Better Christian leaders than I have their end of year messages planned well in advance. Many have probably been edited before December 1st. Me? It's December 31st, and I thought I ought to get something out! So I will probably miss a lot – but what you get is genuine, even down to the typos.
One year ago today, where was I? My family and I were in Pensacola. I was working with an established Christian ministry. We had just moved into a new house. I had no knowledge that things were about to be radically different.
Within a month, a financial crisis had meant that I was out, seeking my own support for my family, with no regular income. God was good. Bookings did not pour in, but sufficient bookings emerged to keep the wolf from the door. I made some lovely new contacts. And during the first half of the year, iit turned out that I was needed to preach regularly at the church we were part of.
Early in the year, we experienced the worst ever storm I have ever seen, when over a month's worth of rain fell in 12 hours overnight. Although we were not badly effected, large areas of the city were declared a disaster zone. Geri joined the efforts of a Christian relief organization, bringing help to devastated families and communities.
As the year matured, we heard of the need for ministry here in the Pacific North West. The little ministry at the foot of Mount St Helens needed a transition, because the ministry's founders badly needed to retire.
So, to cut a long story short, in September, with all our boxes packed into a Penske truck, we made the 6-day epic journey, driving across the United States, from Florida to Washington State. Now we are living and ministering in a new community, with lots of new friends and supporters across the PNW.
The past 12 months have seen lots of events significant to our family and ministry. The Noah film produced a renewed interest in my book “Don't Miss the Boat”, and Kent-Andrew Hovind produced the DVD of my talk of the same title. My older 3 children – Gemma, Adam and Jack – came over from the UK to stay – an event which proved a spiritual turning point for at least one of them. My stepdaughter, Beth, got engaged to Josh. And the new ministry appointment was not just for me – it was a joint appointment for Geri and I, and Geri threw herself into the ministry wholeheartedly and effectively. One notable indication of this was Geri and Beth's planning and execution of a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend event at the Mount St Helens Creation Center. It was also great fun to sit in the stands at the local school, and watch my stepson, Joe, play his first game of American Football.
I love the scene, as I look out of the French windows of the little ministry house where we now live. It was through these windows, last Sunday, that Geri saw her first herd of elk, traveling across the valley. This morning, the frost leaves the air crystal clear, so that I can see the snow-capped volcano about 30 miles away. As the sun emerges over the mountains, and reflects off the swamp, I see the beauty of the scenery and know that He is good, and has great plans for us. I do not know what these plans are, but we are ready and willing to do His will, and part of His reward is to place us here in one of the most beautiful locations on Earth.
This article has also been published at Mount St Helens Creation Center.