And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. (Luke 10:12)
A little over six years ago my husband and I started out on our seminary journey. Richard had just graduated from Dallas Baptist University and was excited to pursue his masters degree at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville Kentucky. He wanted more than anything to preach the Word of God and to be used to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. He, himself, had been saved through merely reading the Bible—by coming face to face with the Jesus who had the power to heal the sick, raise the dead, and forgive sins—and believed with his whole being that his calling was to teach others the incredible truths found within its pages.
Never would we have thought that seminary would take us six years to complete, but through the Lord’s gracious enabling, my persistent husband will finally be graduating this Friday! As we close this chapter of our lives, I am filled with so many different emotions. I’m incredibly grateful to be done with school (for now!) and to have my husband’s time freed up a little more. Working full-time and then coming home to study for school is hard for a man and his family. I am glad that those days will soon be behind us.
I am thankful for the lessons God has taught us along the way. Yes, it took us longer than most to graduate, but not without good reason! These past six years have been filled with joys, sorrows, triumphs, frustration, and a whole lot of hard work. Along the way we became parents to three incredible little boys who have altered our character forever. These six years have changed us as only time can and I know it will be to the benefit of our future ministry.
Which brings me to another emotion pulsing through me right now: excitement. I am absolutely filled with excitement at the direction the Lord is leading my husband. As we have prayed through the possible ways God might use his gifting and the opportunities available to us, the Lord continually brought my husband’s attention back to church planting.
Remember what I said about the past six years preparing us for something? I truly believe they have uniquely equipped my husband and I for the long and difficult process of starting a brand new church in a community that needs a gospel-centered, theologically robust, and missions-minded church. The difficulties we have faced thus far have given us a great deal of fortitude, which will be helpful as we step out into a very uncertain future.
This is not to say that I haven’t been struggling with fear and anxiety over the many unknowns before us! The fortitude the Lord has equipped us with is not a strength that rests within us, but rather an acceptance of our utter dependence upon him. He is the fort in which I seek shelter as the temptation to fear comes knocking. Obstacles such as fundraising threaten to overwhelm me and yet I know that the same God who has provided for us this far will continue to provide for us in the future.
I find myself crying out in a similar manner as the man in Mark 9 who desired so desperately for Jesus to free his son from demon possession. When Jesus rebuked his lack of faith the man cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” He chose in that moment to believe that Jesus could heal his son, but rightly admitted that his belief was terribly frail and in need of the Savior’s gracious help. I too, must constantly beg for Jesus’ Spirit to bolster my faith—to believe the truths of Scripture and trust him with the future of my family.
I’m so grateful to have just read the incredible testimonies of God’s faithfulness to his daughters in Noel Piper’s book Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God. The stories of each of those brave women have been such an encouragement as God has asked me to follow my husband’s lead in this new chapter of our lives. To remember that I serve the same God as these women did—these women who were able to do so much for his glory, through his power—bolster’s my faith. I can trust this God who has proved himself time and time again!
So what’s next for our family? At the end of January, we will be moving to the Houston area where Richard will be completing a two year residency in a church that is dedicated to preparing him for planting a new church. In that two years, Richard will gain practical experience in the ministry, have opportunities to preach, and begin making preparations for our church plant. I am thrilled to join this body of believers and learn from the pastors’ wives during our time there! It is exciting to finally have the opportunity to do what we have longed to do for so long: full-time ministry!
Pray for Us?
The process of planting a new church is going to be long and difficult, filled with incredible joys as well as frustrations. We are working hard to not only build our financial support team, but also our prayer team. I would like to invite you, dear readers, to join our prayer team! I would be incredibly blessed to know that you are lifting up our family and ministry to our heavenly Father. We have set up a Facebook page specifically dedicated to our church planting journey where we will share prayer requests and ministry updates. I would be honored if you would “like” that page.
Once we have begun our residency, we will also begin writing newsletters for our financial supporters and prayer partners. I will be sure to let you know how to add your name to that email list when the time comes!
You can follow our Facebook page “Praying for the Huttos” by clicking the “follow” button below or by visiting the actual page through this link.