Monthly Archives: August 2014

Oh, Tupelo…

On the morning of September 1st, our loaded down minivan will pull out of Tupelo, MS. We will not be back before we leave for Papua New Guinea. I’ve known for a long time that I would miss our church. Our friends. Our family.

But today, as I drove home from running some errands, down streets I have driven countless times, tears began to fall. They weren’t tears for our friends, church, or family. They were tears for this place. These familiar streets. And they surprised me.

When we moved to Tupelo seven years ago, I was heartbroken and a bit angry. There was absolutely no. part. of. me that wanted to live in Tupelo, MS. I had a few grown-up temper tantrums, and often dreamed of being able to move. Anywhere else.

But despite my pleas, God kept us here in Tupelo. I was 24 when we moved here. I’m now 31. I’ve carried and birthed three babies. I’ve watched my older girls grow from toddler and preschooler to so old I can’t believe it most days. Birthdays and Christmases have been celebrated. David and I have done 7 of our 11 years of marriage right here – more than half of our married life. We’ve made friends. Struggled. Grieved. Laughed. Worked. Years of mundane, beautiful, crazy, day-to-day life moments have happened here, in this city.

It crept on me, this home-ness of Tupelo. But it happened. Tupelo has become home. And Tupelo, I will miss you.

“Impossible” dreams and the history of Wycliffe

Right now, we are asking God to do something big – to bring us to 100% of our Wycliffe monthly ministry budget by August 15th so we can purchase plane tickets and be in PNG by September 15th. When we sent out our first e-mail on July 31st, we needed $878. Today, our need is down to just $403. God is a big God, and with Him nothing is impossible.

Really, our whole journey with Wycliffe has seemed a bit “impossible.” A computer guy. A stay-at-home mom. Four kids (and then five!). Going to, literally, the other side of the world. But God gave us this dream – and we are thankful to know our impossible dreams are in good company!

In 1945, the very early days of Wycliffe Bible Translators, our founder, William Cameron Townsend, went to a meeting with Jose Jimenez Borja, assistant to the Peruvian Minister of Education at that time. Townsend presented his “impossible” dream – he would go into the jungle with a group of linguists to learn the languages of remote people groups. They would create alphabets for these unwritten languages, teach the people to read them, and translate the Bible. Townsend was there to seek Mr. Borja’s blessing. Their conversation went something like this:

Borja: Mr. Townsend, who is going to do all this work?
Townsend: It will be done by trained linguists – young men and women with college degrees who are willing to spend their lives among the indigenous peoples.

Borja: This is a difficult task. How many are willing to go?
None yet. But when I go back to the U.S. and challenge them, many will volunteer.

Borja: The jungle is impossible. How will you get those people out to the villages?
I plan to use airplanes to land on the rivers and airstrips that can be cleared in the jungle.

Borja: How many planes do you have?
None, but when I share the need, God will give us enough planes.

Borja: Who will fly these planes?
Hundreds of young people, seasoned pilots and mechanics will volunteer.

Borja: How many pilots and mechanics do you now have?
None, but God will send them along.

Borja: There is much disease in the jungle. How will you stay healthy?
We’ll have clinics staffed by doctors and nurses.

Borja: How many doctors and nurses do you have?
None, but God will supply them.

Borja: Who will finance all this, the U.S. government, a wealthy foundation?
Townsend: No, I’ll go home and tell the people of the United States about this plan. God will supply. All the workers will raise their own support.

Mr. Borja was taken aback at this strange man, and finally said, “When all that comes to pass, come back to me and I will bless you.” At this Townsend got up, gave him a big hug and said, “’ll be back soon.”

Mr. Borja recounted that when William Cameron Townsend walked out of his office door, he turned to his secretary and said,  “Alla va el gringo mas loco que jamas he visto.” (There goes the craziest gringo I’ve ever seen in my life.)

A few months later, Townsend was back. He was ready to start! Over the next 25 years, all that he dreamed of came to pass.

Only God could do such a mighty thing.” – Jose Jimenez Borja




Build Your Kingdom Here

Your kingdom come, your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:10

Jesus spoke these words to teach His disciples how to pray. God invites us to pray for His Kingdom to come, and His will to be done… here, as it is there. In heaven, God is surrounded by praise, angels calling out, “Holy, holy, holy”, constantly.

We long to see that happen, here. May our own hearts cry out to Him, passionately, constantly, ceaselessly, “Holy, holy, holy!”

May His Church be ignited to cry out together, “Holy, holy, holy!” as they are built up together in love into a dwelling place for the Most High God.

May the nations, people from every tribe, and people, and language, cry out to Him, “Holy, holy, holy!”

I love the way this song from Rend Collective captures this passion…

We seek Your kingdom first
We hunger and we thirst
Refuse to waste our lives
For You’re our joy and prize
To see the captive hearts released
The hurt; the sick; the poor at peace
We lay down our lives for Heaven’s cause
We are Your church
We pray revive
This Earth

Build Your kingdom here
Let the darkness fear
Show Your mighty hand
Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire
Win this nation back
Change the atmosphere
Build Your kingdom here
We pray

We hope you received our e-mail with the exciting update of how God is moving in bringing us to Papua New Guinea. He has provided several new partners over the last month, and brought us down to only $878/month needed to bring us to 100% of our monthly budget and release us for our assignment!

Join us in praying that His will would be done, here, now. That He would build His kingdom, and use us to do so. If He is leading you to join us, please notify us immediately so can let our our supervisors know that the gap is being closed. Your gift of whatever amount the Lord leads you to give – monthly, quarterly, or annually, will help us meet this goal! You can reach us by e-mail at melissas _ smith @ wycliffe. org (no spaces).