We have some exciting news to share and an amazing story to go along with it! To begin though, I want to share two verses that have been my "life verses” throughout the last several months.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV).
During these past two years, Sam and I could sit around for days and dream about the “ideal” location for our family with the perfect church, and the perfect house, with the perfect schools, and the perfect community. But here is the thing, nothing is perfect, and so, these were often just dreams. We prayed fervently that we were not seeking our own comforts but truly being open-handed to where the Lord was calling us. In this last year, we had several amazing churches we were looking at and developing relationships with (and we are so thankful for all of those relationships). Through it all, I clung to these verses - that God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or imagine. And God has done just that: He has transformed our lives throughout this residency and throughout this job search. We are stronger and closer to Him than we have ever been before. We are able to see the enemy’s attacks and stand guard against them because of the power of Jesus Christ in us. We began the residency with the “ideal” job in mind, and God, through His grace, completely and radically changed that vision to the glory of His name.
It all started a few months ago. We had plans to spend our anniversary/babymoon in San Diego, CA, but because of the abruption and a high-risk pregnancy we decided to keep it simple. We dropped off the kids at Gma's and stayed at a Bed & Breakfast just down the road in the small town of Salado, TX. We spent two days reading, relaxing, praying, eating, and dreaming. In fact both of us said to one another, "Wouldn't it be cool if there was a solid church here in this small town that needed to hire a worship leader?" We continued to dream and both of us loved the idea of living in the small town of Salado. The following weekend we were at a house show for Flatland Holler (check them out, they are amazing!), and I, Dusty, overheard a conversation about Belton. I interrupted the conversation and asked if they were from Belton and began telling them how we had just spent the following weekend close by in Salado dreaming about moving there. Brett, who had mentioned Belton, had a shocked expression on his face and began to tell us one of his mentors just “planted” a church in Salado the previous year. He put us into contact with the pastor of the church. We were excited but knew they were not actually looking for a worship pastor. Sam met with Jason, the lead pastor, and things began to unfold. Crazily enough, the week we were connected to Jason, the current worship pastor at the church came to Jason and said he needed help. Sam and I listened to several podcasts of sermons, read through their website multiple times, and scheduled to lead worship there one Sunday in April. When we drove away after that Sunday, we marveled at God revealing to us His solid church in the small community of Salado.
We continued to be in constant prayer as well as in communication with the church. On May 6th, they voted to bring Sam on as their worship and media pastor!! He will begin at a part-time position with the intention of hiring on full-time when the church is able. And we are able to take a part-time position because in March (when everything began) the Lord gave us some very unexpected financial support. We prayed over this money and strongly felt the Lord telling us to use it in order to be a part of a church plant. All of this happened within weeks! It has been a very quick, very God-evident decision. In addition to all of the things that fell in place at the church, we were able to get Sawyer into a school that usually has a wait-list but had one opening because someone had to move. We are also under contract for an awesome house (pending inspections - if everything goes through and we get the house, look out for another update on just how cool that whole process has been). Through these past two months, we have been in awe of how everything has been orchestrated. We are looking forward to getting back to our roots of being in the country, living off the land, and teaching our children about cultivating the earth. We have big dreams for our time and ministry in Salado. The other stories of the staff members of this church are just as crazy as ours and simply cannot be explained outside of God’s providence. We are humbled to be a part of this church and the mission the Lord has placed on it. Our prayer is for the second half of the Ephesians passage: that God be glorified in the church in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.