Philip set the trip odometer on July 1, 2017 as we left Falls Creek in Davis, OK with three kids, two dogs, a van, a trailer, and a mission. Exactly one year later, he turned it off as we pulled into the parking lot of CenterPoint Community Church in Wethersfield, Connecticut. It was one year of meeting new people, one year of learning first hand about ministry in New England, one year of reaching out to meet the needs of pastors and churches in the area, one year of homeschooling, one year of hard work, and one year of adventures. If you would have told me a few years ago that I would spend an entire year living in a trailer with my family, I would have thought you were crazy, but God has plans that are often far beyond ours. When we left Oklahoma, we thought we knew exactly what God was asking us to do, even if it did sound crazy to most people. The truth is, we could not ever have imagined the doors He would open and the things He would ask us to do. Accepting His call to make a difference in New England is the most difficult and the most exciting and rewarding decision we have ever made.
The interesting thing about God’s timing is that He gave us exactly one year to follow Him with reckless abandon into the unknown. He provided for us every step of the way even when we thought it wasn’t possible. He gave us grace and compassion as we struggled to understand some things and as we eagerly anticipated others. He opened doors and forged relationships with people from all walks of life and allowed us to become friends with many. Then, on July 1, 2018, exactly one year after He sent us on this journey, He gave us a new home, right in the heart of where He wants us to be.
As we learned more about the ministry needs in New England, God made it clear that we were to stay. We were to find a church where we were needed and join Him where He was already at work. Philip preached twice in June at CenterPoint in Wethersfield, and our hearts were instantly drawn there. It is about halfway between New York City and Boston. It sits just south of Hartford and not far from Providence, Rhode Island. The church is located in a strategic place where only a handful of evangelical churches serve eight or nine towns and about a quarter million people. This church came close to closing its doors in August of last year, but a few faithful people listened to God’s voice and refused to let that happen. They worked tirelessly for almost a year while praying that God would send them a leader. One year later, He did. He sent us, and we are so grateful. These faithful people are now our dear friends and our greatest allies in the fight to bring light into the darkness here in Connecticut. They have found a pastor, and we have found home.
So, what will become of Radiant Wild Ministry? The answer is “more than we ever dreamed”. We have much to do in the town of Wethersfield and the surrounding towns that have little to no evangelical presence. We have moved into an apartment in Rocky Hill, and our kids will start school there next week. We have church members from Cromwell, Newington, Southington, and other towns nearby that don’t have enough churches spreading the gospel. CenterPoint is working to be visible in the community and the surrounding towns as we seek to make connections and build relationships with people. We have much to do!
Philip is also working with the BCNE to plant more churches in this area and to build more partnerships with churches in the south. The work is huge, but the resources are small. We need your help. We need your prayers. Anything that you give to Radiant Wild will be going to help us find pastors, churches, and others who can help in the ministry across New England. It will go toward bringing people to see the work we are doing and the work that our pastor friends are doing all across these states. It will be used to minister to the pastors here and to their families. It is imperative that we keep ministers on the field here and that we give them all the help and encouragement we can. It will also be used to help us. Living expenses are high, and as much as the church would like to pay Philip full time, it just isn’t possible. Building partnerships is essential. Consider this your invitation to come see us! We’ll help you with the details and plan to show you how you and your church can get involved in reaching New England.
Please keep praying for us. Give if you can (there’s a tab on the website). Plan a mission trip (there’s a blog coming about that so keep watching). Pray for Tait and Kambry as they start their junior and freshman year at Rocky Hill High School. They have both already had a great time at band camp and seem to be enjoying this new adventure. Pray for Ransom. He flew back to Oklahoma a few weeks ago and just started his sophomore year at Cameron University in Lawton. Pray for Philip and I as we try to balance everything and do as much good as possible. Pray that God will provide for us financially and that He will bless our church beyond measure. Pray for the people of CenterPoint and for the other churches in New England. Pray for the ministry partners we met over the past year and for their churches and ministries in New England. If you’ve never read about them, read some older blog post. God is Good! Thank you for following us and supporting us. We hope that soon you can come and see (really, it’s only a few miles).