I cannot say thank you well enough, enough times, or to enough people to adequately express how indebted I am to God for placing me within the lives of the people of Fairview Baptist Church in Mineral Wells. My Christmas at home was great: I spent plenty of time with family, was able to help my dad and brother on a couple of projects, was given multiple opportunities to preach, and I was able to unwind from the previous semester. Yet, there was a twinge of anxiety that I felt as I anxiously waited for the 19th of January and made my flight back to Fort Worth.
Why so anxious? Just as I arrived home in December I received a call from Pastor John Tunnell confirming that I was being called to be the Youth Pastor at Fairview BC. This was and is a big deal, but it was an even bigger deal because I knew my lifestyle was not ready for a sudden move. I had an apartment to take care of, school was nearing, and quite frankly I just did not know the community I would be moving to very well. How were my classes going to work? Would I be able to get in enough library time? Am I ready to join another church? Anxiety. Fortunately, my dad had enough work for me that I could bury my worries for the moment and focus on cleaning, roofing, plumbing, tiling, painting… you get the picture.
In the end I had nothing to worry about because I underestimated the love and kindness shown by this wonderful church family. I called Pastor John, had the date moved up a week where I was going to be presented to the church, and he told me that likely I could move into the house before classes started. What a relief. My week then has gone as such: flew in on the 19th, voted in favor of on the 20th, MOVED on the 21st, first time meeting the students on the 23rd, classes started the 24th, a massive birthday party for Luke on the 25th, a massive overhaul on the youth room on the 26th, and then church and a potluck meal on the 27th to round things off. All the while having several people come in and out of the house fixing things, painting, cleaning, and even building bookcases.
So this is my attempt at saying thank you, thank you for making my transition into the community of Fairview as simple and easy as could be dreamed of. Thank you Pastor John and Mrs Amy for your warm hospitality and graciously trusting me around your children; I do not take this lightly. Thank you to Jesse and Mrs Van, both of you have spent more time in my home this week than you have in yours! Thank you Daniel and Mrs Kim, for giving of your time and truck in hauling my stuff from Fort Worth to Mineral Wells and for supporting me from the beginning. Thank you Mike and Mrs Cathy, I only learned afterward that you took off of work to help me move in and clean things up. Thank you Chad and Mrs Mitzy, for cleaning, for hauling couches, for supporting and praying for me. Thank you Mrs Elda for managing all of us Monday and telling us how everything is supposed to look. We needed that. Thank you Mrs Misty (awkward) for cleaning and keeping our crew lively. Thank you Dr Jones for meeting us at the house and helping us unload my junk. Thank you Mrs Cathy Fowler and others who provided meals for this week. Ashamedly I say thank you also to any and everyone else who helped in my transition that I have failed to mention.
I also need to say thank you to all parents of middle and high school students who are trusting me with their children. I pray the Lord works through me to empower them to look a little more like Christ. And even to the students themselves, thank you for your effort on Saturday morning as we cleaned up and cleaned out the youth room. I pray I did not make too many enemies that day… but I believe fruitful ministry will be had in the days to come. Mrs Victoria, Mrs Mitzy, Mrs Kim, and Mr Daniel all contributed to the effort on the youth room.
My life verse is Colossians 3:17 — And whatever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. I want to thank my God, my King, my Savior for allowing me to pour into the lives of this community. On my own I am unworthy, but through the power of Jesus may my actions and words give testimony to the transformation that has occurred in me.