Happy New Year (decade) everyone!
We’ve written this last newsletter together to better share both our perspectives on our past and future here in Europe.
After nearly 20 years here, returning “home” to the US makes less and less sense. Our home is here now, in southern Alsace at the foot of the Vosges Mountains. And when we move to our new apartment later this year in a house shared with two other French families, we will not only be physically moving deeper into this particular valley, but we will be going relationally deeper as well.
As we’ve become more established here, we’ve seen our missionary financial support by friends and family slowly dwindling. In the summer of 2017, we came to the conclusion that we really had to make some decisions about finances. This was the beginning of a 2 ½ year journey to arrive at a point where we believe we’re to start a new season as of today. During this journey, two biblical models have surfaced repeatedly:
The first is Elijah, where in 1 Kings 17 God tells him to leave his present situation and go where God would assure provision for him in a pretty supernatural way (no people involved). When that provision literally dried up, God told him to change his circumstances again, to one where He would provide for him still supernaturally, but through people. The second is Paul: Acts 18 and 20 make allusions to Paul working at making tents to provide for himself and for others.
Without expounding more here, God spoke to us repeatedly through these and other passages about financial provision and ministry activities. So in 2017 David started applying for full-time employment in his field of expertise. In the meantime, we realized that if we’re going down this path, we needed to close the door on our current circumstances as Elijah did, to walk into the new circumstances where God’s provision would be found. So at the beginning of 2019 we told those who were still faithfully sending us missionary support that this would be their final year of giving.
David applied for about 40 positions, and if there was a call back, the interview process was lengthy. The last refusal came in September after a long process that seemed promising. At this point, it was time to consider full-time tent making in freelance IT work – not David’s first choice, but it looks increasingly like God’s choice. Two significant trips have helped confirm this:
In October, David visited Indianapolis and had a couple of very good conversations that resulted in two new clients. Now David has four clients in the US for remote web development and support work.
Then in November, he attended the annual French House of Prayer conference with the two other co-leaders of our local HOP. This was a life-changing week. The Lord spoke to him several times that week (and continues to since then) about the importance of this part of David’s ministry – the only part that clearly stirs passion in him – and the need to reserve time for it, which freelance work would allow.
David will continue to be involved in worship ministry and lead/disciple our technical team at some level and Angela and David will continue to serve together in the church council. Angela has regained much of her energy and is making income again with childcare and a new English student. She is also making new contacts outside our primary church focus as a volunteer member of a local coop grocery and she still hopes to find a publisher for her children’s board book.
So, the call to live and serve where God transplanted our hearts back in 1998 has not changed. Additionally, God continues the sometimes challenging requirement that we live dependent on Him and not “salary security.” It’s no coincidence that God would have David focus on his call to serve His presence in the House of Prayer when he’ll need it to take new steps of faith. There is much growth ahead!
So thank you for having joined us on this wonderful journey! We hope our stories have encouraged you to bring the Kingdom of our Lord to your own spheres of influence.
And of course, feel free to write to stay in touch with us, follow @mrdleigh or @wannaworship on Instagram or come by if you find yourself in Western Europe!
David and Angela