Day three as we head into Columbia, MO for the night. It amazes me that God sends these little confirmations as we travel. Today, right as we crossed the Mississippi River Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Follow” started playing and I smiled.
Our first day on the road was like a scene from National Lampoon’s Vacation with me (Darian) in the Chevy Chase role of Clark Griswold. We left five hours after planned with every inch of space in both trucks, the van, and the car filled. We even had stuff tied under the cars. Before we even got out of Maryland I had lost Edith. We pulled off an exit and she ended up on a narrow country road with no way to turn around. It took us over an hour to find each other again but then we were on our way. Around midnight, I was exhausted after days of packing, loading and saying goodbyes to people we love and I pulled into a closed toll booth on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I had to back the 26 foot truck that was pulling our van out of the toll. The trailer almost jackknifed and blocked another lane. Short story is that I can now add to my resume that I singlehandedly closed down a large portion of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Needless to say after that we stopped shortly to get some much needed rest.
The second day of our ‘faith journey” across the United States was much better than our first. Sleet and snow slowed us down but did not stop us. We cannot begin to say in words how good it was to see our dear friends, Bob and Clair Tibbetts, once we arrived in Indiana. They had a delicious meal ready for us, encouraging conversation, and nice warm beds. The next morning, after Clair’s delicious breakfast, Bob directed me while backing out the truck so I did not have a repeat of the turnpike fiasco in their neighborhood. Then, with warm hugs and goodbyes, we were back on the road.
Woke up this morning on the air mattress in our bedroom and took this picture. I’m (Darian) calling it “Goodbye Old Friend”. The boys and I have lived in this house longer than any in our lives. It has truly been our home. Today we move forward into a journey of faith. Home is in the heart of God and never in brick or stone. However, I will miss waking up every morning with my old friend.
What can we say about our last Sunday? It was wonderful and it was sad. We have run the gamut of so many emotions. Worship was incredible. What an honor to baptize Mike Vest on my last Sunday as pastor. It was a powerful moment. He represents so many that God has transformed. I preached on Jesus’ last wish of unity and then we took communion. After church they had a reception for us at Costas, a perfect location because it is Dundalk. There was so much love in the room. We stayed to the very last moment until we had to go pick up the UHauls and then we got in the van and cried. We are going to miss so many. These people have been my (Darian’s) flock for seven years and family to all of us. Dundalk EPC family, we love you, it has been humbling and an honor to minister alongside you and be your pastor; we will miss you.
Dear Friends and Family,
As many of you already know, after seven years of God’s gracious use of us here at Dundalk EPC, with Darian as pastor, we will be leaving at the end of this month. This decision has come after months of intense prayer and seeking of God’s will for our life and our ministry, including two separate “silent retreats” and a short sabbatical. God blessed our ministry here in more ways than we could ever recount, but He has clearly spoken that it is time for us to move forward into a new calling.
The exciting thing is that God has told us to take a bold step of faith into an amazing ministry in Greeley, CO. Look over the different pages here to see more about who we are, who we will be working with, and what God is calling us into. If you feel God calling you to assist us in our calling please hit the donate button on the right or, if you would prefer to send your response via email, we have included our email addresses. If you would like to mail your gift in that would be great also. As of today, we have no earthly resources coming in after November 30th except those which you may choose to give to bless our ministry.
Please take the time to look over what God has called us to in Colorado and pray about how He may be leading you to partner with us, whether monetarily or as a prayer warrior for our ministry. We are excited about how God is going to be glorified in the years to come as we tell the story of how He moved a family with a disabled son across the country, sustained them, and worked through their obedience to transform a community with the gospel of Christ as the crucified and risen Lord.
We are excited about your partnering with us in this amazing ministry that God has called us to, and look forward to reporting all of the wonderful blessings that God is bring forth as we set out on this journey.
In the Grip of His Grace,
Darian, Edith, Matthew, Jonathan, and Micah Burns