Journey Leadership Institute

Journey Leadership Institute

WRITTEN BY: Jen and Reed Fleming

As a military couple, moving around the world was expected when we signed on the dotted line over ten years ago. We {Reed and Jen} were living in Alaska in Spring 2019 when we got the news that we were moving to Delaware – we were less than excited. Our first thoughts were: How are we going to make friends on the East Coast? Where are we going to live and go to church? And where the heck is Delaware? This move seemed so random, and we did not understand why God was uprooting us from our friends, community, church, and adventure.

In November 2019, shortly after our move, we found The Journey and started to slowly build a community. Then 2020 happened, and our momentum quickly fizzled out. We were alone in a new town with no friends, family, or real connections at church, and a toxic work environment that left me {Jen} feeling completely and totally abandoned by God.

One day in September 2020, during my {Jen} slot and spot, God placed John 21:17 on my heart. Jesus has risen from the dead and he is providing Peter with final instructions. “A third time he [Jesus] asked him [Peter], ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Then feed my sheep.‘”

My initial response was, “Feed my sheep?” Feed who, God? I literally have no one. The harder I tried to push this thought out of my mind, the more I could feel God telling me to feed the people he was placing in my life. I decided I should start obeying and started asking God who he wanted me to feed. He showed me my hurting co-workers. He brought me a J-Group filled with women who were also looking for community. I started serving regularly, and, sure enough, God brought me more people who needed feeding and people who could support me along the way.

I gently nudged Reed into serving, and the more we obeyed God, the more our perspective on Delaware changed. We started to enjoy Delaware, our marriage was strengthened, and we developed real, lasting friendships.

Then last summer, we heard about the Journey Leadership Institute (JLI) Evening Program. I {Reed} had a few different people approach me about applying to the JLI Evening Program, to which I replied, “Thanks, but no thanks!” At that time, I felt like I had no time to spare, and I hadn’t really put much thought into taking on more responsibility in ministry. I was so quick to say no because I felt like I needed to protect “my” time. I begrudgingly attended a Preview Night and left with a completely new perspective. I was convicted in that room, that “my” time isn’t really mine at all – it’s God’s and he just lends it to me. I realized that I was complacent – complacent with my relationship with God, my relationship with others, and my ministry. I felt the nudge of the Spirit that it was time for me to be challenged and stretched. That, my friends, is exactly what the Evening Program did for me. For the last nine months, I have been challenged like never before to redefine my capacity for ministry, and I know that Jen would say the same.

It was our obedience to the Lord (Reed’s view of time and Jen’s willingness to go find some sheep to feed) that changed the way we do ministry. See, our lives are our ministry, and the lessons we learned in the Evening Program are being applied in our lives each and every day. We now understand that we cannot produce what we do not possess. It is our desire to be a light in a dark world, and the Evening Program provided us with the tools to be just that. We feel more confident and prepared as biblical leaders than we did nine months ago.

Jen and Reed Fleming

Jen and Reed Fleming have attended The Journey for nearly three years. They love serving together in Journey Students and participating in (and leading) J-Groups each semester. Jen also serves in Journey Kids, while Reed serves on ERT (Emergency Response Team). They are both Active-Duty Air Force officers. Jen is Nurse Practitioner and Reed is a cargo pilot! They are 2022 graduates of the Journey Leadership Institute Evening Program.


Click here for more information about The Journey Leadership Institute.

8 Comments
  • John Meikle
    Posted at 16:08h, 20 June Reply

    This was very encouraging! Thank you Reed & Jen!

  • Shay Randolph
    Posted at 16:12h, 20 June Reply

    Way to go Fleming family! You both are amazing and I would salute you both if we were in uniform. You both are an inspiration for many and I am so proud of you! Reading about your journey shows that we are not alone and In thankful to know you both. 🤗😎👏🏾👏🏾👍🏾

  • Sheena Stanislawski
    Posted at 19:20h, 20 June Reply

    Congratulations

  • Michelle Sapp
    Posted at 21:08h, 20 June Reply

    It’s been a joy to get to know you and I’m so glad you landed in Dela-Where!!

  • Queen Humes
    Posted at 10:01h, 21 June Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing. This is exactly what I needed! God works in amazing ways!

  • Queen Humes
    Posted at 10:04h, 21 June Reply

    Serving God pays!

  • Alfred R Ceaser
    Posted at 13:44h, 21 June Reply

    Great tribute to God, and your family here in Dela-where!

  • Mark
    Posted at 08:19h, 15 September Reply

    Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.

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