Forget What Is Behind and Reach Forward to What is Ahead!

02215.  Would you like to take a guess what that number stands for? If you guessed the zip code for Fenway in Boston, then you are correct!! Your prize? Picture me giving you a high five!!

02215 is a number that God spoke to me during prayer more than 5 years ago. My question is, “Where do you want me to go?” I had two places to choose from, and being Canadian and living in Canada, I thought the choice would be the most obvious one. To move back to my home province, Nova Scotia, but instead, God answered with a number that would lead my family to Boston, MA!

You’d think that with such a clear calling, things would be easy! Some things were! We applied for our R-1 immigrant visas thinking it would take a year but received our approval in two weeks, we crossed the border with ease, and found a good house that worked great for our family! Getting to Boston, which we thought would be the hardest part, was actually the easiest!

There were many bumps along the way, but they didn’t mean anything because we had our eyes fixed on Jesus and in pursuit of the vision that He had given us – to create proximity spaces where we could be close to those who feel far from Jesus! We moved to Boston in September of 2019, and in December of 2022, we were ready to open the doors to our first proximity space called Public Coffee!

Our soft launch was going well! We saw new faces every day and people were curious about our story and why we chose to open a business in their neighborhood. Our answer, “we want to know our neighbors and add value to the community!” They loved hearing this, loved the coffee, and told us they would be back!

Then, the night before our grand opening, someone in the neighborhood let us know that a group would be protesting during our business hours! We were devastated! And, from there, things just got worse.

We closed our doors permanently in August of 2023.

I was a lay minister until I was 27, and in June, I will turn 40. I know I’m called by God, I know how he’s wired me to serve Him and His Kingdom, but since I’ve said yes to Him things have been hard! I’ve wondered can I go back to lay ministry? God’s response, “Nope!”

I was reflecting the other day about all that we’ve experienced, and God brought Philippians 3:13-15 to mind! Specifically, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead.” It was heartbreaking to have our vision happen and to end so soon. Have you experienced a similar thing? It’s ok to grieve, lament, and be sad, but, like me, God will call you towards something new, and you will have excitement, passion, and hope again!

Rev. Amanda Oicle became an ordained minister in September of 2020 in the Northeast District of The Wesleyan Church. She lives in Boston with her husband, BJ, and two boys, Evan and Travis. She is originally from Nova Scotia, Canada! She is passionate about disciple-making and will use any medium to talk about Jesus and His mission!


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