New Beginnings (Dec 2018)
We have just moved house… just over a week before Christmas… on purpose. Stuff has been everywhere as we’ve fiercely emptied drawers and cupboards and packed up dozens of boxes. We’ve disassembled and moved the beautifully decorated Christmas tree that we spent hours creating only a few weeks ago! We must be crazy. And we are… CRAZY BLESSED!
Y’all, we’ve been desperately searching for a new home for over 10 months now. I don’t want to bore you with the details, but let’s just say that the rental market here is a whole ‘nother ballgame. And it’s really been a struggle. Waiting. Viewing. Hoping. Being disappointed then repeating the cycle many times over. While we have been immensely blessed to live in a good-sized and unique historical home, the cost of heating and the many quirks that a nearly 2-century-old home brings have been taxing. As we make this move, there are a few things we will be especially grateful for, including: a bathtub for the kids, flat/level floors (you can put furniture anywhere), a draining shower (because the shower floor is slanted the right way!), central heating, double-glazed windows, storage space, kitchen drawers, a single-level/flat grass lawn, our very own parking space, and so much more. Thank you, Lord!
Of course, it’s the classic case of hindsight is 20/20 as we look back now and see God’s timing to bring us to this point at just the right time. You see, this month brings a new beginning for more than just our home. We’re also transitioning into new ministry roles, based full-time with our church Souls Harbour, where our emphasis will shift to broader aspects of ministry equipping/training and outreach/evangelism through a pastoral role. We’re so very excited to see what is on the horizon as new vision is birthed and new doors open. (Just to confirm - all our work remains voluntary, so we’ll still be fully funded by support/donations).
And isn’t it just like God to tidy it all up perfectly in this holiday season, as Christmas itself was the ultimate “new beginning.” When Jesus came, everything changed. Forever.
Meanwhile, as we’ve navigated through another season of change, it has led us into a deeper place of ingesting God’s Word. From that, a “daily encouragement” social media post has been born. We are blessed to live in a beautiful place that we love to take pictures of. We also have been so deeply impacted by God’s beautiful Word and want others to be also encouraged by truth. So, you put the two together and you get pretty photos with encouraging scriptures (or insights) posted to our UK for Jesus Instagram and Facebook pages every day. If that’s something you’d find encouraging, please feel free to follow and even share! It’s really just personal encouragement that seemed right to share with others.
2018 has been fast-paced and chock-full of activity. Our work involved intensive support for Oriel's annual Innocence Girls Conference and the regular fortnightly rhythm of the related discipleship group StarGirlz. Web, design, graphics, bookkeeping, admin and many other routine activities made the year fly by. Further, we were able to do outreach through original music at summer festivals and churches and speak and lead worship at our own church and at other churches/events around the South West. With the aforementioned new season on the horizon, we anticipate 2019 to be bursting at the seams with opportunities to further "serve, evangelise and teach" here in the UK.
Several months back we posted the very raw and real update that our time on mission here in the UK was in jeopardy due to rapidly dwindling financial support. In response to that appeal, a few of you began giving monthly and a few of you gave one-time gifts. Wow! Thank you so very much!! What a wonderful help to our family. We are still operating with a significant monthly deficit, but our timeline has been extended, and we’ll continue to press forward in obedience to God’s call, trusting Him to provide. Meanwhile, if you give to us directly by check or through UKforJesus.com, you should have received a little Christmas card expressing our sincere gratitude. If you give another way (anonymously or through The Bridge in Bixby, OK), we may not know who you are specifically, but please know that we are truly grateful and couldn’t carry on in this mission work without your generous and faithful support.
Many blessings to you and yours in this Christmas season and the New Year to come. With love and gratitude,
The Smiths // Trevor, Connie, Brooklyn & Lincoln // UK for Jesus