Orangeburg: Day 1

On Saturday, we loaded our clothes, food, books, electronics, bicycles, and tools into our van and truck with a small trailer and moved to our new home in Orangeburg. The house we are living in is fully furnished, so we were able to leave our furniture in Greenville until the house sells. There were many tears as we said goodbye to our church, our friends, and our family. Even now my heart wells up with a combination of sadness and excitement. We have had such wonderful community in Greenville for the last 14 years.

On Sunday, we worshipped with a large, multi-ethnic Southern Baptist church. We are already thankful for the Kingdom work that other churches have done here. Yesterday afternoon, I met our neighbor while I was trimming Robbie’s hair in the driveway. He told me about his 25-year career as the Juvenile Public Defender in Orangeburg. He described deeply-rooted destructive patterns that continue to wreak havoc on this community. He urged me, as a pastor, to not only show concern for the spiritual but also for the material, economic, and social issues. What a confirmation of God’s calling that conversation turned out to be!

This morning, we walked our boys into their classrooms at Sheridan Elementary School where they were greeted with friendly teachers and eager classmates. The guidance counselor walked us around the school answering our questions. Before we left, she walked us through how we can serve as volunteers. We believe Isaiah and Robbie will adjust well to their new environment. God has blessed them with a positive, grace-filled perspective on living in a new and different community and culture.

We are very thankful for you and the support you have given in word, prayer, and deed.

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