What's Happening?

Life on the road is never boring! Whether it's a birthday party or a fall outing, read these articles to hear about the recent fun the team has been having.

Switching Over

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...STAY TUNED FOR MORE

 

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

   

Hello 2019!

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Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your continuous investment and partnership with us in the gospel! The Lord has given us a sweet time with our families over the holidays, and now our final semester on the road is off to a great start. Over the Christmas break, the team spread out to their different homes around the States, each able to spend some quality time with their families--Shelley even flew over to Zambia to spend a few weeks with her parents! Meanwhile, our family was based at Lebanon Baptist Church, where I had the opportunity to speak a number of times to the church congregation. I also enjoyed having some quiet time to work on a seminary class.

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On the personal front, Anna Grace is a senior and is looking at college in the future; William just turned 16 and enjoys writing short stories; Lilly is 14 and likes all things burgundy, as well as a recent hobby of weaving on a loom; David is 12 and is eating up every book he can get his hands on; and Elli is 10 and enjoys drinking tea and holding Baby Jubilee Allen every chance she gets. Christy is still Super Woman, being a wife and homeschooling 5 kids, taking care of 3 dogs, and investing in 7 team members. We’re sure thankful for her! On the traveling front, we are spending the majority of our time this semester in the Carolinas, with a quick dip into Florida, eventually ending in Minnesota. We are praying that God would use the opportunities and outreaches to lead folks to a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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2019 is a year of huge transitions for our family and ministry. As we contemplate the 20+ years that we have traveled itinerantly, preaching in churches week-in and week-out, it’s hard to believe that in April we will begin focusing primarily on the opportunities that are available to us in Salt Lake City, Utah. Please pray for us in this time of transition, that we will rejoice in what God has done, that we would be faithful in serving, and that, as we seek to raise some support to help fund the church planting venture that God has called us to, we will trust the Lord to work. It could be that you would be interested in giving a one-time gift or joining our monthly support team. If you are, please feel free to let me know.
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We’re already looking forward to seeing how God will continue to show His grace as He sustains and uses us for His glory this final semester on the road. Pray with us that we would stay faithful and humbly serve Him and His people as we finish out this chapter together!

For the Gospel,

Will, the Galkin Family, & Team

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Enduring with Joy

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There are times on long runs where I wonder if I'll even make it to the end, whether it be because of my lungs, my knees, my back, my hip (what, am I old or something??), the weather, or whatever else seems to be a "road block" to my finishing. I’m told that a lot of the time, getting to the end is a mental game. Once you hit a certain mile, everything seems to go numb, and you just. keep. going. Some runs are better than others. Some runs are easier than others. Some runs are more enjoyable than others. Some days are all running with no needed walking. But it's a whole package deal. You can't just have the good days without any of the hard days.

This reminds me of similarities to the Christian life. Days aren’t always happy and cheery; work isn’t always smooth and stress-free; friendships and relationships aren’t always a walk in the park. But we keep going. It’s not always a sprint, or a run, or a jog. It may be a walk at times. A very slow walk.

We had been going through Hebrews at church in Utah during team training, and these are some things that stuck out to me as I've been learning and growing through the series.

Hebrews 12:1-3 "...let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”

—Keep running the Christian race! What is it that hinders? These "weights" are not necessarily sins in and of themselves, but are they a hinderance to running well? It is so important to be straight up and honest with what some weights may be. Are they sought after for satisfaction or comfort, or are they an obsession with some item, hobby, purchase, relationship, etc.?

—When I run to these and see satisfaction, I no longer believe that God is my True Satisfier, nor am I trusting in Him. God has given us Christian fellowship (the church!) to see us, speak into our lives, and help us on our journey of growing in Christ. Hiding from such fellowship will only be a detriment.

—This run demands ENDURANCE and REQUIRES me to FINISH until the END of my life; it’s not some short sprint. Buckle that seatbelt! There are going to be some bumps up ahead.

—God has given me the exact race that I must run…trials and all. Nothing has taken God by surprise. And I can rest in that comfort.

—So what do I do? I keep focusing on Jesus. Look to Him. Consider Him and His humanity (that He suffered in life while also keeping His Father’s will first).

—Jesus, the Founder, is the One Who gets me into the race (it’s not anything that I have done), and He is the finisher. Jesus is not just a mere example for me to follow…He is my LORD (authority), and it is alllllllllll through the blood of Christ (Hebrews 10:19 ).

 

Jesus is the One Who paid for me, and He is the One Who will keep me.

Praise be to God for His loving, guiding, and steadfast hand.


Thanks for reading!

—Bethany

   

Running the Race...literally

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Pounding. Breathing. Sweating. Grabbing water. Eating energy chews. Putting one foot in front of the other. Concentrating on mental over pain. Having determination. And pushing for perseverance.

A week after we all arrived in SLC, our team plus a few friends got up before the sun was even awake to run a half-marathon down Big Cottonwood Canyon. With the starting line about 9-10 miles up the canyon, we all were huddled together under our space blankets while waiting. At 5:45am, the sun still wasn't up and the chill was a little biting. So many mixed emotions of excitement and nervousness were floating around everywhere. While we waited with anticipation for the 6:45am start time, we talked, laughed, and ran in place to try and warm up.

"How are you doing??"
"I'm nerrrrvous!"
"I'm excited! What about you?"
"I'm cold."
"I'm ready...let's go!!"

And so we began! We headed down the canyon at our own paces for about 10 miles until it leveled out into town the last 3 or so miles where we pushed with whatever energy we had left until the final stretch. Along the way, we passed runners, runners passed us, had sideline cheerleaders, received water and fuel from volunteers, and tried to smile at least once for the photographers. The views, I tell you, were absolutely beatiful as the sun rose above the canyon!

Between the times of 1:38 and 2:07, we all FINISHED the course! {Praise the Lord!} Thankful for smooth runs and no injuries...just the normal wear-and-tear soreness that lasts for about 1-500 days!

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We all left the finish line area wearing the medals around our necks, taking a couple pictures, hi-fiving each other, laughing about our individual run stories, and [some of us] having a hard time believing that we had just run over THIRTEEN miles STRAIGHT for the very first time in our lives!

Such a great opportunity to do an event like this all together. From training throughout the summer, to our taper/wind-down week, to being a part of each other's race day all played a role in us becoming better friends and making new ones!

So go pick up a hobby that others can join you in....or join someone else's hobby! You may discover that you actually enjoy what they love, too!

 

Happy Birthday to Christy!

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{February 12th}

...was a special occasion…Christy Galkin’s birthday! Let me tell all you readers right now, Christy Galkin is one special lady. Our team wouldn’t be what it is without her.

HAPPY {belated} BIRTHDAY, CHRISTY! We love you and are thankful for you!…not just for what you do and the things that you “add” to each of our lives, but simply thankful for just YOU and who you are!

Christy is genuine, funny, faithful, diligent, determined, gentle, kind, sweet, patient, joy-filled. She is an example of a faithful Christian who strives after her Savior, Who then shines brightly through her. Christ is displayed through her words, her actions, and even in how she responds to both everyday “normal” life and difficult circumstances.

Being a Christian and living a life for Christ doesn’t happen by chance or with a “go with the flow” attitude. There’s an intentionality with this life. Christ never promised us an easy going life. He never promised us smooth sailing after surrendering to following Him. No, He tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him. There’s a cost to following Jesus and living for Him. Ah, but Jesus is worth it. The gospel is worth it. Eternity is worth it. First Peter tells us of the hope that we do have because of Christ. We’re not walking this journey alone. Because of Christ—because of God’s love for me—I can walk through this life and face whatever it brings with a resolve. Sure, there will be times that I trip and fall, but the Lord’s grace is sufficient and His mercies are new every. single. morning. to give me strength to get back up and keep walking in obedience. Christ is enough.

We are so thankful for Christy! Thanks for going hard after the Lord and steadily pursuing Him even with the roller coaster twists and turns this life brings. You are a blessing.

As a team member and friend of Christy’s, I am personally extra thankful for her example and roles as a woman (especially in a ministry setting); her daily, faithful walk with Christ (both in the highs and lows); her example of striving to put God and His truth first; her huge heart for any and all people and going after them; her AMAZING white chicken chili!!!! Your friendship is a gift, Christy! Thanks for loving me when I’m unloving. Thanks for being friends with me when I’m unfriendly. Thanks for pouring into me when I’m not always receptive. You challenge me to want to be more like Christ! I think that down the road as I will look back, I am going to realize just how much MORE of a gift these years on the road together have been. It’s easy to take for granted the busy “here and now”, but I praise God for the incredible blessings He’s giving right now in this unique setting and alllllll that goes into road+church ministry. Thankful for how He is using you and your pursuit of Him to display Christ every day. To another year of God keeping you and you growing deeper in your love for Him!  ~BW

 

   

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