Me at my empty house in Emporia.

   It has been two weeks now since my wife and I packed up everything we own and moved to Topeka, KS to start this new and exciting chapter in our life here with Cafe Barnabas. It was such a blessing having so many people from Emporia show up to help us pack or simply say goodbye. It was even more exciting and humbling to have people show up, some of which I had never met, to help us move into our apartment in Topeka. It was, in a small way, a nod from God that He has us in His grasp and His will so He will provide all our needs.

   This does not mean that everything has been a wonderful time of transition. Transition is hard as many of you may know. Having to do this with a 20 month old? That was new for my wife and I. While Caleb wanted to help – his help usually consisted of unpacking faster then we could pack. Combine that with all the changes of address, finding daycare, getting a bank, setting up internet (because how could we live without it :D), turning on the power, etc. things were stressful and there were times where I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least. My wife and I were so busy with all the doing we almost lost sight of the being. Thankfully God allowed us to see that being there for our son and for one another was more important than how many boxes we packed or if we got it all up to Topeka on the first try.

   Life in Topeka has been a bit of a blur. My wife has started meetings at Jardine as she will be teaching elementary music this fall, I have been working on raising support, and my son…well every day at least 3 times a day we watch Cars 3 because that is his jam. We are slowly adjusting to life here and are taking a moment to thank God for all He has done to bring us here. We know that God has got us right where He wants us. We are so excited to be a part of the Cafe Barnabas family and we truly feel like it is a family. We enjoyed spending time with some of the volunteers at our Skyzone event on the 6th.  We are excited to get to know more of the volunteers and to begin to work and share life with the students and others in the community who also call Topeka home.

   Some things are still unknown for us. Our house in Emporia was supposed to close on the 31st but at the last minute the buyer backed out. While this is incredibly frustrating it is out of our control and I know that God is still good, and His plan is for us to have an abundant life here in Topeka. Amidst some doubt and frustration on my part and honestly, some unrighteous anger, God softened my heart and allowed me to see that sometimes even in the midst of difficult circumstances He is always close. Sometimes we may think that God is not there for us because we can’t see Him amidst the darkness in our lives. Sometimes we can’t see because we don’t really want to see but other times it is because God simply wants us to trust Him. He has us under His wing. It may be dark under there but we can know two key truths in that situation: 1 – Sometimes God is so near to us that the darkness may be more to do with being in the shadow of His wing rather that being in some dark place far from Him and 2 – if we are under His wing then He is there protecting us and holding us up until we are ready to step out in faith and do His will.

   So things are going well here and although it has been a bit of a rough transition and there are still many things that are unknown (our house selling, getting to full support, how this new teaching job will be for my wife, a new daycare and new friends for Caleb, and many other variables) I know that God is good.  He has a plan to prosper us and not to harm us and He will provide all our needs. We will not be consumed by our circumstances because of the Lord’s great love.

  I look forward to our life and ministry here in Topeka and I would love to meet / talk to any of my new local friends and family. Until then, I leave you with this word from the Lord.  

   “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘“The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him’” Lamentations 3:22-24