Thirty years ago my parents loaded up the few of us still living at home and moved us from Massachusetts to Florida. Ever since then (with just a couple minor exceptions), I’ve never lived outside of Pinellas County. Tracy was born and raised here, and except for the few years we lived up in Odessa, it’s been the same for her.
This June that’s about to change.
Three years ago we received a call from our good friends Tenney & Pam Olsen, directors of the International House of Prayer in Tallahassee. They were anticipating growth for the ministry, knew our hearts for prayer and worship, and wanted to know if we would pray about coming to join their staff. The timing never worked out for us to make the move… until now.
After Josiah graduates from High School on May 31st, the four of us (Barry, Tracy, Josiah, and Noah) will head to Tallahassee to start this next chapter in our lives, and where we will join the staff of the IHOP Tallahassee Missions Base. We are nervous and excited, and as you can imagine are relying on God through it all.
I will continue to work as an Instructional Designer for United Health Care (I work remotely now and can live anywhere in the US), but Tracy is giving up her work as a bookkeeper and at the mall so she can give herself fully to the work at IHOP. Josiah wants to pursue his music or maybe get involved in business, and Noah is in his freshman year of high school (we homeschool him) – and he actually just built his first computer!
But there are more than four of us in the family – what about Andrew, Caleb & Shelby? And what is going on with the book I had published last year? Read on.
So, where does all of this leave our oldest, Andrew? Right here in the area… at Tracy’s mom’s to be exact. Andrew has actually spent the last few years in school preparing for a career in firefighting. He’s already completed his EMT and Firefighter training, and right now is working on the Paramedic portion. School wraps up for him in December and he hopes to get a job in the area.
But, there’s more to Andrew’s story, too.
His relationship with Shaye is growing, and he recently gave her a promise ring on Valentine’s Day. They are taking things slow in hopes of Andrew getting a firefighting job sometime this year. Shaye comes from a wonderful Christian family, and is the second oldest of four (she has an older brother & two younger sisters). And she has captured our hearts just as much as she’s captured his.
Please keep these two in prayer as they continue to pursue all God has for them.
CALEB & SHELBY…
Many of you reading this already know that as of December 8th, our second-oldest is now
married to his high-school sweetheart. Shelby is an amazing addition to our family and we absolutely adore her.
Both Caleb and Shelby actually spent 3 months each as interns at IHOP Tallahassee, and have also both been on a few missions trips. They know they are called to the nations, and plan to be “musicianaries” – traveling the globe and encouraging the Church through their worship.
But for now, exciting changes are about to happen for them, too!
Caleb & Shelby are expecting their first child at the end of September! You can only imagine how excited we all are and how we’re looking forward to celebrating the birth of our first grandchild.
This should show you we know God is calling us to Tallahassee, since Caleb & Shelby are staying in the Oldsmar area for now. They’ll continue to serve as Youth Pastors at Rock Church of Tampa Bay as well as work their “day jobs”.
MY BOOK: The Justice Revolution…
It was just a little more than a year ago that I finished writing my first book, The Justice Revolution. Immediately I had an offer to publish from a major Christian publisher, but after a lot of prayer decided to turn it down. Instead, the book was published by Light Force Publishing – an arm of Operation Light Force, the ministry I worked for promoting The 40 Day Revolution. And in the last year, more than 5,000 copies have been sold!
The Justice Revolution asks the reader to take 21-days to focus on 7 injustices that we face in the world today: Access to Clean Water, Homelessness, Human Trafficking, Persecuted Church, Child Soldiers, Poverty, and Abortion. Each day the reader learns more about one of the injustices, is asked to do something specific to understand it better, then taken to God’s Word to see what He has to say about it. The hope is that those reading the book will get God’s heart for those injustices, and then get personally involved long-term.
There are plans being made right now for the book to be the exit strategy for “Just U”, a series of Christian conferences starting this Spring. These conferences are expected to attract thousands and with a book being put into every attendee’s hands, the residual impact from just one conference could be huge. The first is planned for May 9-11 and is being held in Los Angeles. Please pray that the conference will go on as planned, as it’s been pushed back a couple times already.
For more information about the conference, visit www.justiceunited.org.
To learn more about my book visit our website at www.thejusticerevolution.com.
The International House of Prayer in Tallahassee was birthed in the hearts of Tenney & Pam Olsen after receiving a prophetic word through Cindy Jacobs… that God was “going to raise up a physical location in Tallahassee that would be a place of refuge for people, pastors and missionaries to come and pray.” As Tallahassee is the governmental seat for the state of Florida, and with over 60,000 college students there, the region is part of God’s strategic purpose in reaching this generation. You can see why our hearts are so strongly drawn to this ministry… and it helps that we have known the Olsens now for over 20 years. We won’t just be joining a ministry with the same vision as ours, but we will be joining “family” as God has knitted our hearts together for His purposes.
IHOP Tallahassee Missions Base is a ministry devoted to:
- Intercession: Night and day prayer and worship, covering the state, region, and nation. Tenney, Pam, their staff, and the interns at the mission base have literally spent thousands of hours in prayer. Not only is this done at IHOP, but they pray weekly in front of the State Supreme Court building for the end of abortion. And they also meet and pray with the state legislature, congressmen, and supreme court justices over bills and cases that are brought before them.
- Equipping: Training a generation to give themselves to a lifestyle of prayer, worship, fasting, and radical obedience — prophetic messengers boldly proclaiming the Word of God, while contending for God to break in with revival in every sphere of society.
- Missions: To see the fulfillment of the Great Commission and the return of Jesus – training, sending, and supporting those called to proclaim the Gospel to the nations.
In other words, they stand as true Watchmen on the wall – and we are looking forward to joining them!
To learn more about this ministry, visit them online at www.ihoptallahassee.org
WILL YOU TAKE THIS STEP WITH US?
As you can imagine, this is a great step for our family — and we want to invite you to take it with us. How? First, you can pray for us in this transition. Second, you can stand with Andrew, Caleb & Shelby as the rest of us head North. And third, you can commit to supporting our call on a monthly basis. We would like Tracy to be able to focus on getting us settled and transitioning to staff at the mission base without having to look for work. To do this requires us to raise $1500 in monthly support. Would you pray about sowing seed into this amazing ministry, and into our family?
All giving is tax-deductible and will be received by the IHOP Tallahassee Missions Base. If you would like to partner with us or are interested in receiving monthly emails or prayer alerts from us, please FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW to let us know.
Many of you have stood by our sides over the years in many ways, and we’d be honored if you chose to do so once again.
With much love & appreciation,
Barry , Tracy and the boys
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For those making a financial gift or commitment, we will send you a follow-up email with details about how that works. Thank you all!