I have been given a new start by the Lord Jesus. I have received a call to the pastorate at New Hope OPC in Hanford, California. That Happened on August 12, 2018. Because we are Presbyterian, the call must be approved by the Presbytery of Northern California, after I am examined by the whole Presbytery on September 14. Then my own Presbytery of Central Pennsylvania must grant me permission to accept the call. All well and good. But I feel as though we have been living out the history of redemption.
But I need to go back about a month or so. We were scheduled to go to Hanford for the candidating visit on July 25. The Saturday before my wife fell and dislocated her right elbow. That was relocated at the hospital and so we were resigned to going with her arm in a sling.
But the day before we left, after 5 days of steady downpours, our apartment flooded out and we were evacuated by a family at our church, housed for the night and driven to the airport next morning and we went off to Hanford.
Then our Pennsylvania church family did something amazing. While we were gone the emptied the apartment for us and stored things best as they could in storage, even paid for the storage expenses. We were told to focus on the candidating. And that led to...
WANDERING IN THE WILDERNESS
I should explain that Hanford is a desert that has been irrigated and developed into a quiet small city with conservative and peaceful neighbors. We visited just about every family in the church and visited some potential homes, sampled some of the restaurants, and I preached four times and taught and led the prayer meeting and Bible Study twice. We had been there in May and it was like coming home to a loving family. We felt accepted and wanted. We went home after two weeks to await the vote on the call and it was positive.
But our wandering did not end there. We came home to stay at the home of one church family the first night and then were placed in the home of another for the remainder of our time here. On August 12 the congregation overwhelmingly voted to call me to be their pastor, and one more wandering awaits.
The question is, will it be approved? It seems likely but it involves more wandering...and then...
THE PROMISED LAND?
I have to visit California again in September to get approval for the call from that presbytery, after being interviewed by the whole presbytery. If that goes as expected we will wander once more, cross country, to live in our new land/home, in Hanford, California. And I will return to the work I love, serving Jesus as his representative and pastor of a wonderful congregation.
Some of you, members of New Hope OPC in Hanford who read this, will know now, for the first time, of this blog. I hope it is edifying to you. I am most pleased and thankful to God for you and for the privilege of being your pastor. Please pray for the presbytery meetings. To God be the glory.