News from the Ovendens
We (Max and Molly) are moving to Duluth, Minnesota.
About 3 years ago Max received an email from a friend in Duluth, MN in the USA, with a proposition of a job potential at the Youth For Christ centre. This was the same centre where Max was an intern in 2007-2008, and also where we met - after a gig (Molly spent 4 years in Duluth as a student).
They YFC centre needed to secure funding, but that would give us plenty of time to think and pray about the opportunity to see if it would be good fit. After nearly a year and a half had passed, however, and even after Max had applied and interviewed for the job, the position was withdrawn in the summer of 2015 and we felt sad and dispirited that the opportunity had gone.
We had been planning to go to Minnesota for Thanksgiving to see our friends and Molly’s family that November and we were going, unsure how it would feel to be back in Duluth but unable to move there (since the job opportunity had passed). After only spending 3 days in Duluth we felt overwhelmed with the warmth of our friends there and the joy of being in the city (feelings we feel very strongly here in Leeds, too) and realised that maybe GOD had been turning our eyes to what could be in Duluth for us rather than the job itself.
We have always said that we would either live in Leeds or Duluth, and as life in Leeds gets better and we have felt more and more settled, there is little reason why we would want to leave. We want to follow Jesus, though, and it feels like He's calling us to Duluth, so we are looking to move around April/May time 2017, depending on immigration paperwork. We do not know for sure what we will be doing there, but Max has been making some connections in Duluth that could result with him continuing to work as a furniture maker. It is a time for both of us to trust GOD and we are excited to see what He has for us in Duluth, MN.
David writes, "We have deeply conflicting emotions about Max and Molly moving to Minnesota. On the one hand we are excited for them, it is always best to follow where the Lord leads because true fulfillment and fruitfulness lie along that road. And the USA needs people like them too! Duluth Vineyard will be blessed to have two such gifted, lovely people amongst them.
On the other hand their gain feels like our loss. We love Max & Molly and have enjoyed doing life, church and, in Molly's case, employment with them - ever since they first arrived at Carr Manor High School (where we used to meet), grinning, hand-in-hand and very much in love. They have become great friends to many of us, they have served non-stop in one capacity or another and have been inspiring leaders. We'll miss the smiles, wise and encouraging words, hospitality, art, preaching ... and the beard. But actually, the Lord always works it so that loss gladly given turns to gain divinely ordained. And so we will send them over the pond with glad hearts and our blessing.