Thursday, April 16, 2015

Big Change Coming

BIG Change Coming

We asked for your prayers in our last newsletter regarding a huge decision about our future with Apartment Life. After MUCH wrestling, we have made the difficult decision to end our time as a CARES teamOur 2-year commitment takes us through the middle of July, so we get to continue serving our neighbors for another 3 months before this change.

Though it's been hard, we do not regret our time in this role for a second! It's exactly where God wanted us, and is without a doubt what we were supposed to be doing during this time. We have learned a TON and know we've helped a lot of people and planted a lot of seeds. But He's made it clear to us that this season is ending.

Why the change?
  • As our role with Africa New Life increases, we're finding that we simply don't have the time to the job well. It needs our full attention now, and Apartment Life is FAR too demanding of our time to be effective for ANLM. We're no longer able to give either role the attention and time required, so both are suffering - as is our family. Something has to go.
  • Our kids need STABILITY. It's time to plant roots here in Atlanta. Doing Apartment Life means we could be kicked out at any point. So even though this will require one last move, we'll know we're there to stay. The kids really, really need some grounding, and to not feel like we're just going to pack up and move every year or two. It's not fair to them, especially with the emotional baggage they already carry. They need a home.
  • Our kids desperately need space outside to playTo be kids. Explore. Run. Breathe. All kids need this, of course, but we feel that Ellie, especially, feels almost suffocated in our apartment, and it's really had a negative effect on them both. We can't send them out to play by themselves where we live - they really need that.
We'd consider just staying at our complex and continuing to pour into our neighbors without the commitment to Apartment Life if it wasn't for the kids and if we could afford it. But Apartment Life helps with a greatly reduced cost on our apartment and we can't afford to continue living where we are without this help.

 we're officially looking for a home to buy. At the same time (not coincidentally), we are under contract to finally sell our home in South Carolina that we've been renting out! Amazing! Honestly though, this is all a bit intimidatingIt's scary to buy a home when your entire income is reliant on the generosity of others. And it doesn't help that even as were typing these very words, we received a call that we have a $1,300 repair on our Trooper! But it's okay. We truly trust that He will take care of us. Besides, we must follow where we believe He's leading, no matter what. Right?

If you have any questions AT ALL about this decision, we would love to talk. As partners with us in this ministry, we feel that you have every right to ask! After all, you're a big part of this.
 PLEASE pray for us as we search for a home for our family. We want to be very wise with His resources, and we want to make sure we're in a place where we can continue pouring into our neighbors! Our deepest desire is to take what we've learned and apply it wherever God would have us.

With much love,
The 4 Smith's

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