Amazingly the church’s idea paid off. Having me work full-time as the church administrator while focused on finding both a senior pastor and a family pastor was successful. Within a couple of months before we had to move I had completed the vetting process and was now at a place to have two candidates come to this valley city and to meet with the elders and the church. This was followed up with a general meeting in which both candidates were voted in with a 100% result for both. As I was tying up loose ends and working on the transition plan I packed up my things and vacated the senior pastor’s office, moving into and consequently sharing part of the family pastor’s office with the church’s newest hire.
Having spent many hours speaking with both candidates and working closely with both of them through the entire process, up to and including their arrival to the church and now getting settled into their new positions I grew quite close to the both of them. It was a nice feeling, knowing that I had been able to care for my church in this way before I had to leave. I liked leaving well from a place of employment or from any organization that I was a part of. There was a sense of pride involved in such things for me.
To my surprise the church responded in kind to our family by letting us know that we would be sponsored by the church while I was in school finishing my Master’s degree. Each month they would send us a check in an effort to help with the associated costs with such a move and the restricted ability for employment as I focused on my academic journey. The gesture was incredible and I could not help but feel as though I was in a privileged position in which to receive such a gift and support for this upcoming major life shift. I suppose it were these encounters with the individual church members and these gestures of love and care for my family and I, which served as a way to keep me humble and thankful for all that I had. It were these gestures that kept the corruption of power away, allowing me to serve and not to rise up to a place of expectation to be served.
The day was now approaching fast. Our home was packed, our circuit of goodbyes were now completed and last minute preparations were in place. We purchased two-way radios so we could talk between the moving van, which I would be driving, and the mini-van that my wife would be driving. I would trade off with a different child at each stop, allowing the children turns to ride along with me in the moving truck. On our final day, we loaded up the moving van and cleaned up our last home in this valley city. We then drove to my parent’s place with the intention to spend the night before hitting the road in the early morning.
The next morning, bright and early we set off. Very quickly into the trip we realized that our two-way radios were not working, thus cutting off any communication between our vehicles. My wife would travel behind me while I kept pace in this 40-year old moving van. It was old, worn out and lacking an incredible amount of power but it was all that was available to us. It would make for a longer trip and an uncomfortable one at that, but having moved so many times, I had grown accustomed to such things. I climbed the long and high road out of the valley city, focused on getting the van to the top but in the moment I was losing sight of our mini-van trailing behind us. It was only when I had reached the top that my son, who was traveling with me on this leg of the journey, pointed out that there was no sign of the mini-van.
I pulled over and parked for awhile waiting for the van to arrive. No-one came. Reluctantly and nervously I turned the moving van around and headed back down the hill in hopes to find them. I found them pulled over about half way up the hill. Stopping I quickly found out that our mini-van had just lost all power and stalled out. They were now stranded on the side of the highway. I headed back into the valley city and back to my parent’s house – much to their surprise – where we made arrangements to go pick up the rest of my family and to have the van towed back into the city for repairs.
That ended up costing us the entire day.
Tomorrow we would set out to try again.