Finding family

“… You belong to God’s family” (Ephesians 2:19 NCV).

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or motherĀ or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29).

When we first learned that the company I worked for was transferring me to Wilson, NC, we weren’t excited. Both my family and Robin’s lived within easy driving distance. We both came from very close and connected extended families. Holidays, vacations, birthdays and weekends revolved around being with them. We didn’t want to leave.

When we arrived in Eastern NC we didn’t know anyone. Our children were ages five, two and one. Robin was a stay-at-home mom and I worked a corporate job that averaged 70 hours a week. We were overworked, overwhelmed and lonely.

I’m glad we found a church. We soon got very involved. I started teaching Sunday School for young couples. Before long, teaching this class became the catalyst that moved me to answer God’s call to preach. So, I quit my job, went to seminary and planted Wilson Community Church.

Now over 23 years have passed, 19 since we planted the church. When we first moved, we thought we’d only be here a little while. Surely, we would move back home to Virginia in only a couple of years.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, my children have grown up here. They have married spouses here. We have two grandchildren born here. And God has given us an extended family here too. Actually, it’s much bigger than the one we left behind. And it’s daily growing!

I’m thankful that God never calls us to leave something that He doesn’t replace a hundredfold. What at first seemed to us a temporary transfer has now become our home. We once felt that we were leaving family to be here. Now, we have family in both places.

On top of all these blessings, God has also given our Wilson family a home of its own. I’m thankful to God for a family that would work and wait together for this wonderful day. After 19 years of being a “portable church,” we just cut the ribbon on our very own building on April 30, 2011!

Have you left family or houses behind somewhere? Are you overwhelmed and lonely? Call out to God. He wants you in His family.

And if you live near Wilson, come join us. We’ve found family here.

One Response to “Finding family”

  1. Mike Wheeler

    No man is an island… John Donne wrote this at the turn of the 17th century. “All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated…As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness….No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” Hillary Clinton was right about one thing, “It does take a village”.

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