When Life Reflects Songs

First, an apology for the lack of posts in recent weeks. Phase 2 of our re-location from Montana to the Eastern US is now complete. We have purchased property in Jeff Davis County, Georgia for Ta Ethne’s new home. This gives us access to Savannah and Jacksonville airports as well as 2 interstate highways. It also allows us to expand our donor base, something future growth will need. Thank you to all those who have been praying with us about this process.

Now, for today’s blog. At church this past week, we were singing a hymn, “Footsteps of Jesus.” One of the verses happened to strike me. It went like this:

Though they lead through the Temple holy, preaching the Word

Or in homes of the poor and lowly, serving the Lord

Why did these verses speak to me? Because I have been a pastor for the last 21 years, preaching the Word in churches across America and SE Asia. Now, as well as leading Ta Ethne’s ministries, I serve as a chaplain with a local hospice here in south Georgia. Oh, I occasionally preach and speak at churches – fill in, revivals, conferences and the like, but mainly I am in people’s homes, ministering to the dying. I have the opportunity and the privilege of meeting people when they are most vulnerable. I am able to serve families after death in learning how to cope with grief. Rich or poor, death comes to every person. Many I meet have no relationship with God. They would never come to hear me preach. I become their pastor by going into their homes and caring for them. They know I come not to get anything from them, but to serve them.

Being a chaplain has allowed me to use my whole repertoire of pastoral skills. It may not be as glamorous as preaching the Word in the Temple, but I hope it mimics my Savior in proclaiming hope to the hopeless, freedom to the captive and healing (ultimate healing) for the sick.

Continue to pray for Ta Ethne as we build community relationships and continue to grow in our mission to bring leadership training to churches worldwide.

The Blessings of God

During the recent transition from Montana to Florida, we saw God’s blessings in many ways. We braved flooded highways, mechanical problems, stormy weather and the pressure of a time schedule, yet found wonderful people across the country willing to help. In South Dakota we needed to replace an axle. After limping into Sioux Falls late one Sunday evening, we faced the prospect of finding a good mechanic that could fit us in on short notice. The good folks at Graham Tires got us in, fixed the axle and had us back on the road before 10:00. Great customer care and good service, at a very reasonable cost.
All through Missouri and Arkansas we were either running just ahead or behind the storms that generated the deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma. We stopped early a couple times to allow the weather to pass and praised God for the earlier delays that kept us out of the storms. Leaving Memphis, we ran into torrential rains that forced us to stop for the night in Mississippi instead of making it to Alabama like we had planned for the night. The next day, we continued our journey and had suffered a blow out on the trailer we were pulling. Had we undergone this the night before instead of stopping it would have been very dangerous. A kind gentleman stopped to help us change the tire even though he was on his way to the hospital to see his wife and the new baby they had that was born the night before. How grateful we were for his help and the blessing of meeting him.
After a day’s delay finding new trailer tires we continued our journey. Because of leaving late, we could not make it into Jacksonville on schedule. We stopped for the night chafing at yet another delay. How foolish we were. Continuing the next day, we had just left the interstate when a tire blew on our vehicle. This was unexpected, as they were brand new and we had not run over anything on the road. We found out later it was a defective tire. After 3 hours we managed, with the help of a tow truck operator, to get the tire off and a spare on. We limped back to the nearest town for a new tire and then headed to Jacksonville, arriving about four in the afternoon.
Now we were really frustrated with it being late on a Friday Memorial Day weekend. We had missed meeting with our Realtor due to arriving three days later than scheduled and the holiday. I was really not looking forward to spending extended time in a hotel after a long, exhausting trip. On the way into town, we had seen a sign advertising a home for rent. We called the number, met with the owners (who had advertised just hours earlier) and moved in the next day. Only God could work out a place to stay within 24 hours of arriving in a city. While temporary, we are grateful to have a place to stay that is convenient and time to look for a permanent space for Ta Ethne to grow, as well as for our family to live. God has shown us His timing, His blessings and taught us a valuable lesson of trusting in Him.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

The Relocation Update

Followers of Ta Ethne have been praying for us as we have been contemplating moving the ministry. After much prayer and contemplation, we have chosen Jacksonville, Fl as the new home (at least for the foreseeable future) for Ta Ethne. We plan on moving in two phases, the first to be completed by June 1st, and the second phase by the end of the summer. Please continue to pray for us as we make this transition to our new headquarters, and keep reading our blog for updates.