Sandi and I have spent the last few months seeking God’s will for our future in Miami. Through a multitude of events, we have come to the conclusion that God has released us from planting a church in Miami. Here are some highlights of what we have discovered:
Living as a cross-cultural missionary does funny things to your psyche. We’ve heard from others who have lived in other countries for extended amounts of time that they think that they can endure anything. We have had that mindset about Miami. We thought we could just push through and make things happen, however, we discovered our limitations through a series of situational changes. We have come to the realization that for the first time in our life, we have gone beyond our limits. “We are way in over our heads!” was our common thought. In all truth, Miami is much more different than we anticipated. We thought it would be more similar to Peru, but the only thing these two cultures have in common is Spanish. Now I am a firm believer that limits are God’s gift to us, to bless and guide us.
As we were pondering our future, I took our family to Key West for a quick Spring Break trip. Driving to Key West literally feels like you are driving to the end of the earth. So we went as far as we could go and ended up at the Southernmost point of the United States of America. As I stood there looking out over the ocean towards Cuba, I sensed that God brought me to the end of my road of church planting. At that moment, God released me from church planting in Miami. I immediately felt a relief and peace rush into my soul. Shortly after I recorded this short video with my family…
The only way forward was to turn around and go back the way we came – North. So that’s what we did.
I told my gospel coach about these new developments and he said, “Allen, let’s pull together some pastors and church planters and bring you and Sandi up to Atlanta and seek God’s will together.” So my family and I flew to Atlanta at the end of April. We had a refreshing time seeking out counsel and seeing old friends. After hearing our story and asking questions, everyone agreed that the best course of action was for me to resign from Crossbridge.
Through these series of events, God has made it clear that He has released us from planting a church in Miami. I have recently submitted my resignation letter to the elders of Crossbridge and informed most of our supporters.
I’m leaving Miami with mixed feelings: sad to close the chapter of church planting and excited to see what God has in store for us. We plan on moving from Miami at the end of June. We’ll land in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where my dad has our lake house all ready for us to move into. There, I’ll begin to look for a pastoral call.
Know that Sandi and I feel like we are in a good place and are at peace. Despite the prospect of our third move since being back in the U.S.A., our girls are doing great and are excited about spending their summer on Lake Hamilton. I am super thankful for my adventurous and flexible wife and daughters!
- That God would allow us to finish well with Crossbridge.
- That we would grieve well this loss and trust God for a new beginning.
- That God would open a door for a new pastoral call.
- That God would continue to protect us as we move again.
THANK YOU for your prayers and support. We are truly honored that you have joined us on this journey to Miami. There has not been one dull moment.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted as God unfolds our next chapter. In the meantime, I hope that our paths will cross.
Grace & peace,
Allen & the Smith Family