Backward Progress (Mar 2017)

Sometimes moving forward actually means going back. Back to a place. Back to a purpose. Back to where you’ve discovered you truly belong. England. Yes, for us – The Smiths – it’s England.

 

If you know our story, you remember that in mid-2011 we answered God’s very clear and specific call to GO. We sold everything, packed up a few suitcases and guitars and moved our entire life to Cornwall, England – our assigned mission field. For two-and-a-half years we served faithfully, sowing full-time into the local church and community. In late 2013, as we approached the expiration of our visas and the due date of our second child, we felt that chapter was ending and followed God’s open doors to Tulsa, OK, where we’ve continued in full-time ministry as worship pastors at The Bridge Church.

 

Now, about 3 (very blessed) years later, a fresh stirring has begun – a restlessness from deep within prompting us to seek and pray and specifically ask the Lord, “What’s next?” And, as God is so good at doing, He has clearly made known to us that His work for us in the UK is unfinished. He has more for us to do there, and the burning within our hearts to return and carry on cannot be quenched.

 

In many ways, a “UK for Jesus 2.0” is both easier and harder. Let’s start with “easier.” We know what life is like there. We’ve experienced how vastly different the culture is and will have a head start on adjusting. We understand practical things like the cost of living and what is a necessity vs. a luxury (and that serious rain gear is definitely the former). We’ve had a child in the schools and watched her excel even though learning is approached in a different way. We’ve seen and lived in the pervasive spiritual darkness and have witnessed the undeniable impact of shining His light into it through the specific ways God’s tasked us to minister and serve.

 

Then there’s “harder.” We will greatly miss our home, friends and life here. We know just how hard it really is to be so far from our family. The digital world lessens the blow by keeping us connected, but it’s certainly not the same as an impromptu day with Nana or a family Christmas. We can’t just hop in the car and be at my folks’ in half-a-day. We also know that living as missionaries is hard. Sometimes financial support was steady, sometimes not so much. But God always provided, often miraculously, which leads to where we are now.

 

How is this going to happen? When?? What about visas, support, airfare, housing, schooling, a car? What about all the stuff and financial obligations we have here? Once again it seems impossible, really. But we know better. We know that all things are possible. We’ve seen it happen before and we’re eager to see how He’ll do it again. In fact, it’s already beginning. We’ll soon be sharing more about the simple testimonies and road signs that are God’s ways of guiding our steps and confirming His call. And we’ll be sharing more about the vision for UKFJ 2.0 and how our family anticipates walking out the renewed call to be missionaries to the UK.

 

So, what to do in the meantime? We must “Keep Calm and Carry On,” of course! We’ll continue to serve joyfully and faithfully where we are with anticipation and expectation of what’s to come, because “God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited [us] into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9).

 

Blessings and more to come soon!

 

The Smiths // UK for Jesus

{Trevor, Connie, Brooklyn & Lincoln}

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Backward Progress (Mar 2017)”

  1. Teri March 18, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    I can’t wait to hear the testimony of how the Lord has called you back to the UK, and how HE provides all of your needs. I am also sad to see you leave, but this too shall be a greater thing in the end. God bless your sweet family.

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