I quit my job last night.
That sounds more dramatic than it really is, but I did tell the elders at church that I was resigning as pastor as of January 31, 2014. I have been the pastor of that church since April of 1999. That’s the longest I’ve ever had a single job. During that time our family never had to worry about money — which is to say that we were never in danger of losing our house, going without a meal, etc. We have been well taken care of. In fact, many times over the years, I have remarked that “we have everything we need, and, in reality, most of the things we want, as well.”
But last night — for the first time since it has really mattered — I effectively left one source of income without having another one to go to immediately.
Of course, if you’re reading this blog, you almost certainly know that what we’re endeavoring to do is not about “getting ahead” or securing financial stability for our family in for the foreseeable future.
However, ever since I was engaged to Pam, that’s really what is has been about, and it’s no wonder: My father, like his parents before him, was a very pragmatic man, especially when it came to money. My father worked in a bank. Once a farmer who was “having money problems” presented my dad with his budget and my dad questioned the amount this man was giving to his church. “I’m all for giving to charity, but I believe you should get back on your financial feet first.” My father was a generous man (as was his mother), but the idea of quitting a job without having another, better job secured ahead of time would have been … unsettling to him, to say the least.
And the truth is that it’s a bit unsettling to me. We have accepted an offer on our house, so we should be without a home by the end of the year. Some friends have generously offered to let us stay in a home they will not be using, so it’s not like we’ll be on the street or anything, but still …. We are beginning to raise support for living and working in Cambodia, but the necessary money is by no means in hand, or even pledged to be there in the future.
I’m not complaining. This is all by choice. Plus, it’s not like it’s something completely new. We know people who have done the very same thing and their faith has been rewarded. Still, I woke up at 2 this morning and for just a bit my mind threatened to keep me awake — picture a hamster running on a wheel through the wee morning hours. Thankfully, though, the next time I checked the clock it was 5:15, so I didn’t lay awake too long.
Pam and I are getting serious about raising support . Letters are going out, appeals are being made. It’s all a bit uncomfortable, to tell you the truth. However, the facts remain:
- We have been moved to serve in Cambodia and we’re going in the first quarter of next year. We believe in the work AIM is doing over there and are very excited to help in this way.
- We are asking you, if you know us, love us, and want to see God’s work done all over the world, to consider helping us do this.
- Some have given us gifts of cash. Others have pledged to support us with regular, recurring donations. Our church has launched an effort to raise money from our community and many are working very hard to help us in this way.
- We need your help to live by faith in this way (See the red link labeled **DONATE** on the right).
Like I said, it is a bit scary, but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be boring. :-)