Monday, May 21, 2012

In the Midst of a Fallen City (Welcome to S.T.U.B.)

Shepherd Transitional Underground Bunker

The Shepherd family is now in full transition mode. We are no longer a family seeking to become missionaries. We are now On Mission. If you have encountered us in the past couple of weeks, you know this to be true. A few short weeks ago we were asking you to pray with us as we circled the walls of our home... our Jericho. God indeed gave us the city. The walls fell flat, and we stand in the midst of a fallen city.

What do you do after you have witnessed the hand of God? The power of the moment is alive in the air. Time slows down as you notice every small nuance. I see the world around me melt into a constant panorama. My live was once segmented... I was Chad at work, Chad at home, Chad at Church, and Chad when the day was quiet and I was alone. Now, there is only me as I am aware of the movement of God. Everything else has found a silence.

And so now we are here. My parents are phenomenal. It is amazing how they trust the guidance of God in our lives even through all the questions. God comes through every time, just as we need Him to, as long as we follow His path. STUB is the basement of their beautiful home: 1400 square feet of living space... think of a NYC loft (only underground).

Today was the day that we moved in the final items and unpacked the last box. In the past several months (mostly in the past 3 weeks) we have whittled 17 years worth of possessions down to: clothes, basic kitchen wares, toiletries, linens, necessary documents & reading material, and 3 rubbermaid totes each of personal items. This has been the most right-feeling and freeing thing that we have ever done. We have been able to shrug off so many things that held us tightly, and this has allowed us to begin aggressively knocking out debts.

Several of you have already begun contributing to our mission at Commission To Every Nation, and I know that God will honor your sacrifice. We are blessed to have your feet on the path beside us!

We continue to have conversations with our kids... they are so strong! We look forward to being with them as they experience Guatemala for the first time this summer. They are learning what it means to give up something cherished but temporary, to gain experiences and accomplishments that will extend through generations... and outshine the sun.

So... come with me now, and see a glimpse into the brick and mortor that is S.T.U.B.



We are here and we are celebrating this incredible story that God is authoring on our lives! We begin to count down the short months that separate us from our move to Guatemala. Many ask us, "How long will you stay?" and the answer is that we have no plans to return. We believe that this is to be our life work. No stopping, no retirement, no turning back.

Thank you to so many who purchased our items and for the tremendous support and prayers that you daily heave our way. We feel it. We are emboldened by it. Our lives are changed daily by your intercession.

7-9The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I'm tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for.
And why? Because of Christ. 
Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him.
I didn't want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God's righteousness.  ~Philippians 3, The Message

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