Andy and I had been separated for the better of two weeks as he left Caedmon & me in South Carolina to begin his cross country trek to California. He drove to Texas, loaded a U-Haul with all of our stuff that was in storage, and then drove that U-Haul (pulling a car) from Dallas to San Jose all by himself. In the week before Caedmon & I arrived, he was attempting to find/rent somewhere for us to live AND get moved in...all by himself! He was my hero.
August 26 was the day Caedmon & I were scheduled to arrive in San Jose. But after the computer system in Atlanta crashed causing a dreadful travel experience with an almost 2 year old, we finally made it on August 27. We were deliriously tired, but oh so excited to be HOME!
It was the strangest feeling. I had read books where missionaries said that when they landed in China or Ecuador or _______ that they felt like they were finally home. I never understood that until I landed in California. I had been raised all my life as a Southern Girl (capitalized on purpose as that term is a proper noun), but you would have thought I was born and bred for the Silicon Valley.
That season of our lives was so full of excitement and promise. God had given us a God-sized dream, and every day we were watching it unfold before our eyes. We knew no one when we landed here, but one friendship at a time, one cookout at a time, one playgroup at a time, God started forming a network of people who would become South Bay Church.
As I look back over the past 5 years, my heart is BURSTING with joy and gratitude for all that God has done. South Bay has grown from 3 families to over 1500 people in weekly attendance. We've seen hundreds of people surrender their lives to Jesus and find new life in Him. We've seen marriages restored, people begin to thrive as they use their gifts, and community grow.
We've watched our almost 2 year old grow into an almost 7 year old. We've journeyed through an adoption and had our hearts hijacked by a gorgeous Ethiopian little boy who is now our son. We've felt the indescribable strength and love of a community of faith as South Bay grieved with us in our miscarriage and cheered wildly when we announced our current pregnancy.
Sometimes people thank us for being willing to move here to start South Bay Church. But let me tell ya, it is pure JOY for us. While they thank us, we just thank Jesus that He brought us here. There is no where else we would rather be and nothing else we would rather be doing. What a privilege it is to serve the King!
Here's to the next 5 amazing years! (And the 5 after that, and the 5 after that, and the...)