The Field's Edge

And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.
-Leviticus 23:22

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This year was a little different for us because we were missing a good bit of our family. My sister and her husband along with our nephew have moved to South Dakota and my brother and sister in law have followed the Lord’s call to Southeast Asia. We missed having everyone but we gathered together in gratitude for the Lord’s blessings and He sure reminded us all of His great love for us. It was a rather small gathering over at our house but a very memorable one. We invited Arthur who has been recently lifted off the streets and Jeff, a homeless veteran who is one of the most polite and sweet men I have ever met. A memory I will treasure forever and ever is sitting out on the back porch singing old hymns with my Dad, Arthur, and Jeff while the turkey was in the fryer. More beautiful music I have not heard. I could feel God’s presence and got a little choked up.

In the days before Thanksgiving, we had been going through all of our belongings. Sorting out which ones we would donate, sell, store, or take with us in our RV to Austin. My Mother in Law took several days off of work to help us and my Mom and Dad helped us by caring for Truma while we worked. We couldn’t do this without the support of our family. I know it was a shock to them when we told them that we were leaving our “normal” lives and following God’s call to serve the homeless. We didn’t have much of a plan, we just knew that God was calling, and from a parent’s perspective, I know that is unsettling to say the least. Sorry guys, we didn’t mean to give you a heart attack! However, as this has unfolded, our families have walked with us and encouraged us to trust God and obey Him, and for that we are so grateful.

Our house has not yet sold but we have decided to move all or most of our belongings into storage except for the things we will be taking with us in the RV in hopes that it will sell while we are gone. There are lots of rumors of big oil companies moving to Midland after the new year and lots of people coming to buy houses, but we know that even if none of the rumors are true, our God knows what is best for us and we trust His will and His timing. It’s not always easy, but ultimately we know His perspective is far greater than ours.

We decided to #optoutside and took a day trip to McKittrick Canyon to get away from the Black Friday crowds. It was a much needed wonderful day of rest and refreshment in the outdoors with Briana and Truma. It really revived my soul. Every time I get outside and get quiet enough to listen to the Lord, His peace just floods over me. I always daydream about the future of our village in Midland. I started to envision taking our friends on hikes like that, and even bigger than that, I hope to be a village of servants and goers. Imagine sending formerly homeless people out in service to others, both locally and around the world. WOW!

Several wonderful praiseworthy things have happened since we last wrote. First, we have been notified by our church (First Baptist Midland) that we are fully funded for our time at Community Corps. The generosity of our church and friends who believe in God’s call for us, have put us just over 100% of the budget we planned for and we are SO grateful. We can’t thank you enough for supporting us, it means so very much. As if that isn’t wonderful enough, we received official notification from the Texas Secretary of State that our name has been approved and we are an official Texas corporation. We decided to call our non-profit The Field’s Edge, after Leviticus 23:22, which is a reminder that our blessings give us a responsibility to care for, people in need:

"And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God."

We are excited to walk with our community to encourage a lifestyle of service to the less fortunate. We still have to file our federal paperwork for nonprofit status but be on the lookout for this blog to be moved to a permanent domain in the coming weeks. We are also starting to brainstorm for our logo which is very exciting to me.

As we were thanking the Lord for all that He has blessed us with on Thanksgiving, we were reminded of the wonderful community He has placed around us. We are so blessed by your love, prayers, and encouragement. Thank you for keeping up with us and walking alongside us as we step out in obedience. On the days when this all feels like eating an elephant, your support reminds us that we only have to take one bite at a time.

Here are some of our specific prayer requests that we would love for you to join us in. We would also love to pray for you so send us your prayer requests.

·      Patience and peace as we cast our anxieties on the Lord specifically pertaining to the sale of our house, being the "new kids at school" in Austin, obtaining land, and fundraising for the village.

·      Strength and a good attitude to accomplish all that needs to be done before we go.

·      Continued unity in our marriage and family, that we not let the enemy creep in and steer us off course during this crazy time.

·      My back (JM) started acting up again which can be temporarily debilitating. I really need to be able to function because we have a lot to do.

 

-John-Mark

Only one life twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.
— C.T. Studd