One year ago today, I worked my very last day after spending six and a half years with John Paul Mitchell Systems (aka “Paul Mitchell,” the hair care company). I worked as a production graphics person, mostly responsible for product packaging (e.g. the shampoo bottles). Paul Mitchell was a company that took very good care of my family and I worked with some pretty great people. I was twenty three years old when they brought me on and left when I was twenty nine. Those are important years for any young man and for us those years included our first child, the purchase of our first home (condo), our second child, and the sale of our first home. It also included two trips to the Czech Republic which would eventually lead to God calling us here to serve Him full time in ministry.
Here’s a photo of me with the kids on September 12, 2013 (I didn’t have one of us from the 13th).
I look back on those years with fondness of what God did in our lives. The day I was hired we only had $9 in our bank account with nothing on credit and all the bills paid. We were young, married, and we had lots of student loans but at least the bills were paid! I honestly didn’t know what were going to do if I didn’t get the job, but the Lord was gracious to provide for us. I remember thinking I would only spend a year there and see what God would have. Then I spent five and a half more, but on September 13th, 2013, we packed up my office and away we went.
Fast forward to today. Here I am sitting in the Czech Republic writing about what God has done in my life and honestly a few tears have entered my eyes. I just checked through my emails and on September 10th, 2012 (yes, over two years ago) we had our a meeting with the elders at Placerita Baptist Church (our home church) where they formally decided to be our sending church! Almost a year later to the date I left my job at Paul Mitchell (2013). A little more than a week later after I left Paul Mitchell, I was in the car driving two and a half hours north of our town to start a little internship at Grace Church of the Valley, helping with music. God’s timing was perfect and He provided a lot through them and eventually they would decide to support our family to come to Czech. During that time we spent countless hours in our van driving around the country, meeting with churches, spending time with family, raising support, and even driving to Colorado to do missionary training. It was an incredible time for our family and one I will never forget. Finally, on June 23, 2014 we got on an airplane headed for Czech. It’s amazing when you can look back and watch God’s hand move.
I get emotional about the past. It’s hard not to. The hand of God on my life has been utterly amazing and I can say without hesitation that’s it’s only by His amazing grace that He has brought me and my family here. Tonight I am so thankful for all the people God used to train me, disciple me, work with him, support our family, and continue supporting us while we seek to bring the gospel to a dark part of the world. Praise God for a year full of joy, full of laughter, full of fun, full of trusting Him, and full of His amazing grace. It’s all grace.
P.S. I couldn’t help but post this without a few photos so just for good measure here’s a few pics of the kids today.