Farewell, Pennsylvania!

After much thought and prayer, our family has decided to move back to Upstate New York.

When we moved to Pennsylvania in 2005, we didn’t really have any long-term plans to stay in the area.  Jessica was finishing up her degree and I had just started Plasticmind Design in our tiny apartment.  We ended up at our church, Oxford Valley Chapel, unintentionally. While driving around looking for another church, we passed OVC several times, and decided instead to go there.  We found a welcoming spirit and ultimately ended up serving there for almost a decade.

Some of our life’s greatest moments happened at Oxford Valley Chapel. OVC is where our children—and many of our most meaningful friendships—were born.  God blessed us tremendously there and taught us important lessons about service, humility and loving people.

The great love in our hearts for the people of OVC made this decision a difficult one.  But there are several reasons we decided now was the right time to move:

First, I’ve been feeling burdened about a change in the shape of how I minister. Jessica and I certainly plan to be involved in some form of ministry—it’s an integral part of who we are—though we don’t know exactly what that will look like right now.  I do know that I’ve been feeling more of a burden to write and to minister in ways that just aren’t possible in my current role.

There are also some practical considerations that went into this decision:

Our family has outgrown our house—2 bedroom and 3 kids, and if God is willing, more to come. (No, this is not a pregnancy announcement.)  We initially considered adding on to our house, but after it became obvious that wasn’t feasible (for a number of reasons), we decided a new house was probably the best option. We had also been discussing for some time the possibility of moving to be closer to our parents, and the convergence of several things (financial and otherwise) helped convince us that now was the ideal time for a move.

Also, most of the work I do is mobile, so I can do it from virtually anywhere. That makes staying in the area where the cost of living is high difficult, especially as we consider a new house.

Plus, our kids are young and a move at this age will be easier than when they’re older.

We’re planning to put our house on the market in a few weeks, so it could be several months before we move.

In a way, I feel like Abraham, called to go but not knowing where.  As I mentioned before, we still plan to be involved in ministry of some kind, but we’ll probably take some time to pray and think about what’s next before jumping back too quickly into pattern of ministry.

The feeling in our home is bittersweet: excited for new horizons and sad for farewells.  But I can truly say that we have been changed for the better by our time here.  Goodbye, dear friends!

“I don’t know how you say goodbye to whom and what you love. I don’t know a painless way to do it, don’t know the words to capture a heart so full and a longing so intense.” —Laura Wiess