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  • Raeanne Newquist

House of Peace - a little family update

We walked up the hill asking each other, "are we doing the right thing? should we sign this lease?" Our lack of confidence in the decision before us caused me to throw up a Hail Mary - "God, make it perfectly clear beyond a shadow of a doubt if we should sign this lease or not tonight." The only answer I got was the chirping crickets and I couldn't understand what they were saying!

We met the owner of the home on the massive driveway and in our masks, I couldn't tell if he were smiling or not, but his laughter led me to believe he was a kind happy man. We started walking through the house and the laughter continued, this time by me. This house is like a 70's time capsule! The large open rooms with expansive views over the golf course, out to the farms and landing in the ocean left me slack jawed. What are we doing here? How in the world is this a possibility for us? After living in 500 square feet with one bathroom for a year, this place seemed over the top.

Nervousness became evident in my stomach as I once again whispered, "God, please make it clear." Roger had been offered a temporary job that made this move seem more possible, but after his first day it was clear that the job was not a good fit for him or our family. We still felt that relocating to Southern California would be best for our children as they were needing interaction with their friends, and now even more since they wouldn't be attending traditional school. Yet was this a wise choice?

Our tour was coming to a close and it would be time to sign some papers and I just needed to know if this was right or not. Then I looked up. All along the edge of the tile roof there are stamped doves. Hundreds of them. I smiled and thought, "this is a place of peace." Peace is something we really need right now. Peace for our grieving, restless, transitioning, lost, waiting, weary souls. Peace.

When we started this journey to leave to serve with Mercy Ships God gave a dear friend of ours a vision of a dove sitting on our roof. A symbol not only of peace, but also a symbol of God's blessing that we were safe to step out and go to Africa. Once again God has brought a dove, or many doves, to our roof to show us that this is what He has for us in this season and to rest in His peace.

So the Newquist Fam will be residing in Somis, California (close to Camarillo in So Cal) through the end of the year. Roger is trying his best to fully embrace retirement for the moment and focus on recovering from the past 20 years of intense law enforcement and the past year of intense life on the ship. The kids have started online school which is bringing it's own challenges, but the space this home offers them to do it in is a gift.

We are resting and receiving for 4 months, as well as seeking and being equipped for what is next. We all have learned this year that we have little control of our lives! And as followers of Jesus, we gave up any control a long time ago anyway when we dropped our nets to follow him. So now we are forced to let go and completely trust God. He has been so faithful to us over the past year and we know He will continue to be.

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Ashley May Negard
Ashley May Negard

This is just beautiful. I'm happy for your confirmation from God that what is most important right now is resting in His peace, and in being restored and possibly healed from the past seasons, probably so you are ready to do whatever it is that He has for you next ;)

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