Category Archives: Family

May He Grant: May 17th

May 17: Ask God for protection from illness or injury at POC.

It’s Day 17 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

Pacific Orientation Course, or POC, is a mandatory Wycliffe training for those serving in the Pacific. This training focuses on an understanding of culture, and includes language learning, as well as how to live in this part of the world. There will be several hikes, swims, and a 4-week village stay. We have heard from so many people that POC is an experience that they would never change, and we are excited to attend! We are also aware that injury or illness is a risk, so we appreciate your prayers beginning now for protection.

For a more detailed glimpse into POC, here’s a video:

May He Grant: May 11th

Happy Mother’s Day! We pray you have a blessed day. Our prayers are with those for whom this is a hard day that reminds them of loss.

Our May He Grant prayer focus is below. Please also pray for my mom, Cheryl, and David’s mom, Marie, as they send us (and their grandchildren!) to Papua New Guinea. Pray for peace and comfort and many sweet opportunities to spend time together in the next few months.

Mom a few years ago with our oldest four. Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

Mom a few years ago with our oldest four. Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

Marie with all her grandkids a few years ago.  Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

Marie with all her grandkids a few years ago. Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

May 11: Ask the Lord for wisdom as we pack and make decisions about what to bring and what to leave behind. May we store up for ourselves treasures in heaven, not on this earth! 

It’s Day 11 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

Stuff. We all have a lot of it. Our family got rid of a huge amount of possessions before we left for ICC. Everything we own now fits in a 10×10 storage unit, with plenty of room left over. There were things we put in storage that seemed very important before ICC. Months later, we are able to look at those same things and realize that they are just things.

We will be sending a shipment of household goods to Papua New Guinea. This shipment needs to be in JAARS, NC, by early July. From JAARS, it will be shipped via freight to PNG, and arrive in Ukarumpa in a few months. Please pray for us and our children as we finalize this process. May we keep our eyes focused where they need to be.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

May He Grant: May 10th

May 10: Pray for healthy transitions for Makaylah as she says goodbye to friends, family, familiar places and ways of doing things. Ask for healthy grieving, and an excitement for what is to come in PNG.

It’s Day 10 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

May 10th, Day 10, is about our 10-year-old Makaylah – and I didn’t even do that on purpose 🙂

Makaylah (far right) with sweet church friends

Makaylah (far right) with sweet church friends

We’ve been going to The Church at Trace Crossing for almost seven of Makaylah’s ten years. During that time she has made several great friends, and she struggles a lot with the thought of leaving them. She also understands more fully than our younger children do how far away PNG is, and how long four years will be.

We invite you in praying Psalm 100:1-5 over Makaylah:

Lord, help Makaylah to make a joyful noise to You, along with all the earth! May she serve You with gladness and come into your presence with singing. May she know that you, Lord, are God. It is You who made her, and she is yours. She is Your child, and one of the sheep of Your pasture. Help Makaylah to enter Your gates with thanksgiving, and enter Your courts with praise! May she give thanks to You and bless Your name. For You, Lord, are good. Your steadfast love endures forever! Your faithfulness endures to all generations. May Your presence give Makaylah peace and joy as she says goodbye to friends, family, and things familiar. May she know that Your presence is with her as she goes to Papua New Guinea, and that you will give her every good thing. We thank You in advance for the friendships and relationships You are going to provide her. Thank You that You love Makaylah even more than we do, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen.

May He Grant: May 8th

May 8: Ask that God would continue to reveal Himself to Sophia, Isaiah, Nehemiah, and Talia. May God draw them to Himself!

It’s Day 8 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

As we shared in November with great joy, Makaylah became a Christian last year. We continue to pray for the Lord to show our younger four their need for Him. Ask that God would use their time as MK’s in many ways to draw them to Himself! MK’s are on a battlefield. We yearn for them to be fully equipped with the armor of God, especially the helmet of salvation.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints… Ephesians 6:10-18

Sophia

Sophia means “wisdom.” Our prayer for is that she will know the One who is the source of all wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. Proverbs 9:10

IsaiahIsaiah means, “Salvation of the Lord.” May our Isaiah be one who knows that salvation, and is a messenger of it to others!

“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.

“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth. Isaiah 12:2-5

NehemiahNehemiah means “compassion of Jehovah.” May God show compassion to Nehemiah, and grant him salvation.

“For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

TaliaTalia means “dew from heaven.” Her name is a reminder of God’s daily, unmerited favor to us. We pray that as she grows God will give her an awareness of her need for Him, and the mercy He offers her, fresh every morning.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

May He Grant: May 6th

May 6: Pray that Melissa would have a strong, vibrant walk with God. Ask that she would be faithful to times in the Word, prayer, and fasting.

It’s Day 6 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete guide for the month here.

Pray that Melissa a mom of 5 can have a strong a vibrant walk with God. Sometimes getting through the day and accomplishing everything on her to do list can be daunting. In Mark chapter 10  Jesus is talking to his disciples about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. The disciples asked astonished, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus answers, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

Even rich with 5 kids, God can make all things possible. Please pray that Melissa will have have insight into Scripture. That she will have the time to accomplish her studying, praying, and fasting.

May He Grant: May 4th

May 4: Ask God to provide the right house for us when we arrive in Ukarumpa.

It’s Day 4 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

Aerial view of Ukarampa Center

Aerial view of Ukarampa Center

Ukarumpa Center is where we will live in Papua New Guinea once we complete our Pacific Orientation Course. Ukarumpa is a small town located in the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea.  With a population of 500-800 people, primarily missionaries who have come as translators or support personnel, Ukarumpa is the main center for most of Papua New Guinea’s Bible translation work. Housing availability varies depending on how many personnel are on center, who is home on furlough, and other factors.

We believe God cares about the details, and for our children especially, we know a house can be an important element of “home.”

By wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:3-4

May He Grant: May 3rd

May 3: Pray that God would strengthen our marriage. Ask for clear communication, graciousness, kindness, and unity in the midst of many distractions and challenges.

davidandme

It’s Day 3 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete guide for the month here.

We have been married for eleven years, and have walked through many things during that time. We are blessed to be on this journey of reaching the Bibleless for God’s glory together!

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.”  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:22-24

Just as with any marriage, we face struggles. At ICC we were reminded that our marriage is not about us, it’s about God. Our marriage is for His glory, and one of the ways He is glorified is using our marriage for our sanctification – a way for us to die to ourselves, and become more like Him. Pray that I (Melissa) would be strengthened to submit and respect to David. Pray that David would be strengthened to love me the way he is called too. It is only through God’s grace that our marriage can be this kind of picture!

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,  and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church–  for we are members of his body.  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:22-33

May He Grant: May 2nd

May 2: Pray that David would have a strong, vibrant walk with God. Ask that he would be faithful to times in the Word, prayer, and fasting.

It’s Day 2 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete guide for the month here.

During our recent ICC training, we heard many wonderful missionary testimonies. We also heard stories of struggle, challenge, and failings. Our flesh is weak. We have an enemy seeking to destroy us. Pray that David would “live a life worthy of the Lord.”

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:10-14

Pray that David would “run in such a way as to get the prize.” That he would be disciplined in his pursuit of God and advancement of the Gospel, so that he “will not be disqualified.”

 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:23-27

May He Grant…. A Month of Prayer

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose. We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions. Psalm 20:4-5

We have said during this entire journey that prayer is a crucial element of all that we do.  We believe that more and more every step we take towards Papua New Guinea! Monday afternoon, as a tornado hit our neighborhood, and we surveyed the damage, we appreciated prayer and our prayer partners in an even more tangible way.

May is a crucial month for us. We are asking God to do big things. We are asking Him to grant our heart’s desire, and bring us to 100% of our monthly budget before May 31st. We are also entering a season of intense busyness and preparations for our Pacific Orientation Course and our departure for Papua New Guinea. We are praying for no delays in our work permits and Visas. We are asking God to help our children through this season. We are asking Him to strengthen and protect our family.

We are inviting you to be a part of this month with us. You can view the entire month of prayer below. You can also print this guide, May He Grant, and keep it in a visible spot. Each day, you will find the day’s request here on the blog, often with coordinating Scriptures, and more information about that day’s request.

In the name of the Lord we will set our banners! This will also be a month of praise as He provides and as we rejoice in the calling He has placed on us.

Do you believe God works powerfully through the prayers of His people? We invite you to partner with us during this month of prayer! You can start today!

May 1: Ask God to continue to raise up workers to spread His Word in Papua New Guinea, both expats and Papua New Guineans. Intercede for the 300+ languages still needing translation work.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38

The work to do in Papua New Guinea is vast. It will take many people to complete it – linguists, IT, teachers, literacy workers, doctors, nurse, pilots, and many more!

Today as you pray we also ask you to lift up the city of Tupelo. We are so thankful that God spared so many lives (including our family!). It has been beautiful seeing the body of Christ in our town step forward to meet needs, but it will not be a quick road to recovery.

 

Home Sweet Home

March was an interesting month! We finished up our time at JAARS on March 8th. From there, we went to Tullahoma, TN and spent a few days with David’s parents. We arrived back in Tupelo on March 13th. It’s been wonderful to be back at our home church, and to catch up with friends and family. We’ve also been working on tolerating ambiguity, as David mentioned, while we looked for a viable temporary housing option for our family. We will be in Tupelo until the beginning of June at least. Long enough to need a space of our own, but not long enough to sign a 6 month or 1 year lease. Some precious friends allowed us to stay in their home while we looked for something, which was a tremendous blessing.

Mimi & Girls at Fall Cree Falls

After several ups and downs, God led us to just the right house. We are thankful to have a place to call home for this season, and we appreciate your prayers as we settle into a new routine. Transition is going to be our “normal” for quite awhile.

Our new house - thankful for the Lord's provision.

Our new house – thankful for the Lord’s provision.

Headed out for our first walk around the neighborhood

Headed out for our first walk around the neighborhood

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Fun at the park that is in walking distance.