As many of you know, on May 9, our family set out on a very unexpected adventure. After twelve years, my ministry at Berea First Baptist Church suddenly came to an end and Linda and I were left to discover what the next chapter of our lives and our ministry would be all about. This change not only touches my ministry as a pastor, but also Linda's ministry as a GED instructor in a class housed at Berea First. She has been robbed of the ministry she has used for eight years to change lives in our community for the better.
Many friends have told us that they hesitate to call or even email us because they don't want to wear us out with talking about the painful events of the past few weeks and the uncertainty of the future. Please know that we have not been worn out by your concern. You have given us much strength through your calls, cards, emails and visits. Your experiences of sudden life changes has encouraged us and challenged us to believe that God can use something as bad as what we've suffered to bring something wonderful into our lives.
Still, I'm created this blog, the first I've ever done, to give us an easy place to keep in touch. Visit whenever you'd like to see how the Vaughans are doing. We'll try to keep it up to date.
People often ask how they can pray for us right now. Let me share a few specific requests.
Pray that we, in God's good time, will find the freedom that will only come from forgiving those who have hurt our family so deeply. We want to move forward and know that we can't travel very well if we're carrying the burdens of the past with us.
Pray for our children, as each of them deals with this disappointment in his or her own way. Pray that they will know that God's church is much bigger than what has happened at one church by a few misguided people.
Pray for Elizabeth and her husband Josh as they soon will move to Monetta, SC for Josh to serve as pastor of Bethel Baptist Church. Pray for their first child, Liam, who is to be born in late July. Pray for the people of Bethel church that they will be ready to begin a wonderful new chapter of their ministry.
Pray for our son, Josh, as he continues his very demanding studies at Elon University. Pray that he can be free from worry about his parents and free to continue to do his best as he prepares for a career in physical therapy.
Pray for our son, Andrew, as he grieves the unexpected and undeserved loss of his church family and as he prepares for his senior year at Travelers Rest High School.
And pray for Linda and me as we strive to turn our hearts away from the past and toward the future God is preparing for us.
I hope that you'll use this blog as one good way to keep in touch. Know how much your friendship and prayers will always mean to us.
Ronald D. Vaughan