12.30.2007

Farewell Cedar Hills/Eric & Nicole Rust Are Incredible People

Today was my final day at a Cedar Hills Sunday gathering for a while, and probably last ever as a staff member.

I moved to Sandpoint in 2001 to start CHC with Eric and Nicole Rust. In 2004 I married my wife, Jen and in 2005 we had our first child, Ani. Our second baby is due in May of 2008. Needless to say, my life has changed dramatically during my tenure at CHC. I've learned a lot about myself. I've become very familiar with my weaknesses. In more recent years (maybe even months) I'm starting to recognize and embrace my strengths as well.

At this point, I hope I don't ever take a paycheck from a church again. While there are many great aspects to working for a church, the challenge of balancing "work" and "ministry" is not one that I negotiate well. I look forward to being involved in ministry in the future as I definitely believe God has used me for His purposes. I just want that to be on a volunteer basis.

Throughout the past 12 years of my life there has been a constant source of friendship. Eric and Nicole came to Fresno and became the youth pastors at the church I grew up in. After I graduated high school I worked as an intern for Eric with the youth ministry. I went out of town for college for a year or so, but then they called me and said they were moving to Sandpoint, Idaho and wanted me to come do music for a church they were planning to start. It's been over 6 years since we moved up together. We've been friends through the birth of both their kids, Courtney & Mitchell, my wedding, my first child, Ani, both of our first house purchases. On a list of "important life events" we've been friends through several.

Thanks Eric and Nicole for the friendship, leadership, kindness, generosity and love you have shown me and my family throughout this time when our lives have been entwined. As we enter this new era, I hope that what I become is a reflection of the great things I've seen in you and your family. Thanks.

1 comment:

Forever in Blue Jeans said...

Thanks Justin...
Yeah, I wasn't quite prepared for the goodbye either. What the heck? You are just one of those few people who have a special place in my heart. I can't explain it...it just happens sometimes. And Jen and Ani are so amazing...you all will be missed. Love you,
Nicole