New beginnings

A new start for the Hutchens family and for Gospel Life

When we decided to leave Malawi, we knew that God was leading us to leave, but we didn’t know where he was leading us to go. We are happy to share that over the past few weeks, the Lord has made his direction clear.

Next month, our family will be moving to beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado where I will be joining the staff of Overland Church as Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Missions. Fort Collins is the home of over 30,000 students at Colorado State University and is part of the rapidly growing North Front Range region of Colorado, which is estimated to grow in population by 65% over the next 20 years.

Just over 5 years ago, the Lord led my friend Zack Thurman and his sending church, Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky, to partner with the North American Mission Board to plant Overland in this city where 90-95% of the population is estimated to be unchurched.

In my role as Associate Pastor, I will essentially be doing the same thing I did in Malawi but in a different missionary context—providing theological education, training church planters for Colorado and the Mountain West, and leading missions strategy.

Additionally, Overland has asked me to continue leading and overseeing Gospel Life as part of our church’s missions strategy. In terms of ministry, I couldn’t imagine a better fit for my gifting and for Gospel Life.

But it is also a fantastic fit for our family as Fort Collins offers many of the resources, especially for autism, that we were seeking in transitioning back to the US.

Thank you for your prayers, which the Lord used to prepare us for this next step, and we thank you for your continued prayers as we settle in over the coming months.

Isaac Dzimbiri and his wife Susan and boys, Jed and Nathaniel.

New beginnings for Gospel Life

As anyone whose church has been through a pastoral transition knows, leadership changes can be difficult, and this is especially the case in a setting like Malawi. Our national missionary, Isaac Dzimbiri and his family, have faced many challenges over the past six weeks since we left Malawi, but I am proud of how he has led by walking by the Spirit and demonstrating the Spirit’s fruit.

With my departure and Isaac assuming leadership in Malawi, we are entering a phase of refocusing on our purpose and reenvisioning ministry for the decades to come. Necessarily, many things about Gospel Life will change, but what will not change is our desire to “glorify God by growing disciples who make disciples by planting healthy churches and training biblical leaders.”

Isaac and I are praying for God’s guidance, and we will be presenting an updated direction for Gospel Life to our board of trustees at our fall board meeting. With their approval, we will then begin sharing more with you. But I could not be more excited to see our ministry transition to Spirit-led national leadership.

What can you do?

The first thing you can do is to keep praying. Keep praying for our family. Keep praying for Isaac and his family. Pray that God will clarify how Gospel Life will be used to glorify him in the years ahead.

The second thing you can do is to keep giving. My return to the US does not represent the end of ministry in Malawi. Rather, we are embarking on a new phase of ministry. In this new phase, while Overland will begin providing for our family, I remain responsible for raising all the support for and overseeing the ministry of Gospel Life in Malawi. One of the best things you can do for us personally is to remain committed to the work that we invested our lives in for six years and that we continue to serve in a new way.

Thank you for all you do and continue to do as partners with Gospel Life. As we go on this journey together, I can’t wait to see what the Lord does!

Picture of Joshua Hutchens

Joshua Hutchens

Joshua Hutchens (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the president of Gospel Life as well as Associate Pastor of Discipleship and Missions at Overland Church in Fort Collins, Colorado. With a heart devoted to spreading the gospel, Joshua, alongside his wife Stacy Leigh and their five children, dedicated six years to serving in Malawi before returning to the United States, where he continues to lead Gospel Life.

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