Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Natchez Trace

Part of the reason we started this blog was to share some of the amazing stories that God has written with our lives. This one is about how we came to know Natchez Trace, the church that sponsored us to go to Brazil as missionaries in the first place - the church that has stood by us over these past two years of uncertainty.

John and I were baptized and married the same day in 1996. (I'll save the details for another story time in the future.) We were part of a little Church of Christ in a little town in a little corner of Texas. We were thrilled about our conversion and wanted to share what we had experienced with anyone who would listen. After hearing a missionary to Brazil speak to the congregation and solicit more able bodies to come to South America, John and I were ready to sign up. The missionary, Alan Dutton, put us in touch with the Continent of Great Cities. In the meantime, the elders at that little church where we were baptized decided that we were not missionary material and demanded that we not pursue it. We left there and, to make a long story short, went to the Continent of Great Cities for training.

There was a team forming in Nashville so we moved here to be close to them. The Continent of Great Cities put us in touch with Natchez Trace, who helped us financially to get settled in Nashville. We went there to thank the generous people who entrusted part of their budget to us, and we never left. They became our sponsoring congregation and have supported us throughout eight months of training for the mission field, three years on the field, and now two years back in the States. Part of these past two years has consisted of nothing more than healing and part has been employed at YES.

The really amazing part of all this is that they are a relatively small congregation whose contribution was not enough to fully support a missionary family, but they challenged themselves to dig deep and make it happen. That and the fact that they believed in us when we were rookie Christians.

Here they are after a Sunday service, each with his sack lunch. Not really, but I'm sure they sacrificed more than a few lunches out with friends to send the Gospel to Brazil. Kudos to you, Natchez Trace. So here seems to be where our paths diverge a bit. They are no longer in the position to fully support us. In spite of that, they have agreed to partially support us and, for that, we are thankful. We look forward to visiting on future furloughs and eating sack lunches with our friends.

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