Four years ago, when we moved to Portland, we promised ourselves that we would never make a decision about where we lived based on the church in the area. Having gone through some difficulties and learning some hard lessons we thought that was a good decision... a wise choice. - We didn't realize we were challenging God.
We have learned what it means to be Christians at PUMP... how to trust God, how to love people unconditionally, how to worship without shame, how to invite people to Jesus' banquet table, how to see that God is alive and active in this world...
So less than a year ago when Cascade announced it's closing there was one thing we talked about that night... we love PUMP church and want to stay in Portland. And for the last several months the concentration of our job search has been in PDX. But the economy is what it is, and to date, there have been only "Thanks but no thanks" letters and a quiet phone.
Where do we go from here? Further into God's plan for us. And right now we know that He is providing for us the way He always has. We are blessed to have two sets of parents who have opened their homes to us. And we find ourselves humbly accepting... a little puzzled at the fact that it is so far away from PUMP... but trusting that God knows what we need, both physically and spiritually.
So on Monday morning we will roll out of Portland for a time, we pray, and head to live with my parents in Marysville, WA. Anyone who knows my parents and has been to their house knows that they are empty nesters... sort of. - When they moved into that house they had a dedication party. The house was prayed over and promised to be a place where God would be glorified and family and friends would be welcome. And that is what it has been. So it's our turn to occupy the Casparek basement, to enjoy the blessings God has given to them, and to see what God has in store for us next. We pray every day... sometimes every hour, sometimes every minute... that God will open doors for us in Portland... because we love PUMP and the impact we are making on Northeast Portland, and on each other. (God showed us, didn't He?)
One thing we have learned is that God goes before us, is with us, and looks forward to us realizing He was there all the time. That he really was, is and always will be... So while we aren't waiting for work to fall from the sky, we are trusting in Him, that He guides our hearts and so He guides our decisions.
We have learned a lot and look forward to this new adventure for our family.
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