God’s Plan

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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.

What’s Next 

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!

Prayer Points

  • 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

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Smiths in Peru November Update! (new video & family needs included)

Dear Faithful Friends:
With only several weeks left in 2013, we are finishing up our first year with the Apprenticeship Program. The goal of the Apprenticeship Program is to form a church planting team to be sent out in a few years. All three apprentices have grown in their knowledge of the Bible, deepened their walk with Jesus, and developed better leadership skills. Esdras told me that the program has really deepened his love for God and the church. I am very excited to see what God has done in such little time! 

  • To see an introduction video to the Apprenticeship Program, click on the You Tube video above or go here . 
  • Also, check out how this year has gone so far, check out this recent interview.
Prayer Notes

  • Please pray that the future church planting team would continue to take form, deepen friendships,  expand their vision, and development a more robust theology.
  • Our family is behind on financial support. Our prayer is that God would raise $14,000 by the end of this year to meet our annual budget. In the past, God has provided for our needs through unexpected gifts from many of you. We still depend on your support in order to be able to minister the gospel in Peru. 
Support the Smiths
A one-time gift of $30 or $50 can go a long way! If you would like to contribute to our family, here are the ways you can give:
  • You can send a check to the following address, with a memo note saying “Smith Family Support”:
Christian Missionary Society
P.O. Box 14563
Greenville, SC, 29610-4563
Thank you for your ongoing support!
Allen & Sandi Smith
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Smith Family Video Update: January 2013

To view the best quality, change the bottom right-hand dial settings to 720p HD

Greetings from Peru!

We hope that you are off to a good start to this new year.

We have just uploaded our most recent video update. We invite you to see what God is doing in our ministry and family here in Trujillo, Peru.

Feel free to share it with your friends. We are exciting to see what God is going to do this year!

Here are some ways you might pray for us:

  • that we would be consistent in our personal and family devotions.
  • that we would be intentional with non-Christian friendship so that we might see many of them be converted this year.
  • that we would be better encouragers in our family and among our mission team.
  • that God would bless Allen’s leadership at Cristo Rey Church and with the new church planting  apprentices.

Some fun ways to keep up with us this year (other than this blog):

Twitter:  @SandiLSmith   @allensmith76

Instagram:  @sandismith @allensmith

Give us an old fashion phone call : 901-399-0463 (Home)

Grace and peace,

Allen, Sandi, Abigail, Adeline, Mary Allen & Eva

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Leadership Development Director for Peru Mission
http://www.perumission.org

Woman dies at 99, leaves behind 1,400 descendents

I hardly ever post popular news, but this is too interesting to pass up. The news feed reads…

The commandment to “be fruitful and multiply” the Krishevsky family follows quite closely. Last Saturday, the great grandmother, Rachel Krishevsky passed away at the age of 99, leaving behind no less than 1,400 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren.

Go here for the entire article. Talk about a multigenerational vision!

HT: John Ferguson, church planter in Calgary Canada.

Earthquake in Peru

I woke up this morning to a flurry of emails asking me about Peru’s natural disaster. A powerful 8.0 earthquake hit 165 miles south of Lima, near the city of Ica & Pisco. The death toll is now over 330. Pisco is reported to be destroyed by 80%.

Two of our team members, the Fergusons and Caleb Sutton, were in Lima when the earthquake struck. I called Wes Baker and he said that everyone on our team is fine. Supposedly the earthquake was even felt hundreds of miles in the northern city of Trujillo. Here is a first hand account from Heather Ferguson:

“Well, we were in Lima – on a little vacation – in the earthquake – on the 6th floor of our hotel, standing with the kids in the doorway of our room wondering if we should make a run for the stairs or just stay. We just stayed until it stopped. I don’t know what else to say right now – we knew it was a big deal, but we had no idea. Nothing came tumbling down around us. There were pieces of plaster in the hall outside of our room, but nothing major. Nobody that we saw was hurt – but Ica – wow. We had beeen talking about going to Ica during this trip to see the sea lions. We just never got around to planning that leg of the trip, so therefore, no Ica. Wow.”

Also, Caleb reports his experience,

“I’m back, and I’m fine. I was in Miraflores when it all went down. It was kind of funny because I was walking and I didn’t notice the ground moving until I looked up and saw the powerlines waving and shaking. When I stopped I felt the ground moving. My greatest fear was that the powerlines would collapse. God really protected that city.”

Since we experienced a 7.0 earthquake in Lima last October, we know how scary it can be. Please pray that the gospel would have advance during the aftermath of this disaster.