Yesterday was my first Sunday as the pastor of the Jicarilla Apache Reformed Church in Dulce, New Mexico. We had a great turn-out for worship. The people were warm and welcoming, and I think the presence of myself and my family was warm as well. There were a few bugs to work out but no one seemed to mind. We are getting to know the people and they are getting to know us. Our journey here, from our first contact with the congregation until yesterday’s worship, was about 10 months. It is our hope that we are able to serve God well here for many years. All-in-all I think it was a really good first day.
But while yesterday was our first “official” day there were many busy days leading up to it. There have been days of prayer, interviews, conversations and e-mails. Study, sermon preparation and worship planning. And moving.
Moving has been the overriding activity of the past three weeks in particular. Packing, almost without end. Or so it seemed. Loading the truck. Four and a half days of travel. Unloading the truck, which was completed as quickly as it was only due to the help of members of our congregation. Then unpacking and getting things settled in the house. And at noon today, just one week since we arrived in town, virtually everything we own is out of its box and in its place. The only exception is my wife, Robin’s, shop for working on stained glass. And all of the credit for “driving the bus” in the activity of unpacking and getting settled in town goes to her. Robin has been phenomenal during our move, especially since we arrived in town.
And now on Monday afternoon we had an opportunity to relax a bit and consider what comes next. Robin posted this to her blog. While I took our daughter to the park Robin wrote lesson plans for home-schooling, which resumes tomorrow. We have decided that Monday will be my day off, but on this Monday I have a half-dozen things floating through my mind that I need to get to work on soon.
I think that we are off to a good start in this particular ministry. I know that as the days, weeks, months, and God-willing, years unfold that we will experience a full range of experiences and emotions here. But today I am mindful of these words from Paul to the church at Philippi:
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
We have had a good beginning here. My prayer today is that we would faithfully follow God, to His eternal glory, throughout the time that we live and serve with His people in Dulce. Amen.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.