A Journey of Faith Begins
If you had told us just 6 months ago that we would be selling everything and moving our family to England as missionaries, we would have laughed… hysterically. Like “ROFL” laughing (that means “rolling on the floor laughing,” for those who might not be up on texting abbreviations). Seriously though. We were content with life… coasting along, business as usual… no need to stir things up. God, however, had something very different in mind. The story is a long one, with many amazing twists and turns. Each part, in and of itself is interesting enough, I guess. But string the entire chain of so-called “circumstances” together and a very different picture emerges. It’s like one of those optical illusion posters where you just see a bunch of random tiles that mean nothing, then after staring at it for a while, suddenly an image pops out at you. In an instant, it goes from unclear to clear, meaningless to meaningful. It makes perfect sense!
In our story, we can now look back and see the very fingerprint of God as He has forged a path for us and ordered our steps, even long before we had any clue that a change was coming. Of course, given our history, including the story of how Trevor came to be a youth and college pastor over three years ago, I guess we really shouldn’t be surprised by any of this. But I do hope to someday soon add a “back story” page to this site that effectively documents all of the events that have led us here. If for no other reason than for us to be able to look back and remember God’s faithfulness.
But in the meantime, you are joining us at the point of our journey where we have just “put it out there.” The point where our intentions are announced publicly and certain things are set into motion that can’t easily, if at all, be undone. The “point of no return,” if you will. I suppose that’s a bit of an over-dramatization, but that is how it feels! If it wasn’t before, the pressure is really on now! But, amazingly, we have peace. Why? Because we know we are seeking God wholeheartedly and simply doing the next thing He tells us to do, one step at a time. He has given us a mission – a goal – to move towards and that’s what we are doing. At His liberty He can make adjustments and change our course. Whether our final outcome is exactly like or nothing like the vision we feel He’s given us, it doesn’t matter. Our only aim is to seek, listen and obey.
Before the holiday season last year, we already felt that God was calling us to England, but we didn’t know when, where or why. Through one of the “amazing twists” in our story, a significant connection was made between us and David Flanders, a pastor and evangelist from Camelford, UK. In fact, we actually traveled to Camelford from January 12th to the 18th as a family to meet David, minister at Souls Harbour Church and seek the Lord about whether He was calling us to GO to England long-term. Only a few people knew of our trip and even fewer knew the real purpose behind it. As we had prayed, God used that week to take us on a journey to show us what was in His heart for us and for us to do. We like to call it a “journey of peace.”
When we first arrived there, we were very uncertain. The heavens didn’t open up… there was no blinding bright light with a chorus of angels singing. There were rain clouds, historic buildings, tiny roads, quaint villages, and lots of sheep. It was all quite beautiful, but we had really hoped for the light and angels thing… an immediate sense of confirmation that this was exactly where the Lord wanted us. Now, that confirmation did indeed come, else you wouldn’t be reading our story. However, it was a process, a journey. One that ended on our last day in Camelford with us knowing without any doubt that God was telling us to keep moving that direction. So, here we are. There is still a lot that must happen – a lot that God must do – to get us there, but we will keep moving forward, trusting our Father each and every step of the way. We have to! How else could we possibly do this? Our emotions range from being completely excited one minute to completely terrified the next. This is a HUGE step for us as a family. We are leaving a very stable and comfortable life in the United States to move to the other side of the world and serve with no expectation of anything in return. Sure, there are more physically challenging places we could be sent, but whether we’re in a cozy British apartment or a tree house deep in a jungle somewhere, we’ll still have to adjust to a new culture, struggle with being home-sick, worry about how the move affects our toddler, stress over making ends meet, and so on. But those things, as real as they are, don’t really matter. Really, they don’t. We have been called and we know, from the very depths of our being, that we must say, “YES!”
Some of you may have seen our handout that provided a high level summary of the assignment we believe that God has given us specifically. In case you haven’t seen it or need a reminder, all of that information is at the end of this entry. If you want the nitty-gritty detail, see the “Our Mission” page on this site. I’ve read through this stuff over and over. I mean, I wrote it! And yet, each time I read it, I’m still struck with a sincere sense of awe that God would choose to use us for this special mission. It may not seem like much, but we know that no task for the Kingdom of God is small or unimportant. Beyond that, we know that God has called us to do it with no strings attached. We are not going to join a church staff or to be put into positions for a salary. We are going to serve alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ… investing in their ministry, their community and their country, with the return on investment being completely eternal. Again, the fact that we are going as missionaries and our funding will be completely provided by the generosity of others should really freak us out. But we have peace. We know that just as God has given us the clear direction to “go,” He will move on the hearts of His people to stand with us to make it possible. We’ll be living by faith to the highest degree we ever have in our lives, but we know that God is faithful and He will provide.
Well, I could just keep on going on and on about all of this… it’s just so exciting! But I suppose now is as good a time as any to wrap up this first post. I do sincerely hope that this tiny peek into our lives as we begin this journey will inspire you to keep us in your prayers over the coming months and that you will come back to this site often to see what God is doing and the fruit that is growing from the seeds that have been planted in this ministry.
Blessings and much more to come!
UK for Jesus
WHO: Pastor Trevor, Connie & Brooklyn Smith
WHEN: Summer 2011
God has told us to GO! We believe that He is sending us to England to help usher in a true spiritual revival that will spread across the United Kingdom. True Christianity there is rapidly declining, if not on the brink of extinction. If the upcoming generation is not reached for Jesus Christ, they and the future generations of that nation will be eternally lost.
We believe the practical application of our mission is to…
- Join up with the ministry of David Flanders to serve Souls Harbour Church and their ministry to the surrounding communities of Camelford, Cornwall in England.
- Minister and evangelize locally, throughout the UK and more broadly as doors are opened.
- Develop and implement the UK for Jesus School of Worship to train up and mentor worship leaders and teams within the surrounding communities and regions.
- Prayer! Please pray that we will continue to hear from the Lord and be guided by the Holy Spirit as we pursue the mission He has given us. Our Prayer Needs page lists additional specific prayer needs.
- Provision! We are going as missionaries, fully funded by support from those the Lord burdens to partner with us financially with one-time gifts and/or ongoing monthly support.
- Preparation! We are working toward an official move to Camelford by late April or early May of this year. We will continue to serve at The Crossing until our transition is complete.