I suppose its time to let the cat out of the bag so to say. Last night we announced that we would be making a transition from Hope Community Church, where we have been really involved for the last 3 years to a Church across town called Milestone.
I have to say that this is the most difficult decision we have ever had to make in my life. Even harder than packing up and moving to Springfield MO from Susanville CA.
Its really funny because it was really easy to talk about until the time came. Last night made it real, before that it haddent really sunk yet. I had full intentions of announcing it myself to all the kids (I thought I could remain composure, right), but when the leaders meeting came around I could barely get words out. It was the ugliest cry I have experienced in quite some time. Even now as I sit in the coffee shop Im tearing up.
Its hard to put into words how much I will miss being a part of theBurn and Hope as a whole. Over the last three years we have been though some hard times and some good times. Made a lot of really good friends and lost some all at the same time. The people we have met at Hope and the friendships we have built will last much longer than this single chapter in our lives, but at the same time stepping our of the norm hurts.
I have learned a lot from Justin and the way he handles things. He is a great role model for anyone to emulate, I consider him one of my very best fiends. He loves students and has a passion for seeing their lives changed for the better. I am very blessed to have been able to serve with him. This goes many of the leaders at theBurn who have put up with me over these last few years. The friendships that have been built will continue.
I pray that as we close this tiny chapter in our life that Amanda and I's hearts for the students of theBurn, and this city will extend much farther than our departure from Hope.
As for the students, I have learned so much about life from their struggles and successes. Some of them I have watched grow up (it seems that way at least). I can truly say that the idea of not seeing them every week breaks my heart. At the same time I am proud to say that I believe God is going to use my family and I in a unique way elsewhere.
A little about where we are going. The Church is called Milestone (see the link up top) it is about 5 weeks old and meets in a school gym. As of now there are a lot of stuff in the works that I plan on being a big part of. I am praying that this was the right choice for my family. I really feel like it is and so does Amanda (that counts for something right).
To all my friends at Hope and theBurn, you have made an impact on not just my life, but my wife and kids as well. You are all outstanding role models for my children to look up to. I cannot exaggerate the impact you have all made on my life. I am a MUCH better person for having known all of you. I look forward to continued friendships even in our departure. You will allways be like family to me.