Charleston, Savannah, Wilmington, possibly even Myrtle Beach or St. Simons Island. That was our shortlist of places we would move to where I had a license to practice optometry and we could find what God had in store for us as we transitioned out of Haiti and back to the U.S. for as long as God has planned. Somewhere near the coast with schools to meet our special needs and optometry jobs enough to provide for our family as we found where we could serve ministry wise.
Southwest GA- aka Gnatville- was not on our list of choices. If you are unfamiliar with gnats, they are the third plague God sent on Egypt and their descendants found their way to SW Georgia. You know if God used them as a plague AFTER turning a river to blood and a frog infestation, they can't be enjoyable. They are little bitty demonic flies that get in your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and anywhere else by the hundreds from June until God sends cold enough weather to mercifully murder them all in the fall. When we received the call about a clinic wanting me to come and talk to them about a job in Albany, GA I told Joy there was NO WAY!
"Do you think they will let us adopt this little foster baby?"....No Way
"Can you take this child with issues and raise him as your own?"...No Way
"Can you become full time missionaries and get rid of your every possession to live in Haiti?" ...No Way
"Can you take a one day old baby addicted to cocaine right before you move to Haiti?"... No Way
"You have to raise them somewhere they can get the help they need or they will never be able to function in a normal classroom." ...No Way
You would think I would learn my lesson and never say No Way. But, not yet so here we are...in Gnatville.
It is great. We have our kids in a great school system and they are doing better than we would have ever imagined. Jacy is completely caught up and excelling. Josie is doing great as is Judah, Jaxon, and little Justice. Luke is still at Hillsong Austrailia school of Ministry and will probably finish there in December. Logan and Megan are in NC and doing well.
For a long time I could not figure out why we had to move to here though. I did not feel it was just for work. It turns out I was right. God has opened a door for me to get to preach each Sunday in a church while they search for their new pastor. It is a huge blessing for me and Joy as we get to minister to a congregation with our family. If you get really bored you can listen to a sermon or if you just want to see me in a bowtie and boots click here: Byne Memorial Baptist, Albany, GA.
We have learned so much from circumstances in the months that have passed. From the fear of an autism diagnosis. From the frustration of a learning disorder. From letting Luke go to pursue the ministry. From the joy of an unexpected pregnancy to the pain of losing the baby. From unemployment and disappointment in searching for a position, to the joy of getting to use our gifts in a church. The thing we have been reminded of is the theme of one of our favorite songs to sing loudly around the house..."MY God's not dead, He's surely alive and He's living on the inside roaring like a lion"...Praise God for restoration!