Our fall trip to the northeast began in early September. We made a slow trip up and made new church contacts in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Virginia. Our first scheduled event was in Maine, but we had a little time to get there. Rhode Island was a state we had not been to over the summer. It was the perfect opportunity to see Philip’s Aunt Gloria who lives there, especially because his Aunt Jacque and Uncle Sonny were also visiting. We got to spend time with all of them, and the kids were absolutely thrilled when Grandma was there, too. We got to share with family about our ministry, and were blessed by this time God granted to rest from a long journey and be energized by people who love us.
Of course, we also had work to do. While we were in Rhode Island, God provided an opportunity to make new friends at Middletown Baptist Church. This church allowed us to park in their parking lot while we were there, and we got to know many of the people and pray for them and support them as they make the transition of searching for a new pastor. We helped them on a church work day and learned about their heart for their city and state. We also learned how difficult it is to search for a pastor in New England. There simply aren’t enough of them, and many come but don’t stay long. We had heard similar stories over the summer in other New England states. God increased our desire to minister to the minsters. Many of them are hurting. They are overworked, underpaid, and stretched too thin. They have big jobs to do, but burnout is inevitable in many situations. This has been a matter of prayer for us from the beginning. Providing training for pastors and helping the people of the church to come alongside their pastors and find their own place in ministry is vitally important. Helping churches through times of transition is also pressing, but seeing people come together even in difficult circumstances and work to make sure that people have a place to worship and learn about God is inspiring.
On Sunday morning, we worshiped and had a time of fellowship with the wonderful people of MBC. Tait even played the drums with the praise team. We loved spending time with them in Rhode Island, and we definitely plan to go back. Please pray for them as they search for a pastor. Pray for many other pastorless churches in New England as well. Pray that God will raise up people to do his work, and pray that when he does there will be enough training and support for each of them. Pray for us as we seek to be part of the solution. Revival is coming!