Tomorrow we leave for Boston for 4 days and then to New York for 3 days. The trip serves multiple purposes. First, we’re going without the boys. They will be enjoying lots of time with their grandparents here in Austin. This will be the longest we’ve been away from them so that will be a challenge, but it will also make it a different type of vacation. Vacationing with kids is not a true vacation in terms of rest and relaxation as many of you have discovered, so we’re looking forward to that. Second, we’re going to Boston to see if it may be a place we would end up living in the future.
[Sidenote: We’re not leaving Austin immediately. When we mention this trip to people, at times they express worrisome thoughts that we would leave Texas immediately. We’re thinking long-term here, not next month. We’re also not saying that the northeast is a done-deal as far as our future. We love being up there and it feels like home when we are there, we love the opportunity for engaging a culture with the gospel in an area that isn’t gospel or church saturated. But we may end up feeling like it isn’t where God has us or it may be a longer term plan than we think.]
We’ve always had a heart for being a part of establishing a church (church planting) in an area where the gospel is not common, a place of need that has little going on in regards to churches engaging and transforming a culture with the gospel. Austin & the south has a lot of churches, Boston is one of the least reached or least churched cities in America. The American northeast is home to 4 of the top 10 least religious states.
While we’re there we are meeting up with some current church planters at Reunion Boston and Seven Mile Road and potentially another church in the Allston-Brighton area. We’re also meeting with Ralph Kee from Emmanuel Gospel Center, which is an organization working for the vitality of urban churches through collaborative efforts and research. We’re really looking forward to learning about the demographics of Boston from him.
We’re also just really looking forward to enjoying the city and visiting the different neighborhoods to see different cultures and the rich history of each different neighborhood. Five of our friends from The Austin Stone Community Church are joining us to see if Boston may be the place where they end up as well.
On Sunday after church at Seven Mile Road in Malden, MA just north of Boston, we’ll have lunch with their lead pastor and then head to New York for a few days. There we will get to meet with JR Vassar at Apostles Church, we’re excited about the opportunity to hear about Apostles because Amber interned there before we got married back when it was Manhattan Christian Church. We’re going to try and get over to the Brooklyn Tabernacle prayer meeting that Tuesday evening.
We’ve visited New York before, but we’re excited about this trip to enjoy the city together and to see some old friends from college and celebrate Amber’s Uncle Gordon’s Birthday while we’re in Manhattan. Hopefully we’ll get to see more of Amber’s family while we’re there.
It’s going to be an amazing trip and hopefully we’ll be updating you on the trip through this blog, twitter, and facebook.