Announcement–We’re Moving!

With Mike

It’s time I made this announcement, even though I’d rather deny it.

We’ve lived in Philadelphia for 15 years this December. We moved into 1103 Cromwell Road, Wyndmoor (a suburb) in 2001 as missionaries to the 5th-largest city in the U.S. Our house was only about three miles from the church that hired us, a three-bedroom ranch in the midst of the endless sea of suburban sprawl that makes Philadelphia so populous.

Over the years I have pour myself into the city and the city poured itself into me, until I feel as if my circulation system somehow mysteriously connects, that some fragment of the roads, parks, vehicles, and buildings course through my veins with every heartbeat.

Here’s a brief summary of my adventures here: I ran a vegan café in Philadelphia for three years called Expressly Vegetarian between 2001 and 2004. Entering graduate school in 2005, I graduated in 2008 with a Master’s degree in mental health counseling and promptly opened a private practice called ABIDE Counseling that is thriving today. Shortly after that, Pennsylvania Youth Challenge (PYC) began, a book-selling summer program for youth with which my daughter Kimmy was involved for two summers. In 2010 I began working on a musical project called The Lamb Wins, a folk cantata from the book of Revelation, with a rapper and a beat-boxer/producer I met through the PYC program. We released the album in 2013 and have begun work on a sequel.

Milestones came and went. My children grew up and became independent; the oldest, Alison, married the dashing and noble John Segura. My youngest, Kimmy, struggled with and overcame addiction, with four years clean come next January. I suffered several health problems (as usual) and had two surgeries at one of those towering hospitals downtown. I changed careers. Mike retired. We got a dog.

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Kimmy and Alison- my heart

 

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Mr and Mrs John and Alison Segura

So much has happened and continues to happen in Philadelphia that this short summary almost mocks the reality of it.

But on to the reasons for the move: My husband Michael is a wonderful gardener. In fact, we grow about half of our food in our 1/8 acre backyard at 1103 Cromwell. For a long time I have wanted to find a larger piece of property so we could expand our farm and even possibly create some kind of ministry where people who need healing could come and stay. I had raised some funds through my non-profit corporation. The property needed to be close enough to the city for me to make it easily to the airport and to have access to people yet “country” enough to be therapeutic. Such properties were unaffordable in the Philadelphia area. Add to this the fact that several of my family members lived in Florida—my mother, my sister and her family, my daughter Kimmy. I decided to see what I could find in Florida, and found a perfect property with eight acres of land only about half hour from the airport and twelve minutes from my sister. Check out the listing here.

Michael has moved already, and I plan to move in the spring, after finishing the sequel to The Lamb Wins. Already trials have come: Fred the dog became sick unto death. As soon as he recovered, the septic system backed up in spite of a full inspection and approval that the house was in good working order. I take these things as evidence that the devil hates us and our work, which I find oddly comforting.

Come spring, Abide Counseling will function essentially the same except that my in-person clients will either transfer to my partner Marissa Smale or will “see” me via phone/Skype. The Lamb Wins tours will continue from their home base in Philly with Lee Givhan and his new wife Hillary leading out and a growing community of other creative joining in.

I really don’t want to leave, but I believe God is leading. I suppose it’s a good thing to have to tear away—it gives evidence that I connect and love deeply, and that I will probably connect and love deeply in my new home.

17 thoughts on “Announcement–We’re Moving!

  1. Greg Emelander

    Remember what I said about those tegu lizards and crocodile in your backyard.

  2. Greg Emelander

    I hope you guys enjoy it down there. Just be safe 🙂

  3. Email from Bonita Nims:

    If I read the post right you are moving to Orlando, FL YESSSSSSS
    You will be closer…and more available (haha) with your schedule.

    If it’s meant to happen…it will happen! God Bless Love ya, Bonita

  4. Email from Greg Carlson:

    Your almost last phrase is accurate…you will meet new people and love deeply in the new place the Lord is leading you to. It is always an exciting adventure followingHis leading. It will be interesting to see what He has in store for your future.

  5. Email from Peggy Harris:

    Wow! You are going through a lot of changes. Remember to compensate for the stress involved!!!
    God bless you in all your endeavors.

  6. Email from Nancy Vyhmeister:

    This moves sounds traumatic yet imperative.
    God bless you in your new location! Also, remember that you are not as young as you used to be and may need to slow down a little. (I’m told that repeatedly…)

  7. Email from Nancy Clayburn:

    Wonderful! Hey..we may do the same. Right now spending winter in Sarasota. Seth does much better there than tn. We will see how God leads. May He bless your work!

  8. Email from Samantha Nelson:

    Congratulations, Jen! This is exciting news for you and your ministries. I pray Freddie has recovered fully and that the septic system will be a quick and inexpensive fix. May God bless you and keep you safe and healthy during all your travels.

  9. Email from Kim May:

    A story you might be interested in…..a couple in Orlando had a veg garden on their front lawn. They were told to remove it by officials….fought, won…..allowed to keep it. Now teach others how to grow their own food. Even started a non profit to grow food for others in need….they get permission to use yards of those who can’t do gardening. Volunteers plant and harvest food. Land owner gets 10% of the harvest in return. Food banks and the poor get the rest. Here is a link. Interesting cause/trend.

  10. Inge Anderson

    Hi Jennifer,
    I’m so excited for you! Maybe it’s partly because we’re the country-loving and country-living type. 😉 You seem to be getting the best of both worlds – a country setting pretty much in the city – and on a lake shore, no less!

    The property looks like it has lots of room for Mike’s expanded garden and an orchard to grow all sorts of good fruit and nuts, including avocados and citrus fruits, which we only wish we could grow where we’re planning to move in Texas. 🙂

    May the Lord bless you in your new adventure! (You do know that this sort of mind-stretching change is good for staving off the aging of the brain, don’t you? 😉 )

  11. Bob Blum

    Mike and Jennifer, I am thrilled you are making this decision to get more seriously into gardening! Why I am is because you both are medical missionaries, and I believe gardening will be a very viable way to open many doors for us when other more “spiritual” means are closed. God has given us awesome ways to improve our gardens so the plants and produce will be healthier (no bugs or diseases), drought and cold resistant, greater and earlier yields, higher nutrition (food that actually heals), stronger plants, and superior flavor. Check out my website CounterpartStudies.com under Gardening. I am working on a morning devotional that teaches ways to improve gardening and compares them to character-building lessons. I have a few examples on the website (Garden Coins). I would love to have your input on this project!

  12. Kimber

    so excited for your ministry in Orlando and I so need healing…. let me know when you’re ready to take in a client.

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