Saying goodbye is never easy especially when it comes to family. Paul and Carla Siemens are just that ... family members in this little church community we call The Rock Church.
Even though we are saying goodbye, we are also excited. Their story is exciting because it's about "go big or go home" obedience. It isn't comfortable and it's not going to be easy but the Siemens are following God's direction. He's calling them to seminary in Oviedo, Florida and they're are packing up and going.
Be encouraged, this is their story
Q: Tell us about your upcoming adventures.A: Paul - We are heading to Oviedo, Florida, just outside of Orlando, for seminary.
Q: How did the Lord place seminary on your hearts?A: Paul - About seven year ago, He put it into my heart to learn His world better, which turned into a strong desire to teach his word. The church we were attending at the time also gave me an opportunity to preach and I loved it.
When I came to the Rock Church, I was given the opportunity to preach a number of times. I really had a strong desire to learn more about God's word and how to teach it better.
Last year, after going through ReTrain at the MarsHill Church in Seattle, I thought I might be able to get a job as a pastor right away but a friend challenged me. He said there is no difference in how serious you take being a doctor or a pastor. In some ways being a pastor is more sacred. He said we need to take this seriously and that means getting the training to teach it properly.
We took it as a confirmation of the direction we needed to go.
Carla - The phrase that has stood out to me from that conversation is "Go Big or Go Home."
Q: What will you miss about The Rock?A: Paul - It's such a family at the Rock. The fact that people of all ages want to visit together is amazing. We had young people in their 20s wanting to hang out with us, which is crazy.
Carla - I'll miss the family too. I'll miss the people who love our kids and take an interest in their well-being. When you break it down, it's things like community groups, the Christmas parade, Christmas Eve services and all those family gatherings. We are just going to miss The Rock.
Q: Any parting words for the community? A: Carla - Just keep on going. Even when things were crunchy, everything was handled biblically. Issues have always been worked out and that is where the true family feeling has come from. Our eyes are on God and as a result, the peripheral stuff hasn't mattered as much.
Q: What are some of your favouite memories about the Rock? A: Carla - I would say the parties, the community groups, and of course Vacation Bible School. Those things warm my heart. I also loved some of those first dinners with Glenn, Janice, Matt, Jonathon and Jill-Marie.
Paul - Early on, we had something called the Truth Project at our house and we loved it. We had a bunch of young singles over and that was fun.
Q: What has the Lord taught your family during your time in Squamish? A: Paul - Living for Him is the ultimate and anything less is a waste of time.
Carla - That is why I have adopted the phrase, "Go Big or Go Home."
Paul - When we moved to Squamish, church was a secondary thought to me. I knew we would attend church, but I wasn't super concerned about it. Through all three churches that we attended in Squamish, God spoke to my heart. I started to care about His word and what correct theology is. Basically everything I believe about Christ and His work on the cross has been entrenched in me during our time in Squamish.
Carla - I like security, safety and routine but God has shown me that the safest place for us to be is in the centre of His will, no matter where that may be.