An Open Letter from Pastor Sandy!
We are changing pastors on June 28th!
While I thought I would be a pastor with Water’s Edge for the rest of my life, it has become apparent this wasn’t God’s plan.
Out of the blue God said, “Sell your boat.” WHAT??? We lived on it; we launched ministry from it; we met people who needed Christ! We were very surprised! Our boat went onto the market in November. The sales broker said to plan on a year or more for it to sell. It sold in February! Only God could have sold that boat!
We heard another ‘God voice’ that was difficult to swallow. “Don’t get too attached to Baltimore.” Ouch. We were very attached! God seemed to be preparing us to leave Baltimore. So, we began driving – a little south of Baltimore – and other places along the Bay to pray. That seemed like a good approach to seek understanding!
Now, I need to give you a little backstory. Tim’s company transferred Tim to Huntsville, AL in July, 2014. He traveled back to Baltimore, as he could, for a year. Finally, he negotiated a plan which would allow him to work from Baltimore, traveling to Huntsville occasionally, and Tim moved home last June. Yeah! Finally! However, in February, his company re-organized; Tim was given more projects and his boss wanted him back in Huntsville. Ugh, not again!
As we prayed, Tim reflected, “You know, we’ve been doing everything we could to stay in Baltimore doing ministry. Are we missing the move God wants us to make? Let’s ask Him.” Ah-hah …
Through this prayer and discernment time, we had many prayer warriors. I thank them for struggling with us, until we knew the proper course to take. In the end, we simply had to say, “Yes, we’ll go God.”
We have worked out some details. We’ll be moving in June. I will remain working with Water’s Edge as the Executive Director for the next year or so. Steve will be our pastor. What a mighty God who works out all things for our good! (Romans 8:28)
The Baltimore D.S., Rev. Cynthia Moore Koi-koi, has hired a local pastor, Steve Burke, to be the pastor of Water’s Edge in Baltimore. This is great news! Steve has been working and learning with Water’s Edge for almost two years! (God always knows far more than we do, and is moving before we know what He is doing!) Steve’s a gift from God – capable, called by God, and strong in love for this movement of God’s!
One of my fears in leaving Baltimore is that people like you will stop giving. This God movement needs you!
God’s plans are so big. Both communities (Norfolk & Baltimore) are feeling pulled to do significant, “changing life as we know it” sorts of things as they battle the destruction of poverty: Norfolk with the homeless (shelter, food, services), and Baltimore with job training and community gathering spots (the hope of a job other than drug or sex trafficking, and a safe place for the community to hang out).
We were praying on a Baltimore street corner recently next to a building we hope to occupy some day as a ‘safe community coffee spot’ (an outpost of the Kingdom). Two teenage girls walked by, heard us asking God for help in opening a coffee spot, and exclaimed, “Oh, we’d hang out there everyday!” We knew in that instant that we were being obedient!
One of Baltimore’s goals is to transform dangerous communities into divine communities of wholeness.
In Norfolk, homeless people are finding sanctuary in the homes and life of that faith community. Family life is being shared as a room in Diane & Gary’s house is offered as a place to stay. One by one, lives are changed and touched!
What if Jesus brought hope in the midst of poverty, homelessness, and addictions – through us?
What if a child became employable and enjoyable rather than trained in ‘hood violence and selling drugs?
What if life found renewed purpose through the love of a great God and the people He sent?
Thank you for being such a great supporter, prayer warrior, and friend of what God is doing on the ground in people’s lives. We, literally, can’t do it without you!
Love to God and each of you,
P.S. Please make note of our new mailing address: 2400 Boston St., Wuite 102 (c/o Vircity), Baltimore, MD 21224. (Vircity is a local business who collects mail and does some secretarial and bookkeeping work for us.)
P.S.S. Join us for a very special worship night to celebrate this transfer of leadership on June 28th – stay tuned for details!