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The Next Chapter

For the past several months we have been thinking and praying about the next step in our lives. We have known for a little while now, but we were waiting for the perfect time to make this announcement. We are moving!

It was back in May of last year while on a road trip (we always have our best conversations on road trips) that we started talking about what was next. We knew that Jeremy was nearing the end of his time in Seminary, and we both just sensed God moving us, and telling us that it was time to enter the ministry. Seminary has been a 5 year journey where we completed one Masters degree together and Jeremy has been working on his second. It has been a season of preparation that we are so grateful for. We have learned so much and been taught and mentored by some amazing believers. But, as we talked on that long car ride we both expressed that we individually felt that God was showing us that it was almost time to move on to the next chapter.

It was an exciting conversation, but we didn’t really know what it meant. We left the conversation saying that we would continue to pray about it, and be in Scripture, and we would look for the Lord to open doors. Over the next few months we continued to pray and talk things over periodically. We saw some opportunities for ministry positions and even started pursuing a few of them, but in the end…we didn’t sense God leading to any of them.

Rewind to the months shortly after we got married almost five years ago, and our hearts have been led towards church planting in an area of the country without many churches. God placed a strong burden in Jeremy’s heart for this shortly after we got married and he felt the call to pastor. I grew up in the northeast, in an area where there are not many churches at all, and for a good part of my life my family drove an hour to church. Jeremy grew up in a highly churched area and then we lived in the South so he was shocked to realize how few churches are in some parts of the country. When we first got married we knew that church planting was the long term goal, but we did not know when it would be, or where it would be.

thegospelisourpurpose

October is when we started talking more about the “when” as we realized that Jeremy was almost finished with his degree.  During a random phone call with my parents they mentioned the fact that they did not have a church to attend, and for some reason after that conversation we started thinking about the possibility of moving back to Pennsylvania, where I am from to plant a church. It was kind of funny that the place that had opened Jeremy’s eyes to the need for churches in the United States was one of the only places we had never really considered when thinking about where we would plant a church. We began praying and talking about it a lot and even asked for prayer from some godly counsel.

Over the next few months God continued to open doors, and we soon found ourselves telling our families that we felt that this was the direction that God was leading. One of the doors that was opened was with a man that came through Jeremy’s school that works for NAMB (North American Mission Board) specifically in Pennsylvania. Jeremy listened to him speak, and even got a flyer that he handed out that listed some towns that needed churches in PA. Jeremy was disappointed when all the towns were over an hour from where we were looking at, but decided to talk to him anyway. When Jeremy mentioned the name of the city that we had been praying about the man started to cry,and told Jeremy that he had been praying about that exact town for over a year. He asked Jeremy to come with him over to his briefcase and handed Jeremy a CD of over 70 pages of demographic information about the tiny town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania that we thought no one knew about. We asked God to make things clear, and He has done just that, in so many ways.

When will we be moving?

We will be moving in the middle of August, after Jeremy finishes his summer classes. Jeremy will finish his remaining eight credits online this fall and he will graduate in December.

Will we still be shooting weddings?

Yes. We have a few weddings that we will be flying back to DFW to shoot, and we will continue to book a limited number of weddings in TX, because we have family and friends here. Our Associate Photographers, Michele + Hope, will continue shooting weddings in DFW as they already previously have. We will also begin booking weddings in Pennsylvania, though we are not sure yet how many weddings we will take on each year.

Can you take our family pictures before you move?

Though we usually only do family sessions once a year, we will be taking a limited number of family sessions before we move because we know that many have shown interest in this. We will also be returning in the fall to do mini sessions. If you are interested in a session feel free to email us for details so we can get it scheduled.

When will the church start?

We are not 100% sure. We will begin leading a Bible study and focus on evangelism and discipleship, and wait for God’s timing in showing us when that first service should be.

The truth is, leaving is bittersweet. We are so excited about where God is moving us, but there are people here in TX that we will miss. Some of the sweetest moments of our lives have happened here in TX. Both of our sweet daughters were born here, and one went to Jesus while we were here. But, the truth is that we know that this world is not our home, Heaven is. And because Heaven is our home, the gospel is our purpose, and we feel blessed that God has chosen us to make the gospel known.

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Hooray!! And you know, Pennsylvania is a lot closer to Boston:)!

Very happy to hear that God is making things clear for you two. Elizabeth and I have been through several transitions (jobs and locations) since we’ve been married, and God has always been faithful! I completely understand the bittersweet feeling, but I believe you’ll be leaving something great to go to something even better–that’s how God works :) We’ll pray for your family.

Your passion and love for the Gospel is always so encouraging. Thank you for sharing.

Kristin, your blog has been such a blessing to me and I will be praying for your family and your move to PA! I would love to hug you before you leave!

Kinzie Marie Harvell

We are going to cover you guys in prayer. So proud to have met you and call you friends. Love your hearts and ability to always trust in God.

Jamie K! Photography

I’ll be praying for you guys! :)

Lara Casey

I am so inspired by you and excited for what God has in store!

Emily Beth

This brought tears to my eyes as I will miss sweet Stella! But I am so proud of you guys and will be lifting y’all up in prayer as you make preparations and plans. May He guide each step! <3

Kristin Ungerecht

That’s so amazing, Kristin!

Amanda Jameson

Jeremy and Kristin, praise the Lord! So thankful to read this and see the ways you are following the Lord in faith and obedience. What an exciting new adventure for your sweet family and ultimately to bring glory to our Savior. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”Isaiah 52:7

Karen Stott

This just makes my heart so happy for you all. I laid here crying reading it. It’s so wonderful when God makes things so clear and I’m so excited to see how He continues to use you!

Ashli Brown

BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!

Rachel Nordgren

Kristin! This is amazing news! I am in awe of your earnest desire to follow the Lord, and so excited to follow your journey as you and your husband plant a church! Be blessed, friend!!!

Bethany McDonnell

Such an exciting step in your lives! Ministry is great!

Ciera Chante Knabe

So awesome and super excited for you guys! <3

Barb Thomas

I am so sorry and sad for you and all the family and friends you are going to be taking a vacation from I say vacation because it sounds like you have quite a few trips planned to go back there and all are certainly welcome to come here too..I do not want to sound selfish but I am soo happy that you will be coming to our area, our home, Your Home..I love to read your thoughts and writings and enjoyed what Jeremy had said during Sophia’s service and can’t wait til you are up and running here.Thoughts and Prayers to everyone involved.

Jari Butler

Hey!! I am a new follower of your blog. I follow you on IG and I love your blog!! So encouraging!! I am praying for you and your family for this new phase in life. I pray that where God leads you, he will give you the strength to handle it all!!

Jeanette Rowley-Photography

Kristen I am so happy for you and so proud of you for listening to God and following him where he is leading! Stop in Greenville PA on your way and say hello =D

We will miss you guys tons!! Excited for you too!

dawn

I’m so excited over your news! What a blessing you will be in this new community. You are such an inspiration to me, your strong faith encourages mine.
Thrilled that you will be moving close to me, I live in NE Ohio. Will keep you and family in my prayers and for more doors to open and for an easy move later on.

Jill Johnston Blue

I am so excited for you both. How wonderful it is when we follow the Lord’s leading and do what He made us to do. He Made Jeremy and Kristin to do just this thing – plant a church in an unchurched area. And because He made you to do this, He will equip you with all you need. When you arrive and you wonder sometimes if you made the right decision, just know that feeling that way is very human. However, never let those doubts take root – always take them captive and cast them out. Then rely on the fact that God never calls you to do something that He doesn’t equip you to do. Now, my experience has been that his equipping is sometimes just as I need it not months ahead of time like I would prefer. No, just when I need something He provides it. You two will be such a blessing to Pottsville and, in turn, God will cause Pottsville to be a blessing to you both. God bless you as your make this transition.

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