Ps Bill Johnson shared on the first Sunday we attended Bethel. His encouragement around family was very affirming:
- Expose your children to the anointing
- Expose your children to the Word of God
- Surround your children in settings of community
- Expose your children to world need
We felt this is exactly what this year ahead will be for us all, including the girls. We have been blessed by our spiritual heritage. This year ahead will build even more encounters and experiences that will enlarge us all and build platforms for the girls that will change their outlook of what is possible.
A friend encouraged us before we left, “keep your eyes open with every interaction you have with people as God will be in them.” We have seen it from a genuine car salesman in San Francisco to meeting some great friends in church. It is amazing to hear the stories of faith, risk and the pursuit of more amongst people across all continents. Dreams, visions and prophetic confirmations are consistent amongst many of the families we have met. This has united our hearts immediately as we launch into a year ordained by God’s orchestration and leading. We had a BBQ last night with a family from South Africa, Switzerland and Texas. Each story unique yet similar. God was drawing each family for a fresh and rich encounter of His love and grace.
Without sounding over-spiritual, there is a different atmosphere here in Redding than what we experienced in San Francisco. SF is a beautiful city. Architecture, the bay, the bridges, the food….. Awesome. Yet as soon as we drove into Redding, whilst aesthetically more rural, it carries a peace difficult to describe. I do pray Newcastle becomes so touched by God’s glory that people can feel happy just being in the city.
Whilst we have seen some amazing favour over the past two weeks with finance transfers occurring when needed, car identification and purchasing plus a smooth home resettlement occurring event free, we have had to adapt to a few changes we weren’t anticipating:
- In a parking lot, we returned from having breakfast to find our car was hit by another car. No note. No witnesses. No video surveillance available. We had just taken out an insurance policy 2 days earlier. Whilst this was not budgeted (except under miscellaneous costs) we felt a little frustrated we have a nasty excess to pay to fix this act of low- integrity. When we met the collision repair employee, she immediately heard our accent and asked if we are here for Bethel. Upon hearing our positive response, she shared that it will be a good opportunity for some loaves and fishes to come our way. 😀 This is a significant scripture God has spoken to us about his provision. Immediately a peace came upon us despite a frustrating circumstance. Amazing God used a prebelieving collision repair specialist to reaffirm his coverage of our needs. Then soon after, the excess was halved generously by the insurance company in light of the extraordinary timing of the event with our new arrival. God is at work. We remain in gratitude.
2. We arrived thinking our classes, the girls’ school and preschool were all on the same site. Alas we have realized we were incorrect. First year BSSM meets at the Redding Civic centre in town, the girls attend school on site at the church and Jessika is also at an additional campus. The joys of growth have expanded the departments and with one car it has taken some readjusting. Nevertheless we have made some changes to care so we can attend classes and pick kids up in sequential order using one car. Not difficult but an example of a growing list of situations we have arrived with differing expectations. Nevertheless, the beauty of arriving early is we have had space to think these through.
On another note every where we look we see birds soaring above us. They look like Eagles but could also be raptors. They never seem to exert effort. They catch the thermals and just soar for minutes upon minutes, possibly hours upon hours. Just their image in the sky is speaking volumes to us about what the year ahead could be like. It is a joy to watch them and we are super excited about this season of soaring on the heights of all God has for us.
Our second Sunday tomorrow in Redding so eagerly anticipating enjoying the rich atmosphere that is happening in a very unique part of the world. Until next time, may the confidence of Nicodemus after Christ’s crucifixion come upon you. A man who met Jesus in the dark of the night accompanied Joseph of Arimathea to request permission for burying rights of Jesus’ body boldly to Pilate. What changed? Confidence in Christ grew bigger than his fears of others. May this be your testimony also this week.
Craig, Shell, Brielle, Elisha and Jessika