A Ferry Happy Announcement!
We have some very exciting news to announce this evening.
WE ARE PREGNANT………NOT.
Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves since we are a family that loves kids, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to hear we are having a baby. That is not the exciting news at this time.
In order to understand the reason for our excitement you have to understand our hearts and more importantly how God has shown up in some really amazing ways.
Ready to dig in? Lets do it.
In 2015, I started my career at Hershey Medical Center. After 2.5 LONG years of intense school, working full-time, and bringing two children into the world, it felt as if the culmination had come. Getting hired at Hershey was a dream come true. We thanked God for his providence to our family, and for the opportunity to work at such a great institution.
It wasn’t soon after I worked at Hershey that I began to realize how much of what happens at a hospital is not patient care related. It began to bother me quite a bit, in fact, at times, I felt that I was having to choose between my fundamental belief in humanity and helping the institution I worked for continue to bring in profits.
This may not bother most people. A job is a job, but for me, I chose this field to help people. My life had been influenced by a two year old young boy with Ewing’s sarcoma. In fact, in my letter to the school, I wrote about my experience and why I thought it helped prepare me to be a nuclear medicine technologist. I wanted to help people and families who were going through similar experiences. I quickly realized, though, that my purpose and the side I was on, was for the institution, and that meant something different than I originally thought.
Immediately, I began to notice that it was the focus of my day to get patients through as fast as possible, to not be as concerned about them as it was to be sure to help the department hit their quota so they could hit their budget numbers.
On days when I found myself caring for people for too long I would easily be told to move on and get them out of my room so I could keep my schedule. God forbid my co-workers help out so someone could be caared for.
It really put me in a bad spot mentally. I began to really hate going to work because it became about people making money off of other people’s health situation. It was a vast contrast to what I thought hospitals did which was, “care for people.”
I would walk down the hallway and see their marketing signs that said they were their for the patient, and feel conflicted as I read e-mail after email about how we needed to make sure our billing was correct. WE NEED TO GET PAID!
Hypocrisy…and I felt like a hypocrite.
I began to really despise going to work. I felt a lot of depression showing up there. Fortunately, my faith helped to carry me through. The Word of God states in Matthew 7:6-7 that we are to “ask, seek, and knock.” I began to do that and ask God to open a door and make a way for me to be able to leave.
In 2018, God began to open a door when I got a few people who were looking for website design work. They actually offered to pay for it!! I did those projects for them, and they were thrilled at the work I did.
Therefore, as most of you know, in January 2019, I offficially opened Empowered Creative and began to market my business. God began to send people my way. In the first year, with no website of my own and no portfolio, I signed 7 contracts for websites. That’s absurd. Absolutely absurd. These ranged from simple sites to businesses who wanted me use my talents to create an online presence for their companies.
Laura and I were astonished. We would kinda giggle becasue it was ridiculous what was happening. All of it because of our asking, seeking, and knocking.
By the end of 2019, I had established the company enough to where I began to think long-term about it as what I did everyday of my life.
This isn’t a story of how if you pray God will give you everything you want because even though I thought about the long-term we weren’t there yet. In fact, God was simply growing some character into Laura and I as we waited for Him. We even felt super frustrated at times, even cynical.
That’s when God opened a door at our church. For the past 2.5 years, we had been deeply committed to the planting of our church, Ten10 Community. When we weren’t working, we were committed to our church, and we did some incredible things. In late 2019, our pastor and I had been talking about what it would look like for me to be the Executive Pastor. A lot of my giftings would help to support him in the areas where he was weak.
We know his story, but what we don’t know is that even when other people are doing things for evil, God can use them for good. In December 2019, I was installed as the Executive Pastor at Ten10 Community. We thought we knew how thing would go, but as we all know in February, everything changed when our pastor was found to have embezzled money.
Immediately, I was thrown into a lead role. It was tough, and my compensation didn’t allow for me to fully focus on the church. Laura and I can honestly say, of all the months of toil, this was the hardest stretch, the last six months.
If you have ever smoked a pork butt you know the last 6 hours are the longest. Trying to get that meat to 205 seems to take forever. This is how I envision God finishing off this work on us. He was slow cooking us to 205, all the while we were being instilled with the good stuff.
These last six months have been tough. Tough on everybody because of a pandemic. Tough on us because we had to navigate a pastor leaving, people being upset, a pandemic, and then people being scared and upset about the pandemic. All the whie, I was dealing with a job that made me feel bad about myself, and balancing out projects for Empowered that were time sensitive.
Chaos. Absolute chaos.
Many of you noticed and made some loving suggestions to stop, but God simply didn’t say yes yet. And then He did.
A few weeks ago, Laura and I made a trip down to the Outer Banks for my cousin Justin’s wedding. We began to talk about life, and all that had happened. And then I made a bold proclamation, “I’m done at Hershey, no matter what, by the next time we are down here.”
I really had sensed that God was giving us permission for the first time to make this move. Laura and I had some amazing conversations on our weekend getaway, and had decided, in faith, no matter what, I would be done by September 12th.
We decided to trust God, and continue to ask, seek, and knock.
Our season at church began to change following our trip as well. When we returned, we had put the worst of the embezzlement and COVID worry behind us. We began to be able to actually look at the future. We were hopeful for Ten10 again, which just seems insane. It’s a God thing.
In June, a guest speaker came to our service. I was running the LiveStream and Laura was with the kids. I heard audibly from the Lord that this gentlemen would be our pastor. At the service, while Laura was over with the kids she heard the same, he will be your pastor.
Neither of us told each other what we had heard. The next evening our friends came to us and told us that this speaker had considered it and wanted to be considered for our transitional pastor position. As they were saying this I wrote down on a piece of paper that I heard God say he would be our pastor, and Laura began to hit me saying she heard the same thing.
Pure craziness. We had never experienced God quite like that.
Our oversight team began to meet with this pastor. We began to see what he was all about and one of the things he brought forth was an opportunity for our church to help another struggling church. We scoffed at the idea of the word merge. We had just been through the ringer.
After that meeting we began to pray about what we had heard. We then met with another possible candidate. We knew early in the interview that he didn’t have time to be our pastor, but he truly spoke hope and encouragement to us. One of the statements he made was this:
“Most churches agree on 98% of the stuff in the Bible, but they spend time arguing about 2% of it. They make all these new churches and denominations over the 2%.”
He was right. He is right. And that statement really hit us in regards to our conversatin about helping another church.
The guys of the oversight met with the the speaker we thought woudl be our pastor. I’m keeping him nameless because we haven’t announced him at our church yet (this Sunday). He approached us with two options. One was he would solely be our pastor. The other was we could help out the other church, and in return we would be able to move to a building rent free. He told us to pray about it and let him know.
Our team met together a few days other and we spent time in prayer. During the prayer time, the Lord spoke to a few of us. Specifically, one member heard the phrase, “mourn with those who mourn.” This was a phrase from Romans 12.
The other phrase was, “Let love be at the forefront of all you do.”
We began to read the verses of Romans 12 (check them out specifically 9-16), and it became abundantly clear that we were being called to help this other church.
As we began to explore helping this other church, it became apparent rather quickly, that the pastor we wanted to hire was going to need help. It would have been unfair for him to try to carry the load for both churches.
Our team began to explore how we could help him, and one of the suggestions was that I would also help with the other church. It would be our investment back into them financially.
This was the exclamation point on the yes that God had given us. Not only did he say yes, but He also said I’ll provide.
I’ve told you this VERY long story to announce that I will effectively resign from Hershey Medical Center on September 11th, 2020. It is with great joy and excitement that Laura and I make this announcement. We couldn’t be more thrilled for what God is going to do.
I will spent most of my time working for these two congregations. I will also spend time to continue building my business. In all of this, I will have a chance to help people, invest in my local community, and serve God.
It seems surreal that I would get this opportunity, but God is a God of promises. He keeps everyone, even if it’s not in my timing. He has brought Laura and I through the fire a couple of times of the last 5 years, and we stand here more refined than ever.
The verse God keeps placing before me to desribe this process:
Romans 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings becasue we know that suffering produces perseverance; perserverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
In the next months, we will be in a time of transition. Figuring out new rhythms, but ultimately at the end of the day, we will be able to help people. That’s what this is all about.
I look forward to being able to pray wiith people in hospitals rather than worrying about if they are getting billed correctly.
I look forward to helping people build their businesses and helping them through COVID by providing them with an online presence.
I look forward to being able to spend the mornings with my kids.
I look forward to being able to do devotions with my wife.
I look forward to people asking me where Laura is at rather than people asking Laura where I’m at.
I look forward to be able to do things with our families on the weekends.
There is so much more, but for now, we are excited to announce this, and so happy to share a story of God’s faithfulness with those we love so much. Love you guys.