Here’s the big idea from today’s talk at Revolution Church.
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On Friday, Katie and I left Ethiopia. It was definitely hard to say goodbye to our son knowing that we won’t see him for 5-10 weeks. He was a mess when we left, also knowing that we wouldn’t be back tomorrow. Knowing the issues of abandonment he has already dealt with, that he is 4 years old and has a hard time understanding what is happening, I told Katie later that moment of saying goodbye was the closest I’ve ever come to crying.
She was glad to know I had feelings.
Landing in Rome on Sunday was just what we needed. Even though we’re in Rome, Katie and I aren’t the type who plan out a whole day of activities and run til we drop. We’ve walked around and have seen a ton of really cool things and have eaten some amazing food, but we also took a 3 hour nap yesterday.
Here are some pictures of our morning walk through the streets of Rome:
After taking a much needed nap, we embarked on a night walk through Rome and a search to find dinner. Eating gluten free has not been as difficult in Rome as one might expect. In fact, in Italy, if you have celiac disease, you get a stipend from the government to buy gluten free food because it is more expensive. Just another way the States are behind other countries.
Here’s a shot as the sun was going down:
Dinner was incredible. They had gluten free pasta that tasted like regular pasta. We had a wine that had one the best wine in Italy for 3 years in a row. The whole thing did not disappoint.
Here are some night shots of our way back to our room:
Time to get going for another day. Today were heading to the forum and colosseum and probably a nap. It felt weird last night that as we were walking to dinner Revolution was happening and I was preaching via video. I can’t wait to get back and preach live this coming Sunday for,the first time in 8 weeks! So pumped for that.
Over the next 12-18 months, Dave and Kyra will be immersing themselves in the culture and DNA of Revolution. Dave will be learning as much as he can about what we do as a church, how we function, how missional communities work, our coaching structure. He will be involved with the different teams on Sunday mornings like first impressions, hospitality and set-up and tear down. Dave will also be part of our speaking rotation on Sunday mornings. To join our team, Dave and Kyra are raising 100% of his salary, which is a huge step of faith and so far God has been providing in amazing ways.
Our hope through all of this is that in 12-18 months, we will send Dave, Kyra and a group from Revolution to start Revolution Church | Midtown.
How long have you and Kyra been married?
We have been married for 10 years. We met at the U of A and got married 1 week after graduation in 2002. We are die-hard Wildcats and love that God has called us back here.
Tell us about your kids.
We were shocked to learn in December of ’06 that Kyra was pregnant with triplets, and about 8 months later, they were born (2 girls and a boy: Ellie, Paisley, and Cooper)…and life has never been the same…nor would we want it to be. We had our fourth baby, Zoe, 6 months ago and the crazy, fun, oftentimes chaotic, blessing of family has continued to grow.
What were you doing before moving to Tucson?
For the past 10 years, we’ve been in northern California working with Campus Crusade for Christ. We were in Sacramento, at UC Davis. I led a movement of about 200 students, with a team of 9 staff and interns. We got to launch movements in South Africa and East Asia and are incredibly thankful for the ministry God allowed us to be a part of. In hind sight, we see His intentional preparation for what He’s called us to in Tucson.
How did you get connected with Revolution?
I met Josh three years ago, after a mutual friend in Phoenix connected us. I wasn’t sure about the timeline, but around the time that we met the Lord started to excite my heart for what He is doing in Tucson. From there, each time we came back to Tucson to visit my mom (who is a house-mom at a sorority at the UofA) we would pray for the city with new eyes. We would dream about what it would look like to live here again, pouring ourselves into ministry for the glory of Christ and the good of a city we love. I started following what God has been doing at Revolution, considering whether he would call us here to partner in some form. After talking more with Josh and taking a vision trip here last November, God made it clear that this is where we are to be. We needed to help transition the ministries I was leading in California, and began the long process of uprooting our family and saying ‘goodbye’ to a ministry we had been apart of since we were freshmen in college. With our moving pod packed to the brim (literally having to shut the door to keep everything in), we moved to Tucson on August 10th…and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead.
What excites you about Revolution Church and Tucson?
I’m honored to be joining the pastoral team at Revolution, serving in various ways to help and learn as we set our eyes on planting another church near the downtown area. Time doesn’t permit me to list out everything that excites me about planting a church in the downtown area. As Revolution seeks to do in every element of life, I look forward to helping people find their way back to God, living in radical response to the glory of Jesus. In the next 12-18 months, I will be sent out to plant a church with Revolution as part of the on-going work of seeing churches planted for the good of the city and the glory of God all over Tucson.
Today, Nehemiah is 2 weeks old. Here’s a quick take on the last 2 weeks:
Many of you know that we have been in the process of adopting for the last two a half years, in February 2010. We are still waiting for our Ethiopian adoption to go through, but through this whole process God has taught us a lot about not finding our identity in adoption, in our kids or how many we have, how to wait on Him and His timing and that ultimately, God is in control. I realize that seems simple and many of you are surprised that a pastor doubts that God is in control, but it is easy to forget when things don’t happen as quickly as you’d like.
We started the process of adopting domestically back in September of 2011. We always knew we would adopt more than one child and as our Ethiopian adoption continued to get longer, we decided to do both at the same time. We are still probably a good 2 years away from our Ethiopian adoption being finalized.
We took the class with another couple from our church who also just adopted, twin African American girls. During the class, Katie actually felt led to start praying for twin African American girls. When our friends told us they were adopting twin African American girls, Katie said, “I guess my prayers have been for you.” Our friend looked at us and said, “I’ve been praying for a hospital call, maybe that will happen to you.” A hospital call, if you don’t know, is when a birth mom goes to the hospital, has her baby and then calls the adoption agency telling them she would like to adopt her baby. It makes things move very quickly and can be stressful. Personally, as a control freak who likes plans, I was not excited about that and wanted to cast the demon out of our friend.
But, funny how God works and what He teaches us in it.
On June 13 I got a phone call from our pregnancy worker at 10am and she said, “Can I talk to you and Katie?” She was out of breath (from grabbing things in her office and running around to head to the hospital) and I knew right away what she was going to say. She went on to tell us that a birth mom called the agency on Tuesday, June 12, about a baby she had on Monday night, June 11. He was 5 pounds, 18 inches long. He is getting discharged from the hospital around 2:30 on June 13th, and she chose you to be his forever family. Do you want him?
So, we grabbed some clothes, a car seat and headed to the hospital. What is crazy about a 5 pound kid is that our boys were almost 9 pounds. What was also crazy about this whole thing is that Katie had washed a bunch of baby clothes, but only washed the boy clothes. We didn’t have any girl clothes ready to go.
When we asked the birth mom why she chose us, she said that she wanted her son to have a love for God, to love being outside in nature and to love music. Three things we had put in our match letter that are important to us. She named him Andrew, so we wanted to keep that name.
We named him Nehemiah. When we started the adoption process, I was preaching through the book of Nehemiah and quickly became one of my favorite books of the Bible. I loved the courage, passion and leadership of Nehemiah. I have also come to believe that sometimes what we name our kids, what we say to them can become very prophetic for their lives. I wanted the son we adopted to embody who Nehemiah was, and the character he had. I also wanted him to feel a connection us and this process.
So, now we are a family of 4 kids which is crazy. I joked with Katie the night we brought him home while we were at Babies R Us that she looks great for having a 3 day old baby. It is still setting in. It is hard to believe that less than 2 weeks ago we left the hospital with him. It still doesn’t feel real. Our kids are super excited about the whole thing and having a baby brother. Which is such a blessing.
I am blown away by God’s timing. Right now, I am on a summer preaching break which gives me a lot more flexibility with my family. Katie and I took Nehemiah with us to California for the Acts 29 Pastor’s Retreat. So, he’s been on a plane and he has been to the ocean in his short, little life.
The way the whole thing happened has been another reminder of how God is in control and sovereign and that I can rest in that.
In case you missed them, here are the top posts for August 2010:
- 10 Characteristics of a Growing Church
- Life Lessons: Don’t Dance in the Street
- The Most Important Thing Parents Do
- Saturday Night Mind Dump… (8/7/10)
- How a Staff Supports a Lead Pastor
- Saturday Night Mind Dump… (8/28/10)
- You Become What You Think About
- Ava is 5
- Be Clear
- I Actually Hear the Bible at my Church