What a poignant moment! 10 years ago the Lord called my family to the Isle of Man to join the team at Living Hope.
It was probably the hardest decision we have made as a family as the cost was painful and expensive. It wasn’t a monetary sacrifice, but the pain of leaving family and life long friends to venture to an unknown land to lead a work that frankly terrified the life out of me!
Initially it was a painful undertaking, tears visited frequently, family unable to, with the new complication of sea between our new home and our old City. So many things were buried deeply in my heart, a deep love for my immediate family and friends, a wonderful church that we had been involved in planting just months before our departure, a career in music, my great joy, and not only that, but Scotland running in my veins, a country that’s easy to leave, but a stubborn friend that never relinquishes the heart!
Life as a young, clueless pastor was really not easy, at times, only the call and certainty that we were where God had placed us kept us from the morning boat. Perhaps the wisest words ever spoken came from my constant source of wisdom, my Dad, “Son, if you go, learn Luke 9:62, digest it and make sure you can obey it”- “No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”. Turning back was not a possibility, our hands were fixed to the Isle of Man plough, and Scotland a distant friend, only to be returned to if the Lord calls us back.
Fast forward 10 years.
Surrounded by some of the most wonderful friends we have ever had, running with a team of exceptional leaders, we have seen heaven kiss earth with surprising regularity. Lives transformed daily, hearts healed, wounds bound up, marriages restored, broken dreams revived, acts of lavish generosity visiting those in need. I stand amazed at my God.
Serving our community and church family has come with the greatest benefits. Kaz and I thank God daily for the work He has done in the lives of our children. Holly effortlessly hearing the voice of God, a devoted lover of His word, a worshipper with no fear of man. Conor, a young man of faith, growing in his devotion to the scriptures and carrier of a journal filled with testimonies of healings he has prayed for, nearly 80 in the last year. Skye, a bundle of joy and life, lover of Jesus and people.
The work Jesus has done in our children is one of our greatest rewards. He has honoured an 11-year-old decision to move from bonnie Scotland to the gem of God’s earth! We are so thankful. This month, we celebrated the 10th birthday of our morning congregation in Peel and the 1st birthday of our evening congregation in St John’s. I listened to many testimonies that described the way God has touched so many lives through the ministry of Living Hope. It was overwhelming, inspiring and quite mind-blowing. At times, as a pastor, I have asked the Lord “Are we making progress? Would the community notice if our church left town?”. Sometimes the visible evidence that confirms Jesus is moving and answering our prayers doesn’t marry up with human timelines, a wise man once said we often overestimate what God will do in one year and vastly underestimate what He can do in 10!
At our 10th celebration, that was confirmed as testimony after testimony affirmed the cries of our hearts, not just the prayers of this current generation but even those long passed. Prayer is an eternal element, it may be birthed in our mouths in this life but it certainly does not expire when breath leaves us. God is a big picture God, the one who sees the beginning and the end as current and present! We glimpsed the big picture. Revival is coming to our island. The wheels are already in motion and now our responsibility is to continue to pull the plough we picked up all those years ago. The timing, well, that is up to Him, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
10 years ago, we made the best decision we have ever made, it was the hardest, but it confirmed that the best possible place for a family to be is walking in the footsteps of the King who called them from one home to another.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Euan leads the Peel congregation of Living Hope on the west coast of the Isle of Man. He is married to the wonderful Karen and they have 3 gorgeous children, Holly, Conor and Skye. He has a passion for worship, teaching and raising up young leaders. You can follow him on Facebook.
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