Monday, March 10, 2008

Unemployed and Homeless

I'll admit up-front that both the post title and this photo are exaggerations of our current situation. We are by no means destitute, nor are we actually homeless.

Here's our current situation: we are living in the mission house owned by Rothwell Baptist Church, which is located in Pooler, GA (suburban Savannah). The Rothwell family has been very gracious to us. They have given us no time limit on how long we may live here. Therefore, we do have a place to live. However, this does not feel like home because we know that there is no permanence to it.

As for employment, our financial support and benefits from the International Mission Board end on March 15th. After that, I am officially unemployed. The IMB has been very gracious to us; I am thrilled that we were able to resign from the IMB on good terms.

I have been looking for both pastoral and non-pastoral positions within this area and beyond. I can't remember all of the various job applications I have filled out. I even applied to work at Starbucks (they have good health insurance). At one point, I considered returning to UPS, but then I came to my senses and discarded that idea.

Right now a few things seem promising. I have preached locally at one Southern Baptist church on three different occasions. We spent a joyful day there yesterday. I preached twice, and Bobby's car even won their Pinewood derby (after, not during, the morning service). In the morning service, the sermon came from Ephesians 4:17-24. In the evening, the text was Acts 16:1-15. We have enjoyed our time at this church; this may be where God wants us to serve. I have the privilege of preaching there next Sunday morning also. I'm planning to discuss the Triumphal Entry in the AM service, and the topic of suffering in the PM service.

Other possibilities include one church in Tennessee and another in Utah. Beyond that, there are two Christian chaplaincy agencies that may have positions available. I am certainly also open to moving into secular work, but nothing has surfaced so far.

Despite these uncertainties, we know that God is still sovereign and will do what is best. In his perfect timing, he will provide a job and home for us. We, of course, would like this to happen today. However, we have to trust that God knows best. Even when our faith wavers during this time, he is always faithful.

He shows us his providence each day. We have a prime example - our son is not only alive, but he is healthy!

8 comments:

Kat said...

Eric,
I am praying for you as you travel this uncertain road. Our daughter and son-in-law and family have been back in the States from their ministry in the Philippines for over three months. They took an early furlough because of his parents' health issues. That has been complicated by the fact that their own ministry is uncertain because the base where they serve is being closed within the year.
Oh, yes...and the house they have been "house-sitting" while here is being sold. It looks as though they and their five children will be moving in with us for awhile.
Sometimes it is hard to see around the curves in the road. What a blessing to remember that the Lord goes before us.

Eric said...

Kat,

Thank you so much for your prayers. It really does mean a lot.

It sounds like your daughter's family is in a very similar situation to us. I hope that all works out for them. You are right that God goes before us - that is a comforting truth.

Eric

Joe Blackmon said...

Eric

I have been studying recently through the 23rd Psalm and I just wanted to encourage you that the Lord is YOUR Shepherd. Hang in there.

By the way, where in TN are you looking at as a possibliity. I work near Nash-vegas myself.

Eric said...

Joe,

Thank you for the encouragement. As for TN, the church is just outside Jackson. It seems to be a good church; it is so hard to know without traveling there to see. I don't think it has any direct connection with Union University, but some students may attend there.

Wow! You live near the Mecca of Southern Baptist life.

Joe Blackmon said...

Eric

Yep. In fact,before our church split, we had a couple of guys from the finance department at LifeWay. They're Calvanists but I think they kinda had to hide that at work. Haa haa

Eric said...

Joe,

I agree; I doubt that Calvinists would feel very comfortable at Lifeway.

pfranklin said...

I'll also be praying that you and your family will know what the will of God is for your ministry.

I have no doubt that God will take care of all of you. After all, He wants the best for you and will continue to work toward that end.

Enjoy being filled to the top with the Holy Spirit today.

Eric said...

Phyllis,

Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. God is good!

Eric