Hello Heartland Families,
In 1 Samuel 3, we find a story of Eli and his disciple Samuel. Samuel woke up several times during the night hearing someone call his name, “Samuel!” Initially, Samuel thinks it is Eli, but it was actually God. Eli advises Samuel that the next time he hears it to respond with, “speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Verse 10 tells us, “The Lord came and stood there, calling as the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’” What’s interesting is that the Lord ended up asking Samuel to share some difficult information with Eli. The Lord’s direction for Samuel was challenging, but he responded with faithfulness and obedience.
Recently, Becca and I have heard some difficult challenges from the Lord as well. First, we sense that our time at Heartland has come to an end. Second, we don’t have clarity to what God has next for us. But, like Samuel, we have distinctly heard God’s direction, and now we are doing our best to live in obedience, as difficult as that can be at times.
When we came to Heartland in 2016, we fully intended to raise our family here, watch our kids graduate from Medina, and serve at Heartland indefinitely. In 2017, we clearly felt God calling us to adopt and to be open to any birth mom who would choose us, regardless of the child’s race. Overnight, our family became multi-racial. We now feel that God is calling us to do the best thing for our family by moving to a more diverse community and church. Our family is actually becoming even more diverse, as we are in the process of another adoption!
We would ask for your prayers as, like Samuel, we feel somewhat in the dark. We know God is asking us to take a leap of faith but it’s always scary when you don’t know where your feet will land. Ultimately, we know that God has all the details figured out and he has an amazing plan for our family. Leaving this community is not easy, but we don’t believe that God calls us to a life of comfort and ease, but rather He calls us to become more like Him. Our hope is that moving to a more diverse community will not only be good from a social and cultural standpoint for our family but will help us become more like Him.
We would also ask that you would continue to pray for Heartland, the Servant Leader Team, and the staff during this transition. We know we have a difficult task ahead in finding a church community that we love as much as Heartland. A large part of that is because Dave has set the bar so high as a lead pastor. We are unbelievably grateful for how he and Melody lead with humility and love. We truly believe that the best is yet to come for Heartland and look forward to cheering you on as you continue to make a significant impact in Medina and around the world.