Hello Friends: A Big Prayer Request

Dear fellow travelers,

A couple months ago, I decided to resign from my church. Yesterday was my final worship service. I’ve been serving here for the last year.

There was nothing shady about it: I had a calling about six months ago to enter into non-profit charity work to serve the poor and homeless, which also meant that I would be leaving behind the mainstream evangelical church body. After wrestling with this in prayer, I finally got a green light when I went on a mission trip in the Philippines. I told my head pastor the day I returned, and though he was sad to see me go, he was very gracious about my new vision.

I absolutely do love my church. I’m torn up about moving on from my youth group, the children, and the young adult group, whom I had the honor of serving these past thirteen months. I also served with great leaders and we were relatively free of drama, and that’s the best you can ask for in a church culture. Fortunately, I still have great relations with the head pastor and the members, so I’ll be visiting when I can.

My prayer request is that I find a stable job for income and a consistent place to serve the poor of the Tampa Bay area. I’m pretty terrified, to be honest, and with my wedding in four months and with shopping for a home, this is a crazy complicated time to make such big life decisions. None of this will be easy, but I trust that God is calling me into His better story, and I’m confident in His grace.

Love y’all and thank you for your prayers and encouragement. You guys are the best.

— J.S.



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14 thoughts on “Hello Friends: A Big Prayer Request

  1. Nothing quite like tossing ALL your life-changes into a tiny time frame. 🙂

    Keep breathing. I remember when I got married I had a ministry change, job change, two moves, and – oh yeah – being married in a short span of time. Your stress level (the purely human one based upon decision-making) can be wearying at this juncture. It’s a joy to follow God’s leading always, but logistics can still be a tangle.

    Praying for you. Of course.

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    1. Thank you so much Sandi 🙂 Surprisingly, I’m not too stressed at all. A bit scared and overwhelmed, but I’m totally trusting God on this one. I really appreciate your prayers!

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  2. Hey how exciting!!!

    I am a 59 year old Pastor in New Zealand and I have drawn so much insight and input from you since I first bumped into your blog.
    It will be a joy to partner with you and your fiancee in your new ministry. We have shifted several times in ministry, and I understand what you will face.
    My main prayer for you both will be that you meet the key people you will need to know, in the first six months of being there.
    There is nothing so frustrating as meeing someone after two or three years, and saying you wish you knew them when you first arrived. May you have divine appointments and divine connections.
    God has wonderfully answered this prayer in our ministry situations.
    May God richly bless you both – ROSS

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    1. Hello Pastor Ross! Thank you so much for your support and prayers. Fortunately I’ve been somewhat involved with a homeless ministry in downtown Tampa for the last four years, and there are plenty of ministries here in which I could easily plug in. I just need to find a source of income. 🙂
      Thanks again for your encouragement and wisdom!

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  3. Praying for you from the Philippines! I always look forward in reading your blogs and they were life-changing. God will do the impossibles for you. God bless!

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  4. This is great! I’ve been following your blog and Facebook posts for a few months now, and you always seem to post Scriptural truths that are timely and relevant to my life. Are you planning to start your own ministry to serve the needy, or get involved in a pre-existing ministry? I’m also in the Tampa area, and God has given me a huge vision for a ministry like that, but I haven’t yet found where to begin.

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    1. Hey Katie! That’s very awesome. I don’t have too much set in stone. I think there are so many great ministries in Tampa already where I want to volunteer.

      I’ve been serving on and off at Amazing Love Ministry in Ybor for the last four years, and I love it there. Mondays are their big night, but they now have serving almost everyday. I was thinking of going there as much as possible during my spare time, and simply making myself available. They’ve asked me to preach before, but I was always shy about it. My plan is to be there at least 2-3 times per week to build fellowship and consistency. I don’t expect any ministry to trust me unless I’ve shown that I’m there for them.

      I also would love to serve at Metropolitan Ministries; they’re much bigger but one of the best non-profits around. And the Underground Church is doing great things as well. Maybe see you around at one of these! 🙂

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  5. I’ve been away and am just reading this now. There are more and more of us who think the model of Paul has real merit. When people depend on their religious appointment for food and home the risk is there of clouded vision. I get a real sense that you are comfortable with a simple lifestyle so that bodes well for you. I pray for God to give you each your daily bread. I have been much influenced by George Mueller who one day had no food for the orphanage, but gathered at the table and gave thanks for the food anyway. Someone came at that moment with food. I have seen God work like that, and trust that as you walk in God’s will God will supply every need…
    Peace

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