As I begin my first full week in ministry with Thornwell, I find myself humbled to be in this position and to take a deep breath as I look around to fully take in the immense gift of which my wife, Anna, and I have been so blessed. Earlier this year, we felt God calling us to Thornwell and we were excited and honored to say, “YES!” The time since then has then been quite busy, as you might imagine, in preparing for this move to South Carolina and this new chapter. Yet, amidst the packing of boxes, checking lists, and the natural hustle of lives in a state of transition, I have also been fortunate in my time in prayer that God has laid on my heart what it means to be a disciple.
As we approach Easter, this message carries an extra weight of importance. When Jesus returned to heaven following His resurrection, he left us with very clear instructions for his followers – those who were there in that moment and for every believer who would come after:
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20
Just as Jesus called His disciples as recorded in the Gospels, He is still calling disciples, devoted followers, and workers, today. Here at Thornwell, we are a part of this “Great Commission.” He has imbued each of us with unique gifts and abilities that help us light the way for the children and families we serve. In turn, these children and families go forth and empower communities in which all people can experience both life and love in abundance. We pass the flame to them, and they pass it to others – all nations.
In my more than 25 years in this work, I have been blessed to learn a simple truth: we all have a purpose – as individuals and as the Body of Christ. As disciples, we are called to know Him and make Him known. At Thornwell, I believe we do this in the way we nurture, advocate, encourage and enrich the lives we are so blessed to serve.
I am thankful for my call to Thornwell. I am also grateful for each staff ‘disciple’ who has accepted the call to advance Thornwell’s mission to prevent child abuse and neglect, build up and reunite families, and support healthy communities in the name of Jesus Christ. As you read this, may you also know that I am grateful for you. Thornwell cannot do this important work without a strong community of support and prayer. Thank you for walking beside us in love and in service to children and families.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone for welcoming me into the Thornwell Band of Disciples. Our wonderful journey together begins now. I invite everyone to join me as we passionately pursue Jesus through our collective ministry. Hurting children, youth and families need us, and Him, more than ever!
Thank you for your dedication,