Perfect Timing

Christmas time is always busy and this year exceptionally so for us. We have been given a choice between January 4th or 5th to move our RV in at Community First Village, which puts us at less than a month away! We parked the RV in front of my parents’ house this past weekend and we are continuing to sell off furniture and possessions that we will no longer have a place for even when we get back to Midland. It has been tough to let go of some things, but at the same time our hearts have changed so much and the Lord has given us great peace about minimizing our belongings. We have come to realize that without intentionality, it is easy to accumulate things that we don’t need and we want to break that cycle in our lives. We want Truma to know not to put so much emphasis on stuff. As weird as it sounds, the inconvenience of going through all of our things, selling them, giving them away, etc. has been a valuable lesson that we don’t want to repeat. It is my prayer that we remember this every time we go to purchase something going forward.

As mentioned previously, we are officially a Texas non-profit corporation and are working on our tax exemption paperwork for the IRS, which we hope to have approved some time in the first quarter of 2017. We are also fully funded for our time at Community First and we are SO grateful to all of you who have contributed. We want to thank each of you personally and are awaiting a list of contributors so we can do just that.

This week we met with our friend Jessica of SHK Advertising to talk about what we are doing and develop some branding. We hope to have a logo for The Field’s Edge to share with you guys very soon! She is also helping us strategize our plan for making our plans public. We know that the perception of a village for the formerly homeless could be easily misunderstood and we want to be very deliberate about our public relations. Because of that we are super thankful for Jessica’s expertise. It is very exciting to see how the Lord continues to bring this together. Each week we are blown away by His presence and timing during this process.

Our wedding videographers turned close friends, Matt and Katie Maxwell of Maxwell Filmworks are using us as the subject of a documentary for Matt’s Masters of Fine Arts in Documentary Film program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. It is a bit strange to have a camera following us around, but since they are such close friends, it’s not bad at all; it’s actually kind of fun and we are excited to have this process documented. Even if nobody else sees it, it will be so neat to watch it with Truma when she gets older and relive the memories of God’s mighty work in our lives. However, with Matt’s talent, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up getting played at Sundance.

After filming my brother-in-law and I hauling the RV to my parents’ house and getting it set up, the Maxwells came over for a pizza party. We dreamed together about the future of The Field’s Edge and had a good time. Temperatures are dropping this week and we are all going out on Thursday night to make sure our friends on the streets have what they need to survive the sub-freezing conditions. We are excited to have Matt putting together a film that will reflect the truths of homelessness and no doubt change some perceptions. We know that even if they were not filming us, they would be here supporting us one hundred percent. We are truly blessed by our friends who are walking through this with us. We have two friends that have agreed to serve on our board and we couldn’t be more excited. Many more of you have offered encouragement, prayers, and financial support. You have made a tremendous impact on our lives and your friendship means more than you know.

Our house has been one of the most challenging things to handle throughout this process. We built it about a year and a half ago in the middle of the boom fully intending to stay here for 10 years or more, so we weren’t super worried that home prices were high at the time. We felt the Spirit leading us to sell the house in late March, several months before we knew about the Community Corps program, so our initial intention was to downsize and really refocus how we were spending money. We knew we wanted to give a larger portion of our income but had no idea what God was setting up behind the scenes.

In the past 8 months we have had very little interest in the house. It has only been shown a handful of times and we have not received any offers. We have done everything we can to attract more attention but nothing has worked yet. We had the notion that when God called us to sell the house, that it would happen quickly; that by obeying Him, he would make it easy on us. Boy were we wrong, but the value of the lessons we have learned in this time are priceless. Only a week ago, Briana and I were talking about how we were at peace with the house situation, even if it didn’t sell before we went to Austin; that we were so thankful to have a place to call home, even if it was more than we needed and a significant financial burden.

All of a sudden, we started getting showing requests. We have had 7 showings since last Wednesday which is more than we have had in the 8 months prior. It is abundantly clear to us that this is not happening by chance. We know God is at work and has something going on that is way better than we could ever plan for ourselves. It seems that the oil industry is starting to make a comeback and the rumors about the 70 families moving out here with Anadarko are true. We have not received any offers yet, but we are hopeful that He has just the right person in just the right timing to purchase our home.

I will admit, now that it is coming down to it, it’s going to be hard to let this place go. We have so many memories here. Being newlyweds, bringing home little baby Truma from the hospital and her first years of life, dinners with friends and family, and many more. What we have realized though is that those memories would be wonderful regardless of the setting and that our home is not tied to a specific building. Home is in Christ and the community around us. That is our driving force in what we are doing.

We pray that this Christmas season, you will meditate on the joyous coming of Christ and keep Him at the center of your celebration. We ask that you continue to pray for us in the following ways:

  • Peace with all the changes ahead
  • Our friends on the streets exposed to the winter elements
  • Provision for the future of the Field's Edge
  • JM's back
  • Joy filled time with family over the holidays

-John-Mark

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