So, my family and I are headed to Jasper, until this character shows up at my house.
Meet Wally Macaluso: lover of Jesus, my former Sunday school teacher, mentor, longtime friend, and the inventor of Poolf. (If you are not already familiar with this golf/swimming pool combo sport, you should be.) Wally has had as much of a meaningful impact on my life as has anybody else. When you are in 8th grade and a guy lets you come over to his house, move all of the furniture out of the den, and play tackle football on your knees until people bleed, that guy is automatically the coolest person on the planet. More importantly, I have never met a more humble and sincere follower of Jesus.
Wally just happened to be in the area close to my home in Hayden a couple of days after I told my pastor that I was heading to Jasper to plant a church. He and I rode together to conquer a couple of errands and grab a bite to eat, me rambling the whole time about Jasper and how we were going to jump out in faith to relocate. I finished the story as we pulled into my driveway and waited to hear Wally’s thoughts on my new direction.
My old friend gave me a few words of encouragement. He was happy, but tentative. After giving me a few positive thoughts about Jasper, Wally launched into what he had come to tell me that day.
Wally was on staff at a recently planted church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Safehaven Church), a church that was regularly seeing people come to know Jesus and grow to maturity in Him, and a church that is serious about church planting. As it turned out, there was a couple that had been a part of Safehaven from the early stages, a couple that was serious about reaching current culture with the gospel of Jesus, a couple that had just followed God’s call on their lives to move to Troy to plant a church. As it turned out, that couple had been back at Safehaven to visit recently and had inquired of Wally about whether he knew of any pastors that might be feeling called to lead a church plant.
As Wally put it, he just knew when they mentioned this that he was supposed to mention it to me. He just knew.
What he did not know was that Troy was the only other city that I had seriously prayed about going to.
More to come…