I hesitate in posting a blog today only because I want to make sure you read the one titled "Tis the season". I still need A LOT of stockings so please take a minute and read that, too! And then take another minute to email and say that you're helping out! (I only have 10 claimed so far out of 84! help!)
Okay, so why are the Mohr's moving? Well, rewind with me to a year and a half ago, July 2006. We had just returned from Northern Ireland on a mission trip and a comment was made casually that the reason that Russ and I were friends with Beth and Mike was to plant a church someday. Mixed reactions of "how fun!" and "holy yikes" were shared. Also during 2006 our church announced plans of planting another church, which they've done in the past. In our minds at the time, this wasn't the right one. We thought maybe the next one after that, as in around 5ish years.
Now fast forward to my arrival home this last July. I came home to conversations about planting a church more frequently than once a year. In fact the first week I was home there was a meeting held by our church with a larger group of young people who were interested in this idea. Dreams were building but they seemed far off and unrealistic. Somewhere along the line someone brought up the city. It settled weird. By that, I mean that it didn't sound preposterous like it should. It was an odd meeting where as each person spoke of their idea of an ideal church plant, we all realized we were on the same page. Everyone's desire was to see what the Lord was doing in the city and build on it. Up until this point, most of the church plant talk centered around moving west not east.
After a lot of talk between Russ and I and a lot of prayer, we resolved that if our church announced plans to move east with this (towards the city) that we would commit to being involved. If they moved west, we would sit still. Last month, a letter was mass-mailed to our congregation announcing Lafayette Square (in the city) as the location for the new plant.
Now, St. Louis is one of the cities where it really only takes 20 minutes to get anywhere. So, why would we move? We can just hop on the interstate and get to church like we do now. From the beginning of this on-going conversation, this idea was a no-brainer. If we're going to serve a community of people and show them God's love we need to be in their community, not just visiting. We truly feel that the Lord is restoring the heart of the people of St. Louis just as people are restoring all of the buildings. We are just itching to get down there and get moving. I picture the Lord as a moving train and now is our time to jump on that train before it just takes off!
When I stop and think about it, it's a little odd to feel such a passion out of nowhere for a city I already live in. It's like (and not like) when someone decides to move to another country to be a missionary. We're really only moving about 15 miles away from where we live now, but our hearts are different. A quote that Melissa put on her blog struck a chord with me on this topic:
"Compassion ~ is not a bending toward the underprivileged from a privileged position; it is not a reaching out from on high to those who are less fortunate below; it is not a gesture of sympathy or pity for those who fail to make it in the upward pull - .....On the contrary, compassion means going to those people and places where suffering is most acute and building a home there. God's compassion is total, absolute, unconditional, without reservation. It is the compassion of one who keeps going to the most forgotten corners of the world, and who cannot rest as long as he knows that there are still human beings with tears in their eyes."
(all photos done by Brad Edwards, fellow church planter...)
So, yeah, we're moving to the city. Not sure where Eliot will go to school or who is cute little friends will be, but it doesn't matter. Not sure where we'll grocery shop. Should I add pepper spray to the diaper bag? Who knows. People do this, right? Raise kids in the city? God seems to think it'll be fine.
On the flip side, please don't see me wearing a "Martyr" hat in this time. We're not achieving some level of glamorous holiness here. In fact, the house we're looking at and praying for is way nicer than the one we live in now. For now, we feel our calling is this. It may be a season or a lifetime, we have no idea and frankly, we quit making plans of our own a while ago. Yes, I like adventures but they also make me want to throw up and run the other direction.
It's November again and the Lord is turning my world upsidedown just like he did last November (this week is the anniversary of when I left for Guate!). It seems that July is the time for important conversations that I need to pay attention to and that November is the time for me to run and hide or buckle up for the ride.
So, that's it. We're moving to the city to see what the Lord is doing there and hopefully He'll let us be apart of it.