We just sent this email out…so if you missed it:
First a quick clarification: we will be participants in the program that Chris is starting, not leading it, or on staff with his organization. At the end of the program we have no idea what we will do next.
We thought the next thing to talk about is why we are doing all of this. It’s a good question: Why would we leave New Life Ranch, which is a great community, stable, financially secure, in the woods, we have great friends, good jobs, our work impacts people…it really is a blessed life.
However, despite all the good things about living and working at NLR is time for us to move on to the next thing. Our reasons are varied…but related.
I have had some unsettledness…or perhaps restlessness about being at NLR. I have always been drawn to serving those with less…the poor, the widows, the orphans, but in truth have never really done that. I have a strong desire to see how serving those with less can be combined with my interest in communication, business, marketing and economics. I also do have a (hopefully not selfish) desire to do something new…to live somewhere new. I have lived in Siloam Springs most of my life, and Beth and I have never really known anything but NLR.
I haven’t felt the same restlessness Ben has been feeling and quite frankly, I wasn’t ready to leave this place. Ever. But as we have asked some hard questions I have learned to let go of what is comfortable & safe & am learning to embrace wherever the Lord is leading us next. It has not been easy, but so many things make sense about this move for us. I am also looking forward to figuring out what roles counseling and my desire to serve through administration should have in my everyday life. These are two areas that have always seen so in conflict with each other, but I know they don’t have to be.
We see this as a chance to do several things:
- Explore our passions and talents and see how they can be used by God in places other than NLR.
- Serve, live with, and learn from new people who are not like us. We live in a nice middle class Christian bubble. We are excited about the diversity of people we will interact with.
- Study and learn about some important ideas, like how the church should interact with and serve the people around it.
- It’s a chance to be a part of forming a new ministry and organization which has potential to impact a lot of people over time.
Those are the big ones. In the end our decision came down to this: Staying at NLR would be safe and comfortable. We would have continued to make an impact and things would be good. Moving to Tulsa and joining this program is unknown, stretching, very uncomfortable, and a big step of faith…but it is also a chance to see what God can do in our lives and the lives of people around us when we just go for something we feel called to, even if it does not really make sense. So that is what we are doing…
Thanks for being interested in our journey!
Ben & Beth