Meet Russ and Amy
We started in Smalltown, USA.
Monmouth, IL to be more specific. A town of less than 10,000 souls, surrounded by corn fields in the west-central part of the state. Amy was born and raised in the area, but I hail from Southern California, though I'd lived in Monmouth for 23 years by the time this all started. We met on June 27, 2013 and married a year later to the day.
I was in charge of maintenance at the local YMCA and Amy ran the town's chamber of commerce. We both loved our jobs, but our lives did not revolve around our careers. The focus of our lives was, and still is, Jesus, each other, and our children and grandchildren. We actively served together at Harvest Bible Chapel Monmouth for many years. On most Sunday mornings you could find us there leading the congregation in worship, and on Tuesday evenings we led the church's recovery ministry. Recovery is something I have some personal experience with.
Over the last year or so, our lives have changed so dramatically that we can scarcely believe it. From a sprawling house filled with possessions on an acre of land, to our entire lives being contained in a 41 foot boat. From comfortable paychecks every other week, to the total uncertainty of what God might provide by way of odd jobs or generous souls. From having a thriving local church to attend, to trying to start a church in a far away place, in a most unorthodox way. And perhaps the hardest part - going from seeing and holding our children and grandchildren several times a week, to the comparably infrequent visits home that this new life affords.
There is fear and uncertainty as we continue down this unorthodox path, taking step after step further out of our comfort zone, but God has poured out blessing upon blessing on us over the years, and we've no doubt He will continue to do so. We may just have to keep an eye out for blessings that look a little different than the ones we're used to.