Going, Not Knowing

Susan MillerOur office was buzzing with excitement! This was the first time Just Moved Ministry was invited to participate in the Pastors’ Wives Expo at the Southern Baptist Conference, held in New Orleans. Our Moving On After Moving In study that brings hope to uprooted women, are in many Southern Baptist Churches, but this was a platform of visibility to all the churches represented at the conference.

The preparation that goes into an event of this magnitude takes weeks of effort and planning. JoAnn Smith, our National Coordinator, accompanies me, and plays a key role in all conference events. We step out in faith, not knowing how many people we will encounter, or how many lives we will touch for Christ. (Yes, even pastors’ wives need hope and encouragement when they move!) Early on, JoAnn and I let go of any expectations. We prayed that God would bring to us just who He wanted us to share our ministry with, soothe with words of encouragement, be a listening ear, and be the arms of Jesus to those who needed hugs of understanding.

And then, the flood gates of women (and men) poured in to our table! There was the young, former Marine, whose tenderness and care for his wife and four small children was written all over his face. He was desperately seeking ways to help his wife, who, along with him, had accepted a call to the mission field. He was so worried and concerned for her. “So many changes, so much loss in our lives,” he said. “My wife recently had a miscarriage, we lost our home in foreclosure, and we are moving to another country.”

Countless women gathered around us, softly speaking the words, “this ministry is for me, not just my church.” One woman said, “I’ve moved so many times as a pastor’s wife. Our congregation expected me to jump right into ministry, when I hadn’t even had time to recover from the move, and the friends I left behind.”

We were overcome with so many people moving– to plant churches, to pastor a different church, to go on the foreign mission field, to go to seminary–leaving behind all that was familiar to face the unfamiliar. God sent us so many people that we ran out of all our handouts! We were scribbling names and prayer requests on scraps of paper, rejoicing with those who shared a happy story, and crying with those who were fearful and anxious about what lies ahead.

We returned tired from long hours of standing on our feet, worn out from air travel and connecting flights, yet filled with joy and awe at seeing and experiencing the great things God is doing through Just Moved Ministry.

Susan Miller