Our Predictable Story


Some stories seem entirely predictable.  Like the knight in shining armor rescuing the princess.  You never fully see it in the middle of the sweeping scenes of a narrative; but when you escape for a moment and get the aerial view, it all makes sense.  This is Jenny’s and my experience.  Both of us grew up in radically different contexts.  I moved all my life, starting in Mexico City as a missionary kid, making stops in Chattanooga, TN and Canton, OH.  My family now resides in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Home has always been transient for me.  Jenny on the other hand spent the first 18 years of her life in Canton, Ohio.  But while the cities and towns in which we grew up in were totally different, there was something very similar occurring in us both. 
Jenny and I on a trip to Nicaragua with our students.
We were able to run a VBS
 with our students on the volcano in the
background of this picture.


God was kneading in me, at a very young age, a desire and calling for full-time missions.  I had grown up on the mission field, loved culture, language, and food. Especially food.  All kinds of food.  Jenny, on the other hand, unbeknownst to me, had become captivated by the Spanish language and Hispanic culture.  She had taken as many years of Spanish as she could, had pinned up pictures of anything related to Hispanic culture in her high school locker.  She too loved culture and ethnic food, and burros (donkeys).  Not sure why she loved burros, I guess it reminded her of Spanish.

           

Justin teaching a group of kids at Potters House in the
Guatemala City garbage dump.
Potters House is an evangelical non-profit
 organization that works to alleviate the
effects of poverty in the garbage dump.

 In May of 2008 we married and moved to Naperville, IL where I had taken a position as the high school pastor at Grace Pointe Church. During our 5 years in Naperville God would grant us many opportunities to dabble in missions. Every time we returned to the United States we felt more and more like foreigners.  God was creating in us a holy discomfort for what we called our life, and had something bigger and different in mind.  We realized that we were about to embark on our most predictable adventure yet.


This brings us to today.  Jenny and I have surrendered everything that we have to go into full-time missions.  God has placed in our hearts a desire to plant a church in the Guatemala City garbage dump (for more on that click here).  
Houses built on top of the Guatemala City landfill.
12,000 people live on the landfill and make a living
scavenging the garbage.

My last day at Grace Pointe Church as a staff member will be August 1st, and I will begin the support raising process as soon as possible.  We are in the final stages of the application process with TEAM, a mission board about 20 minutes north of us.

We wanted you to know about all of these exciting changes for two main reasons.  First, we believe that the church is edified when it hears that the gospel is being taken to the whole world.  Paul informs the Colossian church that the gospel is bearing fruit in the whole world, and we want to inform you that we are so excited to take the gospel to the Guatemala City garbage dump.  Be encouraged, His Kingdom is prevailing everywhere.
Second, we firmly believe that many of you have been gifted and equipped to serve in missions, just not vocationally like we are.  You serve as senders.  Many of you pray and pray often for a litany of ministries and missionaries across the globe.  You support them, encourage them, and bring their needs before our wonderful and glorious Savior.  We would love to hear from you.  We will be contacting many of you in the coming weeks, but if God is calling you to partner with us, please don’t wait on our call!  Call us, e-mail us, and let us know how you would like to be involved.
You see, most of you probably are not surprised at receiving this letter.  Whether you knew Jenny or me when we were young or have only gotten to know us as a couple, you have probably thought, “they are going to end up on the mission field”.  It is so exciting to look back and see just how marvelously predictable God has written our story.  We would never have imagined at the time that we would be planning on planting a church in a garbage dump, but that’s just because the pen wasn’t in our hands.  

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What can you do?
1. Pray
            – Wisdom in decision-making
            – Ease of fund-raising.
            – The final stages of the application process with TEAM
2. Give
            – Go to www.gracepointe.us, select “Online Giving” then select “TEAM project”
            – We need to raise $6500/month.  Your monthly giving would be a huge blessing!
3. Contact us
            – We want to hear from you!  What is God up to in your life?  What is coming up                               for you that we can be praying for?

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