Status Report – 4.27.11
It’s time for our monthly status report, so this update will contain more details about the status of our ministry than the last few posts have. BUT, as our friends, family, supporters and prayer partners, we hope that you are eager to hear the latest and greatest and stay connected to what is happening with the Smiths and UK for Jesus!
First of all, let me say that I cannot believe that time is going by so quickly! Here we are almost in May, and we leave for England on June 7th! That’s really, REALLY soon! I don’t want to count the days… it will freak me out. But here is a glimpse of all that we’ve been doing in preparation for the big day…
- Selling Everything: Our third and final moving sale is this weekend (4/30), and we hope to finish out that day with little to nothing left. Most everything we have left to sell now fits in our garage, so we’ve made some incredible progress. Not to mention that the proceeds of our sales have allowed us to pay off personal debt, which is such a blessed relief!
- Trevor’s Transition: Trevor is winding down his work as Youth Pastor at The Crossing Church. His last official day on staff is Sunday, May 22nd (gulp!). Most of his key responsibilities (Sunday School, Youth Worship, speaking on Wednesday nights, etc.) have been taken over by trustworthy leaders that will fill in until God brings the right full-time replacement. We even started cleaning out his office this week. It’s been a difficult-to-describe mix of sadness and excitement.
- Finances: Another intense reality we’re facing is that as of 5/22, we will have no employer-based income (double gulp)! We are going to England as volunteer ministers (aka missionaries) and will not be receiving a salary from anyone or any organization. All of our support will come from stateside supporters who catch the vision of UK for Jesus and come alongside us financially to sow into the Kingdom. We are about 1/3 of the way to our needed goal for monthly support for the first year and still have a few needs that require some up-front funds. For more details on all of this, please see our Prayer Needs page. For those of you who have already helped or have committed to help us financially… THANK YOU SO MUCH!
- UK Visas: I’ll be honest, this one has us the most nervous and, therefore, presents the greatest opportunity for God to do something that only HE can do. At this point, we are still unable to put in our visa applications. Before we can apply, David Flanders (our UK sponsor) must obtain the Certificate of Sponsorship that must go with our application. He has been working on this diligently for months, but he is currently at the mercy of government agencies. He has requested an expedited review of the forms he submitted, but we are coming down to the wire for there being a reasonable expectation that our apps can be submitted, reviewed and approved in time for our June 7th flight. This might have you wondering why we bought the plane tickets with this little detail outstanding. For the sake of space, please allow me to refer you to our blog post from March 23rd for the details on that step of faith. Meanwhile, we do have the option to travel with just our passports for up to six months. However, either way, we need the favor of God upon us with the UK Immigration Officials… whether they are processing our official visa applications or are deciding if they’ll let us enter the country without visas and stay 5+ months. PLEASE PRAY! However it works out, it WILL be a testimony to God’s provision and favor!
- Our Upcoming Trip to England: Our initial long-term stay will be from June 7 until November 16, 2011. The cost of one-way tickets is insanely high, so we purchased round trip, which actually works out perfectly. Ongoing, our plan is to spend 10 or so months in the UK each year, returning to the U.S. for the holiday months then going back to the UK shortly after the New Year. Our annual trip to the U.S. will allow us to spend time with family and friends, as well as provide in-person reports to our supporters on the fruit and needs of the ministry.
Well, I think that about covers it. If you have any questions or want more details on anything at all, please feel free to post a question or send us a message at email@UKforJesus.com. Of course, please remember that we have a Facebook page too, and we’d appreciate your “like”!
Blessings and more to come soon…
- Connie, Trevor & Brooklyn