Since the month of May was the last time that I published a Ross family update newsletter, I figured it was about time for another one. There have been many changes in the household over the last few months. Where to begin?…
At the end of August, we decided to take the house off of the market. It all comes down to this: we were tired of living constantly waiting and wondering if we would get any calls for showings, frantically scrambling to make the house ready for those who wanted to look at it when they did call, and then never even receiving feedback, much less any offers. We also have an acquaintance who took a church a few states away. He put his house on the market and had it sold within 3 days. We have decided that we will do the same: when a church officially calls us, the house will go back on the market. Until then, it’s ours, and we are living in it!
We were faced with the question of how to best go about schooling the kids. We decided to re-enroll them into Tabernacle Christian School. We are so thankful for the State of Indiana voucher program; without that, we wouldn’t have had the finances to do it. It has worked out splendidly with the kids. They are doing very well; and, after a year of homeschooling, I think that it has made them better appreciate having a school and teachers! The girls are both playing volleyball and are in band. They all have made new friends and are even behaving better at home. (Go figure – kick them out all day for school, and they are glad to be home, I guess!) Overall, they have adjusted well to the many changes and challenges that have been thrown at them in the last 18 months.
I am receiving opportunities to preach on occasion at churches around the area. I have preached at Harvest Baptist Church in North Vernon; Good Shepherd Baptist in Mooresville; 1st Baptist Church of New Chicago in Hobart, IN; and the Brown County Community Church down near Nashville. This has been a great blessing, as I didn’t think I would ever be an Evangelist. (I haven’t tried to schedule more meetings, though I might if I were asked!). When August rolled around, I knew it was time for me to look for a job. After only a week of searching and then going to a couple of different interviews, I was contacted for an interview with Owens Communications out of Bloomington. I knew at the interview that this was the job the Lord had for me. It has been great. The company is easy to work for, and the work allows me to be all over southern Indiana. It has been pretty low stress, which is a nice change! Ha ha! The pay isn’t great and money is still tight, but we continue to see the Lord make up the difference in many different areas. (By the way- allow me to preach for a moment- for those who say they “cannot afford” to tithe, I have some news for you. We have two adults and 5 kids in our household, and I went from making 40k to 25k a year with an 8 month gap of no pay in between those two figures. I currently tithe and see God take care of us. I dare say that God makes 90% go farther than I could ever make 100% go. I would much rather experience the blessings of God on the 90% then to see no blessings when I spend 100%. (O.K.- done preaching)!!
Once we realized that we would not be moving right away, we knew that we needed to find a church to let our roots grow into while we wait on the Lord to bring us to the church he has for us. We have found that church in Good Shepherd Baptist Church. Pastor Brandon Sichting, his wife Viola, and the church folks there have been so kind to us. It has been a place to rest, heal, and get refocused for the work of God. We thank the Lord for them. Jonathan trusted Christ as his Saviour over a year ago, and he wanted to wait and get baptized after I was pastoring a church. When I asked him about Pastor Sichting doing it at Good Shepherd, he was super excited and couldn’t wait to tell people that he was saved! Hallelujah!
I am continuing to search for a church to pastor. Many have asked if I would consider being an Assistant Pastor again or starting a church. The answer is the same it has always been: if that is what the Lord wants, I will gladly and wholeheartedly do it. I would be a second man again, but next time I will be interviewing the church and pastor as much as they are interviewing me! As far as starting a church, I know how I would go about doing it, but I only want to do that if I am absolutely sure that it is directed from the Lord. Now that we are settled in, I am more picky about where I send my resume. A few pastor friends also have it and have sent it to some churches. I have had some phone interviews, one as recently as last Friday; but what is important to understand is that churches are not like businesses. The search process is an unspecified one and has no time constraints. It is much like getting elected, only worse: you don’t know when they are going to hold the election! Please keep us in prayer as we endeavour to be faithful to serving the Lord here and now, trusting that He will bring the right church along in His timing. We are excited about some of the churches that we have learned about, but that is all in the Lord’s hands. We want to be where He puts us and nowhere else. For now, it is here, doing what we are doing.
All the kids are growing fast. Abby is taller than her mother. Elisabeth is coming right along learning the trumpet. Jonathan continues to grow taller and taller (Maybe, he will be 6’ 4” when he is fully grown. Who knows?) Julia keeps asking about Jesus and being saved, but she hasn’t quite figured it all out. Recently, Rebecca took her first steps on her own! Felicia is playing the piano for the choir at Good Shepherd and has been invited to teach a course at Fellowship Baptist College in Mooresville. She is doing an outstanding job. She really is an excellent teacher and example to follow! I am blessed to have her as my wife, and I can’t wait to see how the Lord will use her as a pastor’s wife once we get a ministry. (She was an excellent Youth Pastor’s wife!)
I do want to say thank you to everyone who has called, texted, sent cards or money, bought school supplies, given us food or clothing, or has just come over and been our friends. The last year and a half has been a roller coaster, and it has dipped to the lowest that I think we have ever been in life. We continue to see God’s hand at work, and we are excited for what He is going to do.
Some people have asked about our prayer requests or specific needs. 1. We need prayer for the Lord to open the right ministry for us and to give us wisdom when it comes along. 2. With the cold of winter and the holiday season coming, as well as miscellaneous school expenses, we need the Lord to continue to provide financially. 3. Our technology is outdated. My old laptop isn’t up to the task of building and maintaining a website anymore. We would like to replace it with a decent Chromebook in the future. 4. Please pray for the kids to continue to cope well with all of the changes, both present and future.
Below, I have included some pictures from the past few months. Please enjoy!
If you haven’t registered to receive the update emails please click here. It is a big encouragement to me when you do!
Hello from us all,
Michael, Felicia, and the kids
To view the previous update click here.