Author Archives: Melissa

About Melissa

I'm so thankful to be wife to my sweet husband, and stay-at-home mom and teacher to our five beautiful blessings. I'm continually overwhelmed that God chooses foolish and weak vessels for His mighty purposes, and I'm so thankful for the way He has broken my heart for those waiting for His Word!

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).

This Season of Transition

Sometimes it’s hard to put into words what this season of preparation and transition is like for us. Getting rid of things, packing, paperwork, saying good-bye to our church, friends, places, and comfort foods. This video does a much better job of communicating than our words can.

“There’s a cost to everything. I guess sometimes you don’t think about some of the things that it will cost you…”

Quietness, in a Social Media age

When people first meet me, they might think I’m quiet. But anyone who knows me well knows that silence is not my strong point! I am an auditory processor…. meaning, I like to talk through things out loud, with someone else, in order to process them. This often translates to social media as well. I ran a blog with my sister-in-law for two years, and I loved processing things through blog posts. I often share from my Bible reading or just general thoughts on twitter and facebook.

Sunday, God prompted me to spend several days off of social media. He brought me to Isaiah 30:15 (emphasis mine),

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling.

Returning. Rest. Quietness. Trust. This week, God has shown me how quickly I fill my mind with the distraction of social media, rather than returning to His Word. He’s shown me how I struggle to quietly pour out my soul to Him, rather than to others. Honestly, social media can give such an illusion of community and closeness, but I will run there instead of my Lord and Savior, who knows me more intimately than anyone else. I don’t ever want the Lord to say to me, “I had all of Myself for you – but you were unwilling.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe and affirm that the Lord built us for relationships and community. I have exchanged some text messages and e-mails with a few dear ladies close to me during this week. But true, intentional relationships are different than “sharing” with 400 of our closest friends, aren’t they? If anything, social media can rob me of true community, because I can believe I’m experiencing community there, and am less likely to reach out personally.

I am not done with social media. I believe it has a place, and like many things, can either edify or tear down, depending on how it is used. God used these last few days to re-adjust my priorities though, and that was sorely needed.

Would we be strengthened to do what is required of us and to bear what is laid upon us? It must be in quietness and confidence; we must keep our spirits calm and sedate by a continual dependence upon God, and his power and goodness; we must retire into ourselves with a holy quietness, suppressing all turbulent and tumultuous passions, and keeping the peace in our minds. And we must rely upon God with a holy confidence that he can do what he will and will do what is best for his people. And this will be our strength; it will inspire us with such a holy fortitude as will carry us with ease and courage through all the difficulties we may meet with. – Matthew Henry

She Reads Truth: My Delight is In Her

For the past two weeks I have been walking through the book of Ruth with an on-line community, She Reads Truth. She Reads Truth is a call for women to read the truth of God’s Word, to hold each other accountable, and share what He is teaching along the way.

I honestly did not know how relevant the short little book of Ruth would be to my life right now.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17, ESV

God uses all of Scripture to equip us and complete us. The book of Ruth has spoken to me deeply. In the first chapter, Naomi loses her husband, both her sons, and is left with two barren daughter-in-laws. Her life has not gone the way she expected, and she rejects her name, Naomi, and says her name is now, “Mara.” Bitter. For the Lord has dealt bitterly with her.

God has called us Chosen. Beloved. Daughter. Child. Heir. But sometimes we look to our circumstance to determine our name. If things are not going the way we hope, we can give ourselves different names. I know I can.

A question for us to consider during this study was,

Is there a discrepancy between the names by which Jesus calls you and the names you give yourself? Are there circumstances in your life to which you are giving undue power, power that rightfully—and in reality!—belongs to our sovereign God alone? Sister, who names you today—your God or your circumstances?

I can look to my circumstances, my sin, my struggles, this waiting period God has us in, and call myself Forgotten. Unworthy. Failure. Unloved. Worst Mom Ever. Inadequate.

But my daily circumstances do not change the truth of God’s Word, or the reality of His sure, steadfast love, and His unchangeable purposes.

In God’s perfect timing, God led me to Isaiah 62 today.

The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is In Her,
and your land Married,
for the LORD delights in you,
and your land shall be married;
For as young man marries a young woman,
so shall your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:4-5, ESV

Just as God was working all things together for Naomi’s good, working to bring about His sure, steadfast purposes for her life, He is doing the same for me and for each one of us. The Lord names us – you – me, “My Delight is in Her!”

SheReadsTruth
This season of waiting on the Lord’s provision has been challenging. Yet He is teaching me in a new way what it means to rest in Him, to trust in His sovereignty and in His goodness.

You can join the conversation over at She Reads Truth today by going to this page.

Vision 2025: Now. Is. The. Time.

“By 2025, together with partners worldwide, we aim to see a Bible translation program begun in all the remaining languages that need one.”

This is the core of Vision 2025.

We have over 400 English versions of the Bible, while hundreds of millions of people wait for a single verse.

Can we be ok with that?

Wycliffe USA and our partner organizations believe the answer is a resounding, “No!” Now, now is the time for God’s people to mobilize.

If you have 5 minutes, please watch the video below from one of Wycliffe’s partner organizations to learn more about Vision 2025 and why we believe it is so crucial.

Longing for the Word

Two ladies read from their Wuvulu-Aua NT during the Wuvulu Scripture Application and Leadership Training (SALT) course. Used with permission, Wycliffe Bible Translators, David J. Ringer.

Two ladies read from their Wuvulu-Aua NT during the Wuvulu Scripture Application and Leadership Training (SALT) course. Used with permission, Wycliffe Bible Translators, David J. Ringer.

Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
I am sojourner on the earth;
hide not your commandments from me!
My soul is consumed with longing
    for your rules at all times…

Your testimonies are my delight
they are my counselors…

Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works…

I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
I cling to your testimonies, O LORD;
let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart!

Psalm 119:19-20, 24, 27, 30-32

Do we understand what it means to consumed with longing  for the Word of the Lord? May our delight in God’s testimonies prompt us to pray, give, and go on behalf of those who are saying, “Hide not your commandments from me!”

Here in our place, we want the Bible too, but we don’t have anyone to help us. Can you tell your bosses to send someone to help us? – Papua New Guinean man to Wycliffe translator

 

Join the Team – Pray for the Bibleless!

I will pray

It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions. – John R. Mott

The above video is from The Seed Company, one of Wycliffe’s partner organizations. Will you pray?

Reaching the last language groups with the power of God’s Word is only possible through Christ’s body working in unity, with many people fulfilling a variety of roles. One essential role is that of prayer warriors, who will pray diligently for specific missionaries, specific countries, and specific people groups.

David and I have been blessed to be a part of the Bibleless people prayer project since early 2006. We received a simple card with the pseudonym of a people group, without any access to God’s Word. We began praying that God would reach this people group. That He would raise up workers. We prayed. And we prayed. In 2011, we received more information about this people group, along with the wonderful news that two different couples were headed to work among them! It is our great privilege to continue to pray for these missionaries, for God to equip and raise up more workers, and make Himself known in a powerful way.

This is what Wycliffe’s Bibleless people prayer project is about. You receive the name of a real people group, and commit to pray diligently for them. Wycliffe has seen God answer these prayers in mighty ways!

Often, especially in America we pray the little prayers… The little things that we think might happen, without the power of God… When we pray for missions, pray for big things to happen! Pray for entire language groups… when it seems impossible.

You can sign up to join the Bibleless people prayer project here!

Join the Team – Start a Campaign!

We are so close to being able to leave for Papua New Guinea! During the month of May, God brought us to 75% of our Wycliffe monthly ministry budget. He is so good!

As we shared in our latest newsletter, as soon as we reach 100% of our monthly ministry budget and our Visas come in, we can leave for Papua New Guinea! We invite you to partner with us in all God is doing!

One new way you can partner with us is by starting a campaign through Wycliffe’s new website. Click the “start a campaign” button in the top right on our Wycliffe page. We’d love if you would consider starting a fundraising campaign to help with the remaining 25% of our monthly budget. You can also start a prayer or awareness campaign. Wycliffe’s site will walk you through the steps, and you will be prompted to upload a photo of yourself, share a bit about why you would like people to consider joining us, and then share your campaign.

We pray that these campaigns will be used for God’s glory, as He provides to send us to Papua New Guinea, and as new people have the opportunity to join in this exciting task!

May He Grant: May 30th

May 30: Pray that the Lord will provide the staff needed to run Pacific Orientation Course (POC) that we were scheduled to attend in August.

If you’ve seen our newsletter, you know that we are no longer planning on attending the August Pacific Orientation Course, but will instead be heading straight to Ukarumpa, and planning for the January POC.

We do want to ask you to join us in praying for the August POC staffing situation, however. We have several friends scheduled to attend this session, and currently, there is not sufficient staff for the course to be held. There is still time for God to provide staff, and we are praying with our friends that He will do so!

May He Grant: May 29th

May 29: Pray that Makaylah will continue to grow in her relationship with Christ. Ask that she would long for the pure milk of the Word, that she may grow up into her salvation. (1 Peter 2:2).

We prayed earlier this month for the salvation of our youngest four children. We are so thankful that God has already drawn Makaylah to Himself! We appreciate your prayers for her as she continues to grow in her faith.

Makaylah, photo credit: Star Noir Studios

Makaylah, photo credit: Star Noir Studios

Lord, we thank You for saving Makaylah. We know that without Your power at work in her, she would still be lost in her sins and separated from You. We ask that she would never be content to just know about You, but would pursue You passionately and grow in You day by day. May Makaylah put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Help her to long for pure spiritual milk, like a newborn infant, that she may grow up into salvation. May she remember and know that she has tasted that the Lord is good! As she comes to Christ, a living stone rejected by men, but in Your sight chosen and precious, we know she will be built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices accepted to You through Christ. Your Word declares that whoever believes in Christ, the cornerstone, will not be put to shame! (I Peter 2:1-6)