I’m writing this update at 2:30 MDT, so in about 20 hours, we (Todd, Carissa, & Brode) will have been in the Denver area for a month. That’s kind of hard to believe, and it marks a good time for an update.

First, for the “physical” stuff. I’ve already mentioned that Danielle Fisher accepted a position as a labor and delivery nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver. They deliver more babies there than anywhere else in Colorado, so she should be plenty busy. She begins orientation in mid-May, so she and Ryan are moving out here, Lord willing, in the first week of May. They will just have closed on the sale of their condo in Taylors, SC, and hopefully they’ll be closing on the purchase of a house in Brighton. They made an offer on a short-sale house about a month ago and have learned that the house is in the final stages of negotiation with the bank. So, that’s looking very promising, and they would appreciate your prayers on their behalf for the finalization of this process. We are still waiting on word from the bank regarding our own offer on a short sale house. It’s been two months for us since we made the offer, and the Lord has not provided another potential house for us as we’ve continued to look. So, we’re praying and waiting on the Lord to accomplish his purpose for a permanent place for us to live. Carissa has something of a working interview today and then another tomorrow with a different dentist. We’re grateful that it appears that God is providing a job for her, and we’re praying for guidance and wisdom for making a good decision if there is more than one opportunity.

Next, relationships. More than almost anything, we are praying for and hoping for relationships in which the Lord will use us to further his kingdom out here, and hopefully with some people who would want to be part of this new church plant. We’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with other pastors out here and with Christians in other churches, and that has been an encouragement and help to us. We’re hoping to be a blessing to them as well. We’ve also followed up with some contacts that we received from other people, but so far the Lord has not led any of those people to join up with us. Carissa has met a couple of people while doing fill-in dental hygiene work in some different dental offices, and it looks like we may have the opportunity to have some further contact and relationships with these people, so please pray for God’s blessing on these relationships. This first month has been challenging from the standpoint of wanting to get off and running while we’ve also had to spend time just getting settled in and waiting on the Lord. Please pray for diligence in the work we have to do for now, for diligence in seeking out relationships, and for God’s grace and blessing in both efforts. I guess I should also say regarding our own family that we are doing well. Carissa had her first birthday away from the rest of her family a few days ago, but we still had a good time as our own small family. Having left family, friends, and church family, we’re more thankful for each other than ever. And thank the Lord we haven’t gotten tired of each other after spending a lot of time together just as a family. We think we’ve gained some ground with Brode. He had a very hard transition for the first week or so, but he’s been doing much better the last couple of weeks. Now we’re trying to get him potty trained which is another “exciting” venture.

Lastly, spiritual matters, or what God is doing in our own hearts. As I’ve already alluded to, we’re continuing to learn the proper tension of patience and diligence, contentment with our present circumstances and pursuit of what we think God has set before us. We need God’s grace and personal growth for both. We can certainly say that God is continuing to instruct us and encourage us through his Word and by his providence in our lives. In particular, several passages from my personal Bible reading schedule have been a tremendous blessing from the voice of God to my heart. I recently have benefited greatly from reading Psalms 93-99, which speak of God’s kingship over all of creation. They present a powerful motivation for spreading the gospel of Christ to all people. In particular, Psalm 96 tells us, “Tell of [the LORD’s] salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples” (2b-3) because “all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens” (4). This Psalm also commands us, “Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns!'” (10a), and it gives us another reason–“[The LORD] will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.” This is good stuff. I’ve also started reading 2 Corinthians, and there couldn’t be a better portion of Scripture for exhortation and encouragement when it comes to serving the Lord. All this to say that God continues to minister to us through his Word, and as we also receive his provision and guidance, we know that he is continuing to grow us and prepare us for more effective ministry for his glory. He has strengthened our faith that he’ll always provide us with everything we need in Christ.

So, thanks to you who have been praying for us!!  Here’s a summary of some things that we are relying on the Lord for and for which we’d appreciate your joining in prayer with us. 1) Our housing situation (Davises and Fishers), 2) The Fishers’ move, 3) A permanent job for Carissa, 4) Diligence in “office work,” 5) Diligence in seeking out relationships, 6) People to share Christ with, and for them to receive him, 7) People to disciple, and for them to grow, 8) People to serve with us, 9) People who are praying about moving out here to help, 10) Spiritual growth for us as individuals, families, and a team, 11) God’s continued guidance. We are experiencing God’s help and are more aware than ever before of our continual need for his grace and mercy. And this is good because we are not “sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” (2Co. 3:5), and “the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2Co. 4:7). Our prayer is that “as grace extends to more and more peope it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God” (2Co. 4:15).

We trust that all of you are experiencing the greatness and goodness of God in Christ on your behalf too.