The Beginning….Not The End

Last night here at Youth Camp Uprising 2011, as we stood in front of the young people of actstwenty9 youth ministry, Brandon and I stepped down as youth pastors of Christian Life Center. For the past two years, we have felt God quietly nudge us every now and then and let us know that He has a new path for us to follow. We have spent months upon months in prayer, fasting and counseling with elders over us seeking HIS will in our life. After consulting with Pastor Haney and Pastor Lopez and receiving their full support and backing, we knew that this youth camp would be our last one. 
Brandon telling the students…
Although our hearts are heavy leaving such an amazing youth ministry we know that we are following God’s footsteps. We have stepped of the cliff {so to speak} in faith and believe wholeheartedly that God will give us the wings to fly in the direction He has for us. For now, Brandon will continue to speak out at camps, youth conferences and retreats as his full time job {so if you ever wanted him to come to your church, now’s the time. Shameless plug there, ha.}. I will continue to work for Evy’s Tree and for now we will stay in Stockton and base out of CLC. Any door that opens for us in the future we will prayerfully consider and seek counsel over…we feel that we have made a huge leap of faith and we have learned that when you do so, you do not make the plans for your life, but you allow your future to lay in His hands and follow where He takes you. 
Pastor Lopez there to support…and help us laugh a little :) We love him so much.

I want to personally apologize to many of my good friends who love me dearly and have wondered where I have been the last year or so. With the weight of this decision making process on our shoulders, I have shut myself away. I needed to spend time praying and contemplating what God was doing. Never in a million years would I have ever thought God was moving us from a position that I loved so dearly. After 6 years of working with our beautiful young people, I honestly hoped for many more years. But when He calls you, He makes it impossible for you to walk to away. And my heart is relieved to have finally stepped out and done what He has asked.
The students and staff praying for us 
Brandon and I both feel completely right about this decision. And this is the not the end, this is the beginning. We are excited about God is getting ready to do in our lives. I know many of the students are hurting and will miss us, but we are confident that since God has called us to make this move, He will comfort those whose hearts are breaking and will continue to make actstwenty9 the amazing youth ministry that it is. He has an awesome couple to pick up where we left off…Tim and Rocio Ramonett will now carry the mantle of Youth Pastors of CLC. Brandon and I have complete confidence that they will do an outstanding job. 
Saying goodbye…

Laughing and crying….

I want to extend a huge thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your love, support and prayers many of you have given us over the years. We ask that you will continue to hold us in your prayers. Please keep us in your thoughts as we continue to navigate the waters that we have now stepped into. We love you all so much. Many of you have made a giant impact on our lives and we will be eternally grateful.
Me with Ashley, Jake and Evy’s babysitter. We love her.
Much love to you all!


15 thoughts on “The Beginning….Not The End

  1. 1
    Gardners says:

    I know we have never met, but I just wanted to tell you that we will be praying for your family. It is sometimes not comfortable doing what God asks, but in the end it will be awesome. My husband and I stepped out to start a Home Missions work last year. Things haven't gone quite the way we planned, but there is such peace knowing that you are doing what God has planned. He has got it under control! I hope to read more about the adventure ahead.

    Angel Gardner

  2. 2
    adam shaw says:

    Hey Amy, great blog. I woke up this morning with a burden on my heart to pray guys. This is going to be a great new chapter in your life! Can't wait to see what incredible things God is going to do with the both of you!

    And yes, book Brandon now!!! He's extremely good. He's coming back for the second year in a row this November to my church for our youth weekend. I've been recommending him to everyone I know.


  3. 3
    Alisha says:

    Love you!

  4. 4
    Amgilliam says:

    Aww Amy, thanks for sharing this. Sometimes, it is hard to let go of what we KNOW to trust Him to take us where we need to go. Being in the will of God is worth every tear and heart ache. My favorite scripture ever is Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

  5. 5
    cheyenne says:

    New chapters can be scary, but they can also be exciting! Praying for you guys. <3

  6. 6
    Kelley says:

    Psalm 90:17

    Been where you are. Sky's the limit where you're going. God knows. He will order your steps.

    Proud of you two. On to the next challenge. Go with God!

  7. 7
    Jenni says:

    moved me to tears sweet friend. what a powerful post, not to mention emotional. the picture of the youth praying over you, breathtaking. you can feel the love.

    praying for your new beginning.

  8. 8
    Sillynelle says:

    Beautiful blog entry.
    The Camarena's will be praying for this new chapter in your lives. Love you guys and we appreciate your sacrifice. We are excited to see what God has in store for your family.

  9. 9
    Sullivan's says:

    WOW – I didn't see this one coming. Amy, you and Brandon hold a very special place in my heart. I know this was a big leap of faith on your part – but God has His hand on your lives. I know the young people of CLC will miss both of you! You have been awesome youth pastors and a wonderful example to them. I pray God's richest blessings on your lives as you continue to work for Him!

  10. 10
    Heather :: AFD Jewelry :: says:

    Praying for this new chapter in your lives! XO!

  11. 11
    Martha says:

    I'm so excited to see what God has in store for you and your family. Praying for you my friend. Love you!

  12. 12
    Laaram says:

    Amy, I love you so much and admire your faith and willingness to let God be God in your lives. He will NOT disappoint. I will never forget the years I worked on youth staff w/A29 and I still miss working with those young people. Sometimes I look at the group we pastor now and wonder….why did I ever leave youth ministry. Then I remember (with His help) that He did it. He moved me onward to His next thing for me. We LOVE working with our Homebuilders and while I do miss youth ministry dearly, there is no feeling in this world like knowing you are completely in the Will of the Almighty.

    I am praying for you and Brandon. I am excited to see what God does through and with you both. I am excited to see where God is taking Act29 next and I am excited to see where God is taking my cousins, Tim and Rocio. They are a great match for this challenge and I know you have left this ministry in wonderfully capable hands.

    God bless you. Love you and Brandon.
    ps…now you can come to Homebuilder’s events AS Homebuilder’s (that was my free, shameless plug)

  13. 13
    Mandy says:

    Dearest Amy. I'll be praying for you. It takes a lot of courage to do what you & Brandon are doing. They'll be scary times but the peace of God will be stronger than the human uncertainty. Love you & excited to see what lies ahead! xo

  14. 14
    Mande says:

    Amy, praying for you & your family. God has big plans for you all. I cannot wait to see where your path will lead. Hugs sweet friend.

  15. 15
    Audrey says:

    Amy, I am adding my prayers {& Timothy's prayers} to this list. I was surprised when Timothy read your blog to me – because I know how much you & Brandon love the young people of actstwenty9. I know this is hard. I am proud of you both for listening to the urging of the SPIRIT, for seeking wise counsel and for following HIS leading. We are here if you need to talk, laugh, cry, whatever… :) Much love!

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