Hear from the Family and Team

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Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe that this month marks the end of our chapter of itinerant traveling. The Lord has given us a sweet semester with churches all over the Carolinas, Florida, Indiana, and Minnesota. It is a great privilege to look back at all of the gospel opportunities we’ve had while serving alongside brothers and sisters in Christ. As we transition, we thought it would be nice for you to hear directly from the family and Team of how God has worked in them while on the road.

Hear from the Team

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned on the road? And where is God leading you next?

●      Bethany Wescott (4.5 years on team): “‘Christians, go TOWARD need where Christ is…NOT toward comfort.’ This was a theme I took note of from the first team Sunday school lesson I heard that would begin impacting my life. I can be such a fearful person, but the ways it manifests itself are all self-focused. I’ve learned that surrendering to the Lord and allowing His [perfect] love to permeate my being is what casts out fear, allowing freedom to enter. Only His love can cast out my fear of losing comforts or of not having my desires met, and yet when HE is my focus, I see what my desires should truly be…ones that are outward-focused versus self-focused.Bethany will be moving to Utah to help minister at Gospel Hope Church in Riverton, UT. She will also be looking for a job to get plugged into the community there.

●      Andrew Smith (3 years on team)“God has used the necessary means of community to grow, encourage, and sanctify me in the midst of circumstances--both good and bad, fun and hard, and easy and challenging. I have learned that in the big scheme of things, being ‘progressive’ or ‘conservative’ is secondary to simply knowing, loving, and obeying Jesus.” Andrew will be moving to Riverton, UT, and begin a staff internship with Gospel Hope Church. He is also working on building up a music studio.

●      Andy Smiley (3 years on team):“Over the past 3 years God has been slowly and steadily changing the trajectory of my life. I’ve learned the importance of the local church and my need to serve in it.”Andy and Alicia will be getting married in May and then moving to Salt Lake City to help with more church planting in the valley and to get plugged into the community through jobs.

●     Alicia Newcomer (3 years on team): “God’s used these years to show me the importance of being honest with myself and my desperate need for Christ--both before salvation and after salvation. Fear and sin cause me to lose my joy in Jesus, but when I’m secure in God’s immense love for me, I am freed to love others and to grace them with the grace I’ve been given.”

●      Shelley Redlinger (2 years on team): “God has used these last two years on team to expose me to and free me from my idol of perfectionism. While I still aim to be like Christ, ultimately my sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit. Christ has covered me with His righteousness, and so I am free from expecting perfection from myself or others which gives me the freedom to love.” Shelley will be doing an internship with Plant4theGospel in SLC this summer, and then she will return to Greenville, SC, in the fall to finish Grad School.

●      Jordan and Shannon Allen (4 years on team): Jordan: Over the last four years, the lessons God has taught me revolve around the fact that the purpose of the Christian life is to know and enjoy God. Neither rule-keeping nor the absence of restraint is the answer, but rather a step-by-step walking with Jesus.Shannon: “I’ve learned that God is love in a practical sense. He frees me to love others.” Jordan, Shannon, and Jubilee (8 months old) will be moving to SLC to help with church planting in the valley and to get plugged into the community through jobs.

 

Hear from the Galkins

What are your plans and goals for this summer in Salt Lake City, and what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned on Team?

●      Will & Christy: “Our goal for this next season of ministry is, on the most basic level, to relocate to Salt Lake City and develop new rhythms. It’s been our realization over the past 6 years in trying to travel itinerantly and be a part of the church plants that our margin has been pushed to low levels of tolerance and workability and that we needed to reset our rhythms of personal lives, ministry, and family. We’re thankful that the church has made a way for us to enjoy a short sabbatical in April, and we are looking forward to enjoying some time together as a family. We have 3 Plant Camps this summer in Salt Lake City, and I’m also speaking out at 3 teen camps. In addition, we are preparing to send Anna Grace to college and to hit the fall with a renewed burden for the church plants. Presently, there are 4 possible church plants, with 1 of those plants definitely coming together over the next year and a half.”

●      Anna Grace (17)“My goals for this summer are to grow personally, to love and soak up the time with family, to make final decisions about college, and to be pumped about whatever God has for me. I can’t boil all these years down into one sentence, but recently through Romans, I have learned a little more of what it means to live as a chosen child of a loving God.”

●      William (16)“Looking forward to this summer, I am excited to work a job again at a neighborhood housing complex and getting to know the community.  As we have traveled to hundreds of churches across the US, I have seen that despite minor differences, the whole Body of Christ is a beautiful, amazing thing that will forever be an important part of my life.”

●      Lilly (14)“I’m excited to be home and able to play on a soccer league, and also to be involved with the youth group long-term now, really getting into their lives in-person. I’m also looking forward to hopefully serving on the worship team at church. The biggest lesson I’ve learned on the road is being able to love people through God, no matter who they are, what they do, or what their church is like. Because of God’s love, we can love each other no matter what. It doesn’t matter what our preferences are.”

●      David (12):“I like soccer, so I want to play in a league this summer, and I also want to finish reading the Bible all the way through. A lesson that I’ve learned on the road is there is something more than our everyday earthly desires and that Jesus is the satisfaction to our needs.”

●      Elli (10)“I would like to be able to do soccer in a league and really help out with our dogs. I also want to do a Bible Study with the pastors’ daughters. I’ve learned on Team that I’m not supposed to serve only one kind of group, but all people, including my family.”

 

pray for THE GALKINS

We would covet your prayers in our transition that we would have clarity on what is exactly the best way to advance church planting in Salt Lake City. In addition, we would covet your prayers for our family as this transition from road life to single location comes with its own pressures and opportunities. We’d also ask that you would pray for us financially as it is our responsibility to raise funds for the church planting side of our ministry.

We are so thankful for you and your involvement and partnership with us in the gospel these past 20+ years. God has been so kind as we work through all the bitter-sweet moments that come with transition. We’re already looking forward to seeing how God will continue to show His grace as He sustains and uses us for His glory in the Salt Lake valley.

 

For the Gospel,

The Galkin Family and Team


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