Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Call to Go

Dear Roadies (youth at Raleigh Road),

On Sunday, April 9th, I accepted the call to go and pastor Grace Christian Fellowship in Summerville, SC. Our family is excited about this new work that God is calling us to and we are eager to get started. We would appreciate your prayers for us in this new chapter of our lives.

While we are excited to go, we are not excited about leaving. We were happy at Raleigh Road so we weren’t looking for a new place to go (I didn’t even have a resume prepared). But God came looking for us. We are already dealing with the grief that comes when you say goodbye to people who mean so much to you. God has blessed our family the past 8-1/2 years at Raleigh Road. When that happens you don’t just pick up and leave without feeling the way we do. We have been loved by God through you.

Thank you students who have been more than just youth to us—you’ve become life-long friends. You’ve babysat for free, you’ve loved on our girls, you’ve encouraged us with notes & emails and hugs, you said, “Thanks for driving”, you bought me Rolos, you confided in us, you shared your dreams with us, you’ve made us proud by serving us and others selflessly, you’ve forked our yard, you’ve shrink-wrapped my truck, you’ve eaten our food . . . err, well, you get the idea . . . thank you for loving us and encouraging us. That meant more than you can know.

My last day will be Sunday, April 23rd. There is already a detailed plan in place to carry-on our youth ministry. That will be done mostly by the same trusted adults who have been serving you for years. Those leaders (called the Ateam) are equipped, experienced and ready to serve you during this time of transition.

In addition, my assistant, Barbara Moore (BarbaraMoore@raleighroad.com), will continue to handle the day-to-day details essential to keeping us moving forward. She is available to call or email whenever you have questions or need more information at 243-0383.

Also, Paul Maynard (PaulMaynard@raleighroad.com) will serve as our full-time summer intern to help us coordinate our summer activities, trips and regular schedule. He will work with Barbara and the Ateam to lead you all forward as the search for my replacement continues.

So our trips to summer camp will still happen. Our trip to Gulfport, MS will go on. The bus will continue to run to Lucama. The youth banquet will be even better. Hosting the WAYnet One Event May 3rd will impress you. Christ will still be taught in Sun. school and small groups will continue until May 7th. You can find more detailed information at www.raleighroad.com/youth.

Once my contact information changes, I will share that with you. My email will continue to be darien.gabriel@alumni.clemson.edu. I’ll continue blogging at here as well.

Ultimately, we don’t want this to be about me or my family or either church. We want all that we do to honor Christ bringing glory to God. I hope you’ll join us in that prayer.

Grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ,

Darien Gabriel