It’s always a challenge coming to a new place. Transitioning from one church to another church has plenty of challenges, let alone moving cities and states. It the past month, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen enough cardboard boxes to last a lifetime, but the

Halelujah Chorus recently resounded as we were able to park Libby’s car in the garage.

For us, the toughest parts of the move came in watching our children transition. Our youngest, Anistyn, is so young that we could have moved to the moon and she wouldn’t have known the difference. The struggle for her has come in adapting to a new schedule. For two parents whose children have slept through the night since day one, perhaps her struggle has truly been more of a struggle for us. Our oldest, Teaghyn, has truly handled the transition better than any of us. She had one moment, as Libby and I were putting spices into the pantry, she came to us and said, “I want to go home.” Springing into action, her Mom was instantly eye level telling her that we were home, “We’re in our new house.” But let me give you some back-story – when we left Charlotte, I had to disassemble T’s bed for the move. When we began to unpack in Knoxville, I couldn’t find the screws to reassemble the bed. I know this makes us sound like horrible parents, but Teaghyn had seemed happy sleeping on her nap pad in her teepee, but still – WHERE THE HECK WERE THE SCREWS?!?! Fast forward to the moment my heart breaks as my little girl tells me she wants to go home, to the house in another state that we sold to move to Knoxville. I felt so helpless, I couldn’t even offer her a bed to sleep in, let alone “take her home.” That night though, as we continued to unpack, Libby hit gold, she found the screws. The next morning, as soon as Teaghyn was up and going, we set to reassembling her bed. That afternoon as our little girl walked into her room for her nap, she saw her bed and exclaimed, “My house! I’m home!”

 I share all of this to make one point though, “God is good.” Twice now in my life I have tried to discern God’s calling in my life in regards to transitioning into a new ministry setting. Each time, I have found myself being drawn to the stories of Jesus calling the disciples. Matthew 4: 19-20 says, “‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.” Every time I read this passage, I always find myself asking, “Was it truly that simple for Peter and Andrew?” We know that these two men had pre-existing knowledge of who Jesus was as the Scriptures tell us that he had already been teaching and preaching in the area. Even so, I’m still amazed at the willingness of these two men to follow Christ with no questions.

As I think about this passage though, I find myself looking at my own life. As we, the Lupers, prepared to move to Concord UMC we considered a lot of factors – what would this mean for the ministry we were leaving; what would it mean for our children, our parents, etc.; what would it mean for Libby’s career? All of these questions and yet no answers and so, just as those first disciples, the only choice we had was to go on faith.

So how are we settling in, we’ll let me simply say, “God is good.” Libby has a job, the girls love their new church, and CUMC’s student ministries are off and running with me at the helm. We go on faith, just like Peter and Andrew, which is not to say that there aren’t some uncertainties, but we have faith. As we continue to settle in, both at home and at CUMC, we go on faith…faith in an amazing God that has never led us astray yet and we trust He never will.
In His Name,
Chris Luper