"Here I am. Send me."

April 11, 2018

Dear St. Matthew's family,

"Here I am. Send me."

These are the words that the prophet Isaiah spoke in response to God's question, "Whom shall I send and who will go?" This is a question that each of us face every time we wake up. Each day we must decide between God and ourself. We must choose whether to serve God as his children that are sent into the various places of the world or whether to deny that calling and serve ourselves. Sometimes the call to serve God requires more than stepping out of our front door, or into our school, or into our workplace. Sometimes God places a call on our lives to go to the ends of the earth in order to bring the good news of Jesus where it is needed.

It is with a mix of emotions that I write to you, our St. Matthew's family, about a call God has placed on the Matlak family to leave the church we love, the home we love, the job I love, the schools we love, the future we had planned out, the security of financial stability: to leave it all and follow God obediently and with expectant hope to a new place of ministry He has prepared for us. In mid-July of this year we will be moving to Nairobi, Kenya where I will take the position of Director of Spiritual Life at Rosslyn Academy, a Christian international school that primarily serves an often under-served population in the world of foreign missions, the children of missionaries. I have been called to be the head pastoral leader to the 650 students, the staff, and all of their families. The work I will do will strengthen the much needed system of support for these families, allowing them to remain on the mission field to carry out the important work God has given them to do.

Our prayer and hope is that the people of St. Matthew's will partner with us and support us in the days, months, and years ahead. You all are our home church and we desire to remain a part of the St. Matthew's church family. We still need you and hope that we can be a blessing to this congregation even though we are moving far away.

Finally, I realize that this announcement may be a surprise and you may have questions about what this means for the future of St. Matthew's. The church leadership and I welcome all your questions. We plan to announce this news on April 15th at the worship services and we will be available following each service to answer any questions you might have. As we proceed, I have no doubt in my mind that God has good things in store for St. Matthew's. There is something quite unsettling but also deeply forming of our faith when our own plans and visions come apart, as it is then that we can see more clearly what God has in mind. That has been our family's experience over many years of faithfully following God, and we know that the same will be true for this special church. Our prayers are with you all and please know that we love you.

Yours in Christ,

Dave Matlak