The Village Church has meant so many things to me and my wife Natalie throughout the past decade. It was our home in a foreign land. It was our school outside the university. It was our work beyond vocations. Through it we were nourished by the Word, and we learned in growing depths how history points to and rests upon Jesus. Sam’s teaching was always encouraging and challenging, reassuring us in God’s sovereignty while spurring us on towards greater obedience. At the Village Church we learned how to more deeply enjoy culture and work, not as ends of life but as means to glorify God and to enjoy Him. In many ways, the Village Church has been like “treasure hidden in a field” (Matthew 13:44), and that will not change as the Village Church ends, because the treasure that so enriched the Village Church is a kingdom that has no end.
So it is with great sadness that we bid farewell to the Village Church and plunge into the uncertainty of the next phase of this journey. Yet, in the middle of that sadness…right at the center…is an even greater joy. It’s indescribable, unfathomable…filled with a hope that I can see without seeing. How can I explain it? It’s right there, in the Word, God’s gift of unending love that cost such a great price…a price that He paid Himself so that we didn’t have to. It’s the gospel, and the Village Church lived and died to make that gospel known. Thank you, Sam, my best of friends, for preaching that Gospel. Thank you, dear Village Church, for being our home away from home.