Dear Family and Friends,
A while back we decided to change the name of our family blog from “Fingerprints on My Walls” to “Rhodes to Anywhere.” We did this because we wanted to talk more about being a Family on Mission and what being a Family on Mission might look like—using both our family’s successes and failures to share our journey and encourage others. While Kim had used “Fingerprints on My Walls” as a site to communicate her personal place of expression for our family’s experiences (and she was amazing at articulating that), we wanted the site to evolve into a place that began to express the family journey for both of us and our kids. (Let’s just say that getting that dream to move from pen to paper is still a work in progress as you might be able to tell from the lack of posts.)
What we had no idea of though, at the time, is that this change of name would be accompanied by a change of physical location of where we lived. While we sensed that an ongoing shift or evolution for our family communication and mission was happening, our physical home in Pawley’s Island was to a large degree an assumed staple of life. For three years now Pawley’s Island has functioned as both a learning and sending center and (quite honestly) a heart home of family and friends. God has provided so many friendships, partnerships and so much opportunity that even though we knew we would travel to many places serving others, we believed Pawley’s Island would be the place that we would orbit from.
That is why in some sense we are surprised, excited and a bit sad to announce that we are MOVING TO ATLANTA!
Every day seems to unlock a variety of emotions in us. And often we still struggle to find the right words to adequately describe what is happening in our hearts. So, with that said we would like to do our best to let you in on a little bit of this journey. In doing so, we thought it might be easiest to talk about this journey in three ways. We want to share about where we are going, where we are leaving, and the journey between the two along the way.
Where are we going? We are Moving To Atlanta GA, Snellville to be exact:
Living as a Family on Mission for so much of our life has created a certain lens by which our family looks to the future. We ask first, “Who should we do life with?” and then “What Kingdom opportunity is a part of that?”
With that said, the city of Atlanta and the surrounding area, has long been a location for some of the people that are part of our missional family. Central to that group of people has been a church family named Grace Fellowship. Many of you, have heard of Grace Fellowship and some of the incredible things that God is doing here.
We have long been a fan of Grace–both investing in some of their incredible group of leaders from afar and doing our best to champion this vibrant community of faith in letting others know what God has been doing through them. Specifically, Grace Fellowship has been a place that is leading their community to reach and disciple the NEXT GENERATION, to create a CULTURE OF WORSHIP LEADERS, and to forge a local and global MISSION IN REACHING NEIGHBORHOODS and NATIONS, especially among Muslims.
In short, Grace Fellowship is a community that we have been impacted by and have had the honor to invest in for many years.
That is why our family is incredibly excited and honored to join this team as a continued evolution to this ongoing conversation. With a growing number of campuses that have discipled into the City, the Suburbs, Small Towns and College Campuses, we believe Grace is strategically positioned to continue to be both a formidable force for the Kingdom of God in the Atlanta area as well as a training center for leaders from all over the country.
Our role and responsibilities will revolve around these two things. As Pastor of Discipleship and Movement Initiatives both Kim and I look forward to investing in the Grace Community to help make more disciples that become missional leaders. But just as much, we will also be committed to helping lead teams from Grace to teach and train other leaders in other churches and organizations globally in what we all have learned and are discovering on the ground together.
Where we are Leaving? Leaving Pawley’s Island
Like we said earlier, the past few years in Pawley’s Island have provided us both an opportunity to partner with many US and global leaders as well as a local missional family to do life and faith with. The principle agent of this missional gathering of leaders was 3DM. But joining 3DM was not our first venture into this kind of life. As co-founders of Wayfarer, creating missional family has long been a central part of our DNA. It’s a way of life that we have learned from many and no doubt have learned a whole lot more about these past three years.
Three years ago, our family along with the Reichley family (long-time partners in missional family life) loaded up everything we owned and merged Wayfarer with 3DM. The Berg family followed shortly there after. During our time here, these two missional families (3DM and Wayfarer) have become one. Together we have had the privilege of not just seeing God do an amazing work of the Kingdom but also shared in the every day covenantal life and laughter of becoming one team. Wayfarer took on the 3DM family name and the Reichleys, Bergs and Rhodes became part of the larger 3DM team.
For our part, invited in as partners in this 3DM work, we first joined the team as Director of Learning Communities and then later took on the responsibility of becoming the US Team Leaders. So much of our everyday life has been devoted to creating content, training leaders, and transforming culture through joined mission—long time life callings that we have and will continue to enjoy.
In the process we were also introduced to a vibrant larger community of people that called Pawleys Island home. Pawley’s Island Community Church, Heritage Plantation (our neighborhood) and so many new friendships created a heart home for our family that we have treasured and will always hold close. So many great people and memories will hang in the forefronts of our heart and minds. That is why our departure makes us sad.
We will always be thankful for the family we found here:
The Journey Between the Two: From Pawley’s to Atlanta
The journey from Pawleys to Atlanta brings some shifts, both in our day to day life and our relationships. First, as you can imagine, Atlanta will become our new center of training. Joined with some incredible leaders already on the ground (and more to follow we are sure), Grace Fellowship will provide a local context of ministry that we look forward to serving at and engaging in. Getting the chance to focus our energy in a local church setting we believe will only help us be more effective in discipling leaders in other contexts from all walks of life.
Second, both us, the Reichleys and other team will be using this next season to invest further in Wayfarer. We hope to continue to establish the Wayfarer family and the ministries on-going investment in the next generation of students and families beyond it’s current reach.
Finally, we will also be taking this next season to partner with other leaders and initiatives in the things we have helped develop and learned as part of the 3DM team. New opportunities of partnership with people like Aaron Keyes and his team at 10,000 Fathers and Will Mancini and the team at Auxano among others, we believe will help us further invest in the broad kingdom of God initiatives that serve the church and it’s leaders in fantastic ways. We look forward to this next season of blossoming partnership!
If you are reading this blog it is most likely because you are part of our biological or missional family, are a family friend, are part of the future work we are called to or because you have been a partner in the work that we have been a part of in the past. As with all transitions, the hardest part will be staying connected. And that is why we wanted to put this post out now. Know that we want to stay connected to you in this transition. We want to serve you, host you, walk beside you, partner with you and imagine the future together. We believe that the best days of life and ministry are in front of us. And we honestly know if that is the case that it is because your presence has been and we hope will be a signpost to the presence of God in our lives.
Specific Prayer Requests for our Family:
- That our house would sell quickly and we would be able to fully transition to Atlanta.
- For our kids in this move and all that means for them leaving Pawleys Island and establishing in Atlanta.
- That our family would continue to honor our past while engaging our future and we would do this well.
Once again, thank you so much for believing in us through the years, for championing the call of God in our lives, for calling us your friend and family and mostly for just being present with us. We can’t wait to discover the future with you!
Dave, Kim, Emma, Izzie and Frankie