The McRae’s Are Moving to Cali…


I don’t even know where to start. To some of you this may come as surprise, to others it will be something you have seen coming for years. As of this past weekend, I am now the new Senior Pastor of Hillside Community Church in Alta Loma, CA.

 Our journey over these past years has been an interesting one filled with twists and turns that no one could have anticipated. The last few years have come with more uncertainty and suffering than we have personally ever known. Our lives are still today full of questions in regards to Kate’s health and treatment options. However, over the course of the past couple of months God has been gracious in clearly leading us to Hillside.

We are incredibly grateful for Cornerstone Christian Fellowship. As a father and a husband I could not have asked for any more freedom to care for my family than I have been given. Pastor Linn and the leaders of Cornerstone have been supportive and gracious, and we can not imagine having to endure this season without that kind of blessing. In the midst of our struggles I have been given opportunities in leadership and teaching beyond what I expected or deserved.

We have made lifelong friends during our time here, and this move will have its challenges on many levels for our family. Yet, as we engaged in a conversation with Hillside we sensed God leading us step by step by step. Every move forward was filled with more confirmation, which we desperately needed for making a decision in the middle of such extenuating circumstances.

Hillside is a great church and we have already met so many wonderful new friends. God has been doing an amazing work at Hillside for years and it is a special honor to be able to join His work. I am humbled beyond words and so excited about this next chapter at Hillside and look forward to the challenge and responsibilities. The kids are pumped to be so close to Disneyland and the beach, so we continually have to remind them that we won’t be at Disney ‘everyday’. Will already has the surfers hair style down, we will just have to see if he and I can find the moves to match.

We would love your prayers during this time of transition. The prayer partners that God has given us through this journey with Kate continue to amaze and encourage us more than anyone will ever know. We need prayers for wisdom in determining treatment options for Kate, choosing new doctors in California and for all the many details associated with moving in general. I will continue to share more details and timelines as we walk forward.

God Bless


31 thoughts on “The McRae’s Are Moving to Cali…

  1. Welcome McRae Family to Hillside and the Inland Empire of Southern California! We are very excited to have you all. Please know that we stand ready to assist you in ANY way possible. Hillside is a compassionate, caring and God-serving group who stand ready continue God’s work in this place and with you at the helm.

    Laos Deo,

    Van and Debbie Putman

  2. Hello Aaron, my name is Tanya Hoffman and I attend Cornerstone. I have 3 precious children and have a very deep passion for you and your sweet family. I am a member of the East Valley Womens League and work closely with the family who founded Childrens Cancer Network here in Arizona. I will admit that much of my push in volunteering my time and allowing God to use me for his will has much to do with hearing your sermons and following your sweet wife’s blog on Kate and your family. So I thank you and God for placing your life’s circumstances in my path so I could be moved as I have been. I will forever be grateful.

    I would now like to give back to you and share that I have been relocating families all over the world for the past 18 years. I work for United Van Lines and getting families household effects moved is our focus. I would LOVE the opportunity to help you all get to California seamlessly and most effectively. Please do reach out to me on my cell and we can further discuss. My cell phone is 480-710-6955. It would be such a blessing to give back to you the way you’ve given to me. :-).

    God Bless,

    Tanya Hoffman

    Tanya Hoffman, GMS, GMS
    Vice President
    Global Business Development
    Strategic Partnerships

  3. Dear Aaron, Holly, Olivia, Kate & Will,
    We Welcome You all to California with Open Arms.
    I live about 7 hours north in Sf Bay Area. But, Hopefully on my adventures when I go to Southern California.. I will be able to meet you all at Hillside Community Church or Disneyland..
    I wish you all the Best in your new journey. Thank You for adding Love to California with your presence.
    I’m sure you will find wonderful, Caring & Knowledgeable Medical Team to Treat Sweet Kate.
    Best Wishes,
    Megan Westcott

    Megan Westcott
    2750 Argyll Ave. #D
    Concord, Ca. 94520

  4. Aaron and Holly, since hearing about your possible move to Calif., we have been continuing our many prayers for complete healing for precious Kate, but also asking for wisdom and confirmation for this wonderful opportunity for your ministry. May your move go very smoothly, and we will pray for a medical team there, that will continue to give Kate the very best of care.
    In Christ’s Love,
    Don and Nancy Pipher

  5. Aaron,
    We are SOOOO excited to see what God has in store for Hillside under your leadership!! Can’t wait to welcome all of you to CA 🙂
    The Marshall family

  6. I am happy to hear that you have been called and that you and your dear family are responding with such faithfulness. May God bless and keep your family healthy and strong throughout this next journey together! I hope to get to visit your church someday or meet your family someday in Houston. Doors wide open!

  7. What an amazing journey your family walks with the gospel shoes of peace, “crazy peace,” the peace that passes understanding. Have you heard the sermons of pastor daddy Britt Merrick, ? He has walked a similar road and I know you will be encouraged at a time when you are giving so much.

  8. Aaron, we are thrilled to welcome you and your precious family to Hillside and beautiful Southern California! Your family now has thousands more praying for your beautiful Kate! Both City of Hope and Loma Linda University Medical Center are within 30 minutes of Hillside, as you may already know, and UCLA Medical Center and Cedar Sinai are within an 1-1.5 hours away. Praying for your move and most importantly the medical care Kate will receive in California. Looking so forward to meeting you all!

  9. So happy for you and your family Aaron! I know this comes with a lot of prayers and confirmations from the Lord. Wished you were coming back East, but God has California plans for you and your family! We miss and love you! Will be praying for you as God directs your ministry into a new path. Love you all, Jeff, Teresa, Joel and Hannah King, Trinity, NC

  10. Aaron, Holly, Olivia, Will & Kate,
    Prayers as you follow God’s leading in your life! I have followed Kate’s blog for so long now I can’t even remember, but I pray for her and your family in my daily prayers. I know God will lead you to the best medical care available for sweet little Kate because you have been so open for him to lead you in every aspect of your lives. I will continue to follow Kate’s blog and pray for complete healing for her. Blessings to you all!!
    Sue Grieser, Admin Asst at St. John’s Christian Church, Archbold, Ohio

  11. Aaron, Holly, Olivia, Will, Kate and Patrick,

    What an incredible adventure awaits you. I’m grateful for God’s leading and confirmation. I pay that all the details will go smoothly. I especially pray that all the medical and therapy needs for Kate will be sorted out. May God continue to strengthen you. Continuing to pray for completer healing for Kate.

  12. Just wanted to let you know that we have been praying for your family since the beginning of Kate’s diagnosis and we will continue to do so as you make the move to CA. I can’t imagine the whirlwind of emotions that you all are facing but reading about your strong faith reminds me that you never doubt who is in control! Praying for strength, energy, wisdom, no complications on the move to CA and complete healing for Kate. Keep us updated! Cindy Odum in Greensboro, NC

  13. Dear McRae Family,

    I am so excited that God has led you here to Southern California, and especially to our wonderful church family here at Hillside! We have been praying for you to come! You are going to be part of a very LOVING and AMAZING Church Body who I am certain will embrace you all with heartfelt concern and a willingness to help in any way they can. I can personally attest to this, as WE went through a personal medical tragedy with one of our four sons eight years ago, and our church reached out to US and provided unimaginable spiritual, emotional, and physical support — I often tell people that I would not want to even begin to think what it would have been like for us without our wonderful church family’s love and support. Truly the work of Christ at it’s best! So with that said, WELCOME ~ WELCOME ~ WELCOME! We will terribly miss Dave and Donna, but are eagerly anticipating all that God is going to do through you here in this little corner of “Rancho Cucamonga” California and want to support you in any way you need.

    Most Sincerely,
    Lori, Guy, Jon, Jimmy, and Jordan

    Psalm 39:4

  14. I came across your wife’s Caring Bridge journal for your daughter Kate over a year ago. I have wept and been blown away by your families faith and journey. My husband was diagnosed with cancer (Seminoma) this January and it was a total shock. As we faced his diagnosis of Cancer your daughter and the wonderful example your family has set by holding on to your faith pushed me to step out even more in my faith. My Husband just finished 21 chemo treatments that he did over a course of nine weeks and we are waiting to hear the result in May to see if the cancer is gone. Your family has been such an inspiration to me and my family. We will continue to pray for Kate and your family.

    • Thanks so much for your encouragement Tammi! I pray your husband gets great results in May. Thanks for your continued prayers.

  15. Aaron and family – we are so blessed to hear of God’s calling on your life. Isn’t God amazing that even in the midst of difficulties, He continues to show you that you are called by Him to continue His work. He has equipped you through all that you have been through and given you an ability to minister that most pastors never understand.
    We are praying for all of the details of your move and for Kate as you seek to continue to treatment plan that God Himself has already ordained.
    We love you guys,
    Ed and Cindy Seay

  16. I follow your family on caring bridge. I am so proud of how you and your wife care so much for your children. The daily challenges would be unbearable without God and you both show that compassion

  17. You will be missed more than you can imagine. Maybe God is sending you off in a direction with new doctors for Kate that will have new ideas for her treatment.

  18. Aaron, am so proud of you…for multiple reasons. I am excited for you and your family. I have kept up with you through the updates on Kate. Since I’ve retired from teaching, I have had this hope that I would someday get on my Goldwing and trek across the US visiting former students, and especially those in ministry. You and Mitch C. would really stretch my mileage! I’m working 6 days a week at my florist and teaching a fun Sunday school class, so my bike just sits and waits; birds build nests in my helmet. Maybe some day… I’m praying for you and your beautiful family.

    • Coach A,
      Get that motorcycle ready, we would love to see you! Thanks for all your prayers and the investment you made into my life!

  19. Hey, McRaes! I’ve been praying for you all since I first heard of Kate’s illness and took the little quilt over to her – one of the first delivered in our quilt ministry (Crossroads Nazarene). I’ve been thinking lately that she needs a new “bigger girl” quilt because she was so young when we gave her that one.
    I’m excited to hear about your move! I used to live in Cali, and taught at Vanguard University of Southern California (a school affiliated with the AG Church). I am now here in AZ, and teach both at ASU and at the newly named Arizona Christian University – I love ACU!!
    I’m sure you’ll enjoy Cali once you get used to planning your life in terms of how long it will take to get everywhere! I hated the traffic, but I’m a country “girl” from upstate NY so I just plain don’t like any traffic, even here in the East Valley.
    I’ll continue to follow Kate on Caring Bridge, and catch your blog when I can, and you know you can count on my prayers, and the prayers of our quilt group. As of today, Crossroads Comfort Quilters has given away about 240 quilts to cancer victims, thankfully more adults than kids. We make really cool ones for the kids now, different than that first one I gave Kate.
    If we were going to make Kate a new “bigger girl” quilt, what sort of things does she really like? We have made one with Disney stuff, we’ve made them with “fairies”, we’ve made them with animals (wild ones and farm ones and puppies and kitties), and one special one was made with theater masks and tae kwon do stuff for a 13 year old. I’d love to get one to you before you take off for Cali for an additional reminder of your time in the East Valley, and those of us who love your little family even though we’ve never met you.

  20. I know it is a bit of a drive but Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles is a great hospital, with an incrediable cancer center! It is the only pediatric hospital in California ranked in the National Honor Roll and only one of 11 in the entire nation.

  21. Aaron, Trish and I would like to extend our welcome to you and your family to Southern California, and Hillside CC. We want to be of any service to you, feel free to call on us for any thing. We are right here in Rancho Cucamonga.
    In Service To Jesus Christ, Charley and Trish Myers

  22. Welcome to you and your family to Southern California and to Hillside. Let Dee Dee and I join the hundreds of others who are elated by the news of your arrival and for your scripture-centered ministry.

    Many of us also appreciate the way you are using social media and blogging to spread the Good News.

    Also notable to share with you is one other point we have in common besides a love for Jesus and the ministry of HCC: If you catch our blog, you will note that we experienced a God-inspired miracle of finding (in 2007) an unrelated German donor to provide a stem cell transplant to cure MCL. Thus, we share your family’s experience of waiting on the Lord for treatment and recovery for a life-threatening disease for which there was no other known human cure. God is good!

  23. Pingback: Cindy odum | Honespot

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