Category Archives: Scripture

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 9th

May 9: Ask God to provide 100% of our monthly budget by May 31st, and do in such a way that He gets the glory, honor, and praise for it.

It’s Day 9 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.

Prayer is the intersection between our complete inadequacy and God’s complete adequacy. – David Platt

I prayed, God, I don’t know you’re going to do it. It looks humanly impossible. I can’t conceive how it’ll ever get done, but you’re the God of the impossible. – George Cowan, past president of Wycliffe Bible Translators

We are so thankful for all the ways God has provided for us during our time as Wycliffe members. Through the partnership of His people, He has brought us to just over 70% of our monthly ministry budget! This is huge! We know that this certainly hasn’t happened because of us, but because of Him.

We currently still need about 30% of our monthly ministry budget. We must be at 95% of our monthly budget before we can purchase plane tickets. We must be at 100% before we can leave for Papua New Guinea.

We are inadequate for this task. It looks humanly impossible to us. But we serve a God who does impossible things, for the sake of His great name!

We are asking God to bring us to 100% of our monthly budget by May 31st. We believe your prayers play a mighty role in us reaching this goal!

And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks fora fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:5-13

The Bible never cautions us about the magnitude of our prayers. – David Platt

 

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 5th

May 5th: Ask the Lord to provide 5 new monthly partners this week. May He give them a vision of Rev. 7:9-12, and an excitement to be a part of people from “all tribes and peoples and languages” praising the Lamb!

It’s Day 5 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 most of you know, Wycliffe missionaries are each sent by a team of prayer and financial partners who are partnering with their specific ministry. Prayer partners are an invaluable part of the team – thank you for joining us in this way!

We also cannot go to PNG without folks willing to commit to give towards our monthly Wycliffe ministry budget on a regular basis. These gifts can be monthly, quarterly, or annually.

We have an amazing team of regular financial partners, and we are so thankful for each one of you. Currently we have 52 individuals or families, and 3 churches, that are part of Smiths on a Mission in this way – you are so important to this work! Please spend time today thanking God for all He has done to lead each of these people to join our ministry!

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Revelation 7:9-12

This work, this team? It’s not about us. It’s not primarily about Papua New Guineans. It’s about God’s glory. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might are all His!! Forever and ever! His Word promises that people from every language will worship Him. We get to be a part of that, and we have the privilege of inviting others to be a part of that with us!

 

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

ICC: “Let me hear what God the Lord will speak…”

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people…” Ps. 85:8a

This week has definitely been the hardest of ICC so far. Talia was sick Monday and Tuesday, so we had to switch out classes, while one of us stayed home with her. She was diagnosed with strep, but we praise God that we caught it early, and that so far no one else has shown any signs of strep.

Wednesday we were both back at class, where the major topic was Counting the Cost. We heard testimonies from missionaries who have encountered incredibly painful and difficult circumstances for the sake of the Gospel. One of the quotes that stood out to me was this, “I guarantee God will ask you to die a bit every day.”

Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them,“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:25-33

David praying for our friends after they shared the ways God has been teaching them about His sovereignty.

David praying for our friends after they shared the ways God has been teaching them about His sovereignty.

Some of the other topics covered this week include:

Field-proofing our marriage. Over the coming weeks will be working through some of the Sacred Marriage materials.

Our marriage study group

Our marriage study group

Our unique strengths and weaknesses, and how to use those as we go into a cross-cultural ministry situation.

Different worldviews and sharing the Gospel.

Biblical absolutes.

God’s sovereignty.

Tools for language learning. We not only learned some great tools, we had the opportunity to practice them, as we both began weekly language lessons with a Tok Pisin speaker here! We will certainly not be fluent by the end of our time here, but it is great to get our feet wet before we go to POC in August.

Friday night we were all beat, but we had a Family Fun Night, including games and a talent show. Makaylah and Sophia performed “Let it Go” with one of their new friends, who is also heading to PNG in August (the Lord is so good!).

Waiting for the show to start

Waiting for the show to start

5_FunNight25

In the midst of all the mental, spiritual and physical exhaustion of this week, we can have peace, because we know that the One we serve is supremely worthy of anything He will ask us to sacrifice. Beyond that, He loves us with a deep, surpassing love. This weekend we each took time for a personal retreat with God. This was an “assignment,” and honestly, with everything else we’ve had going on, pulling away for 3 hours seemed daunting.

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.- Isaiah 55:1-3

Our Lord loves us with a covenant, steadfast, sure love, and He knows what we need – HIM. It really is that simple.

Please continue to pray for us as we head into another busy week. Pray that we will continue to “eat what is good”!

“I’ve got Jesus”

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:19, 20

This verse has spoken to us so much as God has grown our heart for the nations, but this weekend we experienced it in a different way. On September 7th of this year, our oldest daughter Makaylah committed her life to Christ, and yesterday we had the extreme joy of celebrating her obedience in baptism.

We were so blessed to be surrounded by our church family, our LifeGroup, and many family members and dear friends. I was also mindful of the pastors, Sunday School teachers, and others who have prayed for Makaylah, shared God’s love with her, taught her the Word, held up David and I in prayer as we have sought to live the gospel in front of her. So many people were a part of yesterday, whether they were able to be with us or not.

Makaylah is part of our church’s kid praise team. She requested that they get to sing the song, “Jesus in My Life.”

When things have got me down and no is around
I got Jesus, I got Jesus
When life’s a mystery and peace is what I need
I got Jesus, I got Jesus

I’m so thankful for the truth of those lyrics. No matter what comes her way in her life, Makaylah has Jesus. When she needs peace, she has Jesus. When she needs wisdom, she has Jesus. Last night Makaylah asked for prayer for, “All the days to come.” I’m so glad that she recognizes that this is only the beginning of her walk with Christ.