>My Own Backyard

>We went to Lowe’s yesterday for a something to try and keep Hunter from jumping the fence and to keep Bailey from trying to go under it. Between the two of them, they are determined to find a way out. I, apparently, am a lot like my dogs. I have been convincing myself that this backyard is too small, that this town’s mindset is just too narrow, that God has put our heart in Clarksville to make a difference in that city and to get out of this one. This city where it seems there are more bad neighborhoods than good anymore. This city where education is lacking in our high schools and teenage pregnancy is rampant. But this is not the city God wants us to affect for Jesus, right? He wants us in Clarksville, that is where our hearts and ministry has focused for almost three years.

As we have began the journey with forming Bethesda House we have coupled with a wonderful family, Dewey & Rebecca Edwards and we have been having Bible Studies in Hopkinsville and Clarksville for some weeks now. Our first nudge came from a conversation with Dewey as he said he really saw us ministering to the city of Hopkinsville. Surely I misheard him, or he misspoke because Clarksville is our destination. With great confusing Brad and I talked about it and thought that is crazy, we are Clarksville bound. Then three days later Brad was speaking with a prayer warrior friend of ours and she said that she would help us as we started in Clarksville (where she lives) but she knows our ultimate ministry is in Hopkinsville. Okay, God, are you trying to tell us something? Are we listening? Probably not. . .so I guess He has to say it over and over again. Talking to my friend Becky she laughed and said, Don’t be like Jonah and get swallowed by a whale, and we joked about that for a bit.

Brad and I were like what is up with this and then in the past week we have had people we know from Hopkinsville start popping back in our lives for no apparent reason; but we know by now that’s not true. God always has a reason. So today, the last Sunday before we officially launch Bethesda Ministries we go visit a local church. The Pastors Message: “When the pivotal places in your ministry happen, what do you do?” Do you respond by 1. Fear 2. Fleeing 3. Hiding 4.Negativity or 5. Faith ~ As he spoke about Jonah I was amazed that Jonah felt pretty much about Nineveh as we have felt about Hopkinsville. We hate it here; it really has nothing to offer as far as family entertainment and there is more bad than good. So God knows we hate it here and it is still His plan for us to be a light to this city. It is still His plan for us to reach out to a place we aren’t quite sold on. God give us a love for this place that you have destined us to be.

When we were at Lowes we decided the best thing for the back yard would be a privacy fence. Hunter can’t jump over it and Bailey and go under it. It will hide our dogs from the dogs in the 5 backyards that butt against our one yard. It will let us look out our back deck and pretend for a few hours that we love ‘our backyard’. So we have given our backyard to the Lord and have surrendered to His will and will start walking in the direction of winning souls in this city. Hopefully now, we can heal our scratches from trying to jump this fence and get the dirt off our noses where we have been trying to dig our way out. Let us be a light to those around us so that God may be lifted up.

Blessings,

Shelly

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