Dear Friends and Family,
After more than twelve years serving in missions with InterAct Ministries, our family is about to embark on a new adventure.
Before Cristy and I ever moved to Russia in 2007, there was a period of time when I considered full-time pastoral ministry. In the end, the Lord led us to go to the mission field with InterAct where we spent almost five years serving. Because we had to return to the U.S. to care for Isaiah, we relocated to Oregon where I’ve spent the last seven years serving from InterAct’s main U.S. office.
For the past three years, through serving as an elder in our local church, and a number of other opportunities, the Lord has placed a growing desire on my heart to preach, teach and disciple believers in the local church. I began discussing this desire with those close to me about a year ago and started praying about our family’s next steps. About six months ago, I began sending out my resume to churches who were looking to fill pastoral positions.
Through much prayer and discernment, the Lord led us to connect with Faith Baptist Fellowship in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Over the past few months I have had many conversations with the elders of that church and have flown out for interviews. Recently, their congregation voted unanimously to call me as their Associate Pastor. Cristy and I have given much prayer and consideration to this opportunity, and I have accepted this call.
The story of how the Lord has opened this door is too long to recount here. Suffice it to say, all of the details, circumstances and opportunities put together have made it clear to us that it is none other than the Lord’s hand guiding us down this path. The position I will be taking will give me the opportunity to serve in a healthy, vibrant, growing church, under a seasoned lead pastor and alongside two other staff pastors. I will also lead the congregation in worship and singing each week, will coordinate connecting and networking people in the church to help them get plugged into ministry, help shepherd and disciple up and coming leaders, as well as preach and teach regularly. It presents a great opportunity to learn and prepare myself as I ultimately aspire to one day serve as a lead pastor of a congregation.
For those of you who are supporting our mission work financially each month, I will continue to serve with InterAct fulfilling my regular duties as well as helping coordinate the passing along of my responsibilities to others until we move later this summer. That exact date of our move will be contingent upon the sale of our home here in Oregon, which we pray will happen soon. We will be reliant on your continued regular support through InterAct until my resignation is official.
We would also mention that if you would like to bless us on our way as we move from Oregon to this next phase of ministry in South Dakota, that one-time gifts during our final month with the mission would be greatly appreciated, and would help us immensely with transition expenses.
We want to thank you for your faithful support of our ministry. Many of you have been with us since day one. Others among you have joined along the way. Regardless, each of you has helped support and further the work of ministry among least-reached people groups of Russia as well as Alaska and Canada.
Over the last twelve years, we’ve been privileged to be a part of the Lord’s work and have seen him accomplish much both in and through us. Many of you have invested greatly in our ministry, and you are due an account for the “return” on your investment. I am currently working on a summary of the many of the things the Lord has allowed us to be part of and to which he’s allowed us to contribute over the last twelve years. This final summary of our ministry will be forthcoming, and I hope will be an encouragement to you.
Once again, we thank you. You have been faithful to us all these many years, and as we move forward into this next phase of ministry in our lives, we would covet your prayers.
Pressing on in Christ,
Thomas & Cristy Slawson
All of our moving expenses will be covered, but if you would like to make a donation to help cover some of the incidentals and setup expenses when we arrive in Sioux Falls, you may do so at https://www.paypal.me/TominTheBox