we were both serving full time in residential ministries to kids. After a time, God moved us away from that work, but we always believed we'd return to it one day. As time went on and the Lord moved Roger up into positions of greater and greater responsibility, we began to dream that one day we might even be blessed to lead a residential ministry to children. As we transitioned from one job to the next, watching the Lord prepare us for the next thing, we always looked for an opportunity to move back into professional ministry. The door never opened.
Last spring, Roger got a call, completely out of the blue, from an executive search firm. They were looking for an Executive Director for a ministry to troubled boys in Southeast Washington. Someone in Arkansas had given them Roger's name and they wondered if he was interested.
To condense the next six months: We weren't interested. We were content here in North Bend. We weren't planning to move again for at least five years. But God had another plan. He prompted Roger to continue taking "one more step" in the process. Finally, in early September, we traveled to Washington to visit Jubilee Youth Ranch. Even then, we didn't expect to take the job. Following that visit, God continued to make our path to Jubilee straight. Every time we had a question or a concern, it was answered before we asked. Every time we had a conversation about the reasons we wouldn't go, God would speak the very same words back to us through others, without their knowledge. He led clearly, He led gently. Ultimately, we realized that this is what we had been waiting for. It is an amazing opportunity!
The Ranch is located near Prescott, Washington, surrounded by wheat fields and 5,000 acres of apple orchards, near the Snake River. It was founded by a few families who wanted to start a ministry to troubled youth. They built the facilities and have been waiting for the right person to come and lead the ministry. Right now, there are about 25 boys there. Most of the staff live on campus. We will be provided with a beautiful home on the edge of campus. The Board of Directors are amazing people who love the Lord and are eager to do His work. There are foundations laid for housing for around 200 boys. We'll be attending church and shopping, etc, in Walla Walla, about 30 minutes away, and the Tri Cities, about 45 minutes away.
I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have! We are very excited about making this move and very eager to see what God is going to do. It is a thrilling task and a daunting challenge that reminds us constantly of our need to be completely dependent on God for wisdom and courage. Please, pray for us! We'll do our best to keep in touch and would love to see any of you come for a visit to our little spot in the country.