For months now, you’ve joined myself and our church plant team in praying that I would find a job in Northwest Arkansas. Thank you for your prayers. God has heard our prayers and answered them! In the month of September, I accepted a job, packed up our house and moved our family to Fayetteville, Arkansas.
In all of this my wife, Hilary, and I have been reminded that it is not a building that makes a church. The church is made up of people. We are the church. And our local churches are brimming with men and women that are ready and willing to serve, send and receive on a moment’s notice. Our local churches are filled with men and women who have taken the example of Jesus and the Biblical call to be imitators of Him seriously.
In Paul’s letters to believers, he says over and over again: “I praise God for you.” Hilary and I have really identified with Paul’s heart here. We feel the love and service of Christ Jesus demonstrated daily by the believers around us, and even more so as you’ve come alongside us in this move. In prayer, yes, and also in the checklist necessities of “Things To Do When Moving”.
In Manhattan, our family of believers at Vintage Faith Church gathered with us to load up the truck and clean our house. Earlier in the week, we had meals cooked for us, boxes given, farewell visits and more. We were blown away by the way our brothers and sisters at Vintage served us and sent us over that week.
Driving into Fayetteville was no different. Our family here (and some family from out of town) greeted us with kindness and service and enthusiasm. Gathering early that morning with donuts and cleaning supplies and strength. Our truck was unloaded and our new home cleaned within a few hour’s time. The last week that we’ve been here we’ve received meals and help in decorating and settling into our home.
We don’t have words deep enough or strong enough to thank each and every one of you (here and there and everywhere) for this.
My wife and I have been prayerfully considering moving with this church plant for 5 years. We’ve been praying for a job for me in Northwest Arkansas daily for at least eight months. What if we praised God for this job, and all His other gifts, for the same amount of time that we prayed for it? This is what we are trying to do. Join us in praising God for answered prayers!
Join us also, as we continue to pray for jobs in Northwest Arkansas for Jeff and Devin. God has provided and He will provide. Regardless of where you find yourself today, you can join us in the same work we are doing: We are seeking out more of Jesus in our daily lives and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through our lives, in word and action.
We don’t know exactly what the next few months and years will hold. We know this: Jesus Christ is Lord and besides Him, there is no other Savior. We know that we can rely on the perfect Savior to guide us and help us. To rest here, in this knowledge, is a good place to be.
• Jesus Changes Lives •
Growing up, I wasn’t really taught Biblical things or how to pray. I grew up in a house that didn’t really have a peaceful environment. Majority of my youth my mother was in an abusive relationship, which caused my childhood to be full of fear and worry. In the midst of my youth I remember learning about God — from reading passages in the Bible to my great grandmother, to doing Easter speeches and singing about Jesus rising from the dead. Yea these things were nice but I really didn’t know what I was reading about or singing. I just knew that God was powerful and that He answered prayers. So I prayed often, praying for peace in my household and for the horrible situation that I was living in to come to an end.
When I entered high school I met my good friend Ricky. Ricky was an individual. He never failed at being himself — he had certain freedom that I longed for. One day he invited me to church with him, I always felt as if something was missing and I longed for a deeper relationship with God so I went. I really enjoyed the sermon and found myself drawn to the lifestyle that people at his church lived. After telling him how much I enjoyed the sermon he gave me a video to watch titled “My Soul Is Not For Sale”. It talked about how your soul is destined for hell if you do not have Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Now all of a sudden those Easter Sundays began to make sense. The horrible things in life began to make sense that there is no peace away from the Lord. Jesus is the only way to be with the Lord and have everlasting life with Him. That same night I called Ricky and told him I wanted to get saved and how do I do it? And he said you can get saved right now….all you have to do is believe in your heart and declare with your words that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for all of your sins on the cross. So I did just that! I remember not long after getting saved Ricky gifted me with my first Bible. I began reading and breaking things down and learning about things that I never knew and that were never taught to me. I began to work on forgiving others because I realized that I was forgiven and that God is love.
I often reflect back on those years of my life — it’s comforting knowing that God was strategic about propelling me towards Him. I prayed every night about my mom’s abusive relationship and ultimately didn’t get what I prayed for until years later but I believe that the Lord knew that those hard times of my childhood would later help me to cling to the Him and ultimately trust Him. And getting saved made all of it come together. I am not a perfect person, I still struggle with things and I am constantly learning what is God’s best for my life and how to trust Him. But what makes everything in life so much more amazing is that even on the worst day of my life I still have the God of the universe on my side. I have the love of Jesus transforming me every day. I do not have to live a life of fear or be defined by how I grew up. Every day the Holy Spirit works to make me new and to transform my mind by the reading of the word. A favorite scripture of mine that has touched my heart and been encouraging to my walk with God is Psalms 139:9&10, “If I take wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me. For me, it’s amazing knowing that whether I am here or there or whether times are good or bad that God has been and will be with me guiding me. Because I am saved and Jesus died for my sins I am able to rest and strive for a relationship with the Lord. It blows my mind, and I am so grateful for His overall presence in my life.
A Word From The Pastors
Thank you for reading this and partnering with us here in Fayetteville, AR. As we mentioned above, it is good to have both pastors in the same city again. Please let us know how we can pray for you! Any good partnership is truly a two-way street and we would love the opportunity to pray for you.
Pray faithfully with us:
- That God would provide jobs in Northwest Arkansas for church plant members.
- That God would give us a space to meet in on Sunday mornings.
- That God would help us to continue to live on a mission: connecting with and serving the people of Fayetteville through Christ’s love.
- That many would hear the Gospel, receive salvation, and be baptized.
Building Lives Centered on the Gospel,
Alex & Cody