Why We Are Leaving…and Where We Are Going.

Where do I begin…
For months now I have been battling this thing inside of me.
If I’m honest this urge, this calling, this prompting, this restlessness has been there for much, much longer…for both Shanais and me.

Do you recall what happens when you run from God?
If not, just ask Jonah…

There is a deep aching sadness in the leaving…
There is a sadness in the walking away from what is known and moving into what is presently unknown.

I believe the Lord has brought the story of Abram to me over and over again while we have been in this process. The story is about a rich man named Abram. He had lots of family and friends. He had it all. He was not in want for anything. He was comfortable. And then one day God tells Abram to travel out of his known lands and to live in the unknown places. The uncomfortable, unfamiliar lands…the place where he had no friends. The place where there would be no safety.

It was a giant leap of faith.
He had to trust his Creator.
He had to have faith that God would provide the friends, the comfort, the safety. And so he and his wife Sarai went. They traveled into the unknown land with alien terrain and different customs and people. God reminded Him of His faithfulness. Abram and Sarai were both transformed in the leaving. Sure, there were roadblocks and bouts of their own personal faithlessness, and yet God remained faithful to them. Abraham became the father of many nations. Sarah the mother.

When we do not rely on our own resources and lead from our own comforts we are inclined (sometimes forced) to rely completely on the Lord’s provisions instead of our own. It can be dangerous and yet also liberating, because our resources are limited and our experiences to what is known. What we know personally. We can be comfortable in our frames of reference…and yet God’s frame of reference is so much more infinite.

Back to this restlessness…
I could rely on my own resources…and limit my faith journey.
I could remain in what I know to be comfortable…and run the risk of becoming stagnant and run the same familiar patterns but not really delving any deeper. I could remain here (and here is an amazing, place called home)…but I feel it in the core of my being that God is calling me out of this. It is a leap of faith. It is extremely scary. It is heart-aching. Yet, I will follow Him. I will trust that He knows what He is doing. I will lay all of me on the altar and allow God to use me.

Where are we going?
I didn’t set out to find this.
I wasn’t searching for this kind of work.
It’s not something I am completely familiar with.
We are moving to Southern Alabama.
I will be working in one of the poorest counties in all of Alabama.
Have I ever lived there? No.
Do I have any family there? No.
Do I have friends there? No, not yet.

The ministry? – I will be running a Christian Foster Care organization. It’s a huge leap for me. (I keep saying I and me, and what I really mean is that it is a HUGE leap for both of us – Shanais and me.) We are both stepping out of our comfort zones. We are not abandoning God’s mission in this world, but rather embracing it more deeply. I am a fourth generation Salvationist, and you don’t realize how difficult this is for me to do. And yet, I am doing this, and I have a deep sense of peace about it even though it is scary.

Of course there are questions:
Will I do this for the rest of my life? Answer: I don’t know.
Will I come back to the Army as an Officer? Answer: Maybe.
Am I walking away from my faith? Answer: absolutely not!!
My church? Answer: No.

God’s kingdom is so much larger.
God’s love encompasses so many people, both lost and found.

What can you do?
Please Pray!
Would you pray for us?
Some will not understand why we are doing this.
Some will consider it abandoning our calling…I don’t see it that way at all. Rather we are embracing it more deeply. Some might even disagree with us and the decision we have arrived at. That’s fine, we understand.

I hope that I can count on you to still be a friend and a prayer warrior.
I believe God’s love is greater than any one organization or church. He can call us from one place to another and we can still remain in His will for our lives. Some remain called to one place, others to multiple places.

This might change how you view us, but I hope not.
We are still ministers of God’s love and grace. We still call Him Lord of our lives and we still desire to serve Him.

Thank you for loving us and praying for us while in this scary transition. Thank you to the leaders who have guided us along the way…we love you and are forever in your debt!
We are simply trusting that God knows what He is doing…and there’s nothing simple about it.

God Bless You.
-Scott & Shanais Strissel.


15 thoughts on “Why We Are Leaving…and Where We Are Going.

Add yours

  1. As believers in prevenient grace, we know the Lord is already in Alabama waiting for you to serve vulnerable children.

    In times like these, we sing the lyrics, “Where He leads me, I will follow.”

    The One who calls is faithful!

  2. As one who had several foster brothers and sisters while I was growing up, I am so excited to see what God is and will be doing in and through you and Shanais, and your beautiful kids. I’m praying for you as you step out of the boat in faith that the Master will keep your head above water as you do what He has called you to do.

    He never calls His disciples to a life of ease and luxury. If that’s where you find yourself, you may not be listening to His voice any longer. He always calls us to tasks that are bigger then we are, harder than we can handle on our own. It’s in those places when and where I am beyond my means but trusting in His sustenance and sovereignty that I feel closest to Him because He ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES.

    May you and your family sense His smile and that encouraging gleam in His eye as you pursue His path, even though it is often harder to follow because you can’t see farther than where you already are.

    If I may serve you in any way, reach out to me.

  3. Wisdom for the journey ahead. In 1997, when I retired from my first career and responded to God’s call into full time service, it was both challenging and freeing. Six months after retirement from the Northern Virginia metro area, we arrived in a dirt road Romanian village in the Transylvania region. Both very challenging and very much a blessing. And the journey continues!

  4. Major, To say I’m surprised would be a understatement. But I will continue to pray for you. But I guess one positive aspect is your following Moses and going to the southern territory the land of milk & honey. Breaking a 4th generation has to caused you to lose many nights of sleep, just remember 1424 North East Expressway (THQ) is but a day of driving away, and the Men’s Social or ARC command can always use good man & wife teams. Go with our Lord & Savor blessings

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Praying for you both. Proud of you
    Follow your hearts..don’t forget the coffee.

  6. We will be praying for you as you embark in this new adventure of faith. I am reminded of some words from the Chronicles of Narnia, “Let us take the adventure Aslan has for us”. Take hold of this adventure that Jesus has for you guys! I will also wait in expectation for the ministries stories to come!

  7. Scott – the call of God is not static, but dynamic. In TSA we have an inadequate view of God’s call which may cause some to view your decision as unfaithfulness. They are wrong. So, be faithful to what He is doing to call you.
    Your desire to step “going not knowing” resonates with me. It was an important part of our response to God when we felt called to overseas service. I get it, Scott. And I have prayed for you and your family.

  8. So excited for you!! God is going to continue to use you – and in mighty ways – as you follow His leading.


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