Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas and THANK YOU!

We have had such an amazing couple of weeks.  God has blown our minds with blessings through many of you!!  First of all, we had a "send-off" evening at Pathways a couple weeks ago - a very special time of people sharing in song and testimony of how God has used us in their lives through our 11 years of ministry at Pathways.  It was just so incredible to hear the encouraging testimonies from dear friends and former youth ministry students (all grown-up, I might add!).  We left that evening feeling so loved and blessed.  It was also a special time because Andrew was able to "officially" pass the baton (or goat as it was) over to the new Youth Pastor, Tim.  What a cool picture as he handed that live goat - a visual reminder of passing on the role as shepherd - into Tim's arms!  A few days after that enchanted evening, Veritas Academy blessed us with another "send-off".  The school that we have been a part of for the past 6 years showed such great appreciation to us!  Many families, including the awesome staff, gave a total of over $2,300 to our ministry!  We were shocked and honored.  As we have been so incredibly blessed, we truly thank the Father for His grace in our lives in allowing us to serve among amazing people these last several years.  He is so gracious and we are undeserving of His kindness.  Thank you all who continue to bless us with your financial support as well as emotional and prayer support!  We are humbled and honored that God has used us and is continuing the work!  As far as an update:  we are continuing to pack our belongings to get ready to put it all on a UHaul truck on Jan.1!  It's a long, tedious process as we sift through what goes and what stays.  Things are progressing and we pray we can get it all done and still try to have time to enjoy the Christmas season!  It's a huge challenge and we thank you for your prayers - Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Why Catalina?

We thought we might take some space (cyberspace that is) to answer a question that may have rolled through your noggin at some point.  Here goes...

Why Catalina Island?  Would "we're not sure" suffice?  Call it curiosity...that's really our only explanation for what originally drew us to the Island.  Of course, now we know clearly that our loving Heavenly Father has placed this passion - and curiosity - in our hearts.  We were looking online at Campus-by-the-Sea, an Intervarsity christian camp on Catalina Island, in the interest of a cool place to take some older high school and young adults for a mission/camp experience.  On their website, we noticed that one of their summer camp speakers was John Burcombe, who worked there in Avalon at a local church.  For "whatever reason" Andrew felt compelled to call John and John immediately opened his heart and life to Andrew and that is where our story begins.  They began a phone-only accountability relationship until several months later when Andrew and I (Shelli) were able to visit Catalina after having celebrated my mom's birthday with my family in Southern California.  Looking back it's almost bizarre how this connection happened and we can truly ONLY give our God the credit and the glory! 
By the way, the believers in Avalon have been praying for revival in their city and for the Island as a whole.  They have been asking the Lord to make Catalina a place of peace and refreshment rather than the place of heartache and hurtful living that it has become through apathy and abuse.  They see us as part of the answer to their prayers!  Wow - how humbling and how Awesome He is, to choose US!  Pray that we are faithful because HE is able to do MORE than we could ever ask or imagine - Ephesians 3:20:  "Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." 
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Climb's Hard, but the View's Worth It

Looking up, I was filled with wonder and curiosity, looking down I was filled with fear and anxiety.  Nearly every step I took, rocks shifted and tumbled down the mountain behind me.  I had to grip tightly the larger rocks and trees that I knew were firmly rooted and literally pull myself upward.  Should I keep going?  Is this worth it?  I stopped to contemplate and assess.  I felt a beckoning to keep going - even though there was absolutely no trail in sight and the ground I was on was falling apart beneath my feet, I knew that if I went this far and didn't reach the top, I would think back and be disappointed.   It wasn't long before I began to hear voices ahead of me.  I looked hard, but could not see anyone.  "If someone is ahead of me, maybe there is a trail up there and I must be close", I thought.  I yelled out and those ahead called down to assure me that I could make it, just keep going.  Where was the trail, though?  "Just keep going." I heard in my heart, "it will be worth it."  But how will I get there?  What if this shifting ground doesn't hold me?  How will I get down?  So many questions, so much unknown...

I feared that day to climb that mountain.  Honestly, I started up it having NO idea what I was getting myself into.  I had no idea the difficulty, the shifting terrain, the danger.  I cried and worried.  But I kept going.  And I made it to the glorious top!  It's no surprise the correlation between this incredible experience and the mission our family is embarking on.

How many times do I think to myself, "What are we doing? Is this worth it? Will we be ok?"  Sometimes I'm quite sure we have NO idea what we're getting ourselves into.  But I think In His wisdom, God has designed life like that.  Do I think I would have even attempted that hike knowing how hard it would be?  I know I would not have.  And yet, He beckoned, He sent those ahead to encourage me along the way, and He rewarded me with one of the most incredible views I have ever seen in my life - Mt. Princeton in all of it's autumn glory!

God is faithful and trustworthy!  After that hike, I feel my vision has been expanded.  God has called down to us from the heights, beckoning us to "come," just like those voices I heard ahead of me, assuring me this can be done.  I may slip and slide a bit along the way and there will be "rocks" I thought were sure footing, but will tumble out from beneath my feet.  However, just as I did on the way up the mountain, may I (and may YOU) grip tightly the deeply-rooted Rock, the strong Tree of Life and may we take heart in the encouragement of those who have gone before us to say "this can be done!"

"Light, space, zest - that's God!  So, with Him on my side I'm fearless, afraid of no one and nothing." Psalm 27:1 (Message)

-written by Shelli Hobbs
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

God is the Source

Here it is, our first blog!  Yes, God is our lives, on a daily basis, in so many ways!  He is stretching us far beyond what is "comfortable" as we have now officially stepped-off this cliff of faith and trust and into the unknown waters of "raising support".  It has been a long summer of really examining what God wants for us in this journey.  He has made clear our calling, and He has asked us to trust Him to provide for us.  I have to be honest - we are not comfortable asking people to give money on our behalf!  But as we look at scriptural examples, we see that God requires some to depend on Him this way (the Levites, Jesus, Paul) and that He promises that His ways are better than ours (Is. 55:8-9).  One thing's for sure - we understand that God is the source of any financial support!  In Philippians 4:18, Paul called the Philippians' gift a "fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God."  Their gift was to God, God provided for Paul. 
Praise the Lord that we can completely depend on Him for our every need - He has proven faithful before, He will prove faithful again!
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