Tag Archives: deadlines

2014: A Year of Changes, Challenges, and Answered Prayer!

With the new year here, we’ve been reflecting on all that has happened in our family and our Wycliffe ministry over 2014. It’s amazing seeing how the Lord has worked!

January 2014:

We got rid of most of our “stuff,” loaded the rest up to put in a storage unit, and moved out of our home of three years. Then we packed up our van and headed to JAARS in Waxhaw, NC, for our Intercultural Communications Course.

February 2014:

Our time was consumed with the Intercultural Communications Course, where we were stretched, challenged, and prepared for life in a cross-cultural environment. We also got to know many people headed to PNG too, and this has continued to be a source of blessing to us!

During this time, the Lord led me to Isaiah 55, and reassured me with these words,

“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the LORD;
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Isaiah 55:12-13

March 2014:

We returned to Tupelo, MS, to finish preparations for Papua New Guinea and continue building our partnership team. We were at about 60% of our Wycliffe monthly ministry budget, and we were learning (slowly) to walk by faith, not by sight as we waited for 100%. God gave us immediate opportunities to walk out some of what we learned at our Intercultural Communications Course.

April 2014:

Tupelo, MS, was hit by a tornado, and our neighborhood was one of the hardest hit. We praised the Lord for sparing our lives. home and vehicle, and grieved with our neighbors for all that they had lost. We were incredibly grateful for every person on our prayer team!

May 2014:

We celebrated Talia’s first birthday and went to the mountains with my family. We spent the month in prayer, alongside many of you. We prayed over our children, our marriage, our Wycliffe ministry, those that would eventually join our partnership team, and Papua New Guinea. The Lord brought us to 75% of our Wycliffe monthly ministry budget during this month. We also accepted the PNG branch’s invitation to come straight to Ukarumpa once we reached 100%.

June 2014:

We continued to prepare for Papua New Guinea and ask God to complete our partnership team. We continued to share with people about the work of Bible translation and the needs of Bibleless people groups.

July 2014:

God brought us to 80% of our Wycliffe monthly ministry budget! We also traveled back to Waxhaw, NC, to drop off our household goods shipment. This shipment would later be transported by sea to PNG, and then on to Ukarumpa.

August 2014:

We were so close to 100% that we started praying earnestly for the Lord to provide it by August 15th. God moved in amazing ways, and by August 12th we were at 100% of our Wycliffe monthly ministry budget! The full weight of leaving our home, friends, and family started to hit us, even as we rejoiced at the Lord’s provision. We packed up a few more boxes to send to PNG, a few boxes to store with family in the States, and got rid of everything else! We said good-bye to our church family during our official commissioning service, and shed lots of tears.

September 2014:

We spent a few days with each of our families, and then on September 9th, we boarded the first of 6 flights on our journey to PNG! We arrived in Ukarumpa on September 12th, jetlagged, worn out, but overjoyed to be here.

October 2014:

Makaylah, Sophia, and Isaiah began attending Ukarumpa International School and we all began to settle into our roles here.

November 2014:

David began Tok Pisin lessons and we celebrated our first Ukarumpa Thanksgiving!

December 2014:

We attended the Melanesian Institute mentioned in our newsletter. We had a wonderful first Christmas in Ukarumpa and enjoyed some much needed family time.

Final thoughts:

It’s really hard to put into words just how difficult 2014 was. We wrestled with our faith in God’s provision. We waited and waited. And waited some more. Reading back through my journal this week I cried. I cried remembering how hard it was, and seeing how incredibly good God is, and how He did do everything He promised.

My journal is full of verses and quotes like these –

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.

Oh Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.”
Psalm 130:5-7

“I will thank You forever,
because You have done it.
I will wait for Your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.”
Psalm 52:9

“I have thrown myself blindly into His almighty hands.” – George Whitfield

If you are reading this today, I hope you are encouraged to remember that even when it feels the most hopeless, we can hope in the Lord. We can throw ourselves blindly into His hands, because He is trustworthy.

As we enter 2015, we pray the Lord will continue to teach us to cling to Him and that we will remember all that He did to bring us here.

“In all the setbacks of our lives as believers, God is plotting for our joy.” – John Piper

“You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.”
Psalm 40:5

May He Grant: May 15th

May 15: Pray for provision of our launching expenses, so we can order plane tickets and ship our goods to PNG.

It’s Day 15 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.

We have two different budgets, our monthly ministry budget and our launching expenses. Right now, our launching expenses are about a third of the way funded. We are praying for that amount to grow quickly so that as soon as we are 95% of our monthly budget, we can order our plane tickets. We also need to be able to ship our household goods to PNG in early July.

God continues to provide for us in so many ways, and we know He is able to meet these needs as well!
If you haven’t seen these yet, we are taking t-shirt orders to help with these expenses! It is also our hope that these shirts will be a great way for you to talk about Bible translation and Papua New Guinea. If you want more information, let us know 🙂

Shirts designed by Fund the Nations - a great company with a great heart!

Shirts designed by Fund the Nations – a great company with a great heart!

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

 

12 Crucial Weeks and How You Can Help

If you receive our newsletter or keep up with us on our Facebook page, you may have noticed that over the last few weeks, we have been feeling an increased sense of urgency. We’ve been planning and praying to leave the country in January of 2014. We knew we needed to be at 100% of our monthly ministry budget a little before that in order to plan and to order plane tickets. We had some other goals in place, but January did feel a little far away.

Then we found out a few weeks ago that we need to have 50% of our budget pledged in order to start the process for our Visas. That process needs to be started in June. Since we are still at less than 10%, 50% by June was eye-opening and urgency inducing.

The following week we found out that one of our mandatory trainings, which we thought was in September actually starts the middle of July. This training focuses on cross-cultural living, lasts for a month, and takes place in North Carolina. And we have to be at 50% of our support by May 28th to complete our registration process and attend. If we don’t attend the course in July, we can’t attend again until January, which pushes us back to August 2014 before we can leave for Papua New Guinea.

Today is March 1st, which means we have just over 12 weeks to get from less than 10% financial partnership to 50%. I’ll be honest, that feels like a really, really big mountain! We are confident that God has called us to serve with Wycliffe and speed Bible translation in Papua New Guinea. We long to see Him glorified in all the languages of the earth, and we are heartbroken to think of people dying every single day without the chance to hear His word in the language they understand best. We also trust that He is sovereign, powerful, and that His ways and timing are perfect. So we are diligently working and actively trying to rest in Him at the same time.

If we are going to be at 50% of our budget by May 28th, we have three major needs, and three ways that you can help us:

1. Prayer

We mention this one a lot, and there’s a reason we do! Prayer is crucial to this or any ministry. We need your prayers, desperately! For provision, open doors, and protection from discouragement.

Prayer is not preparation for the work of God, prayer is the work of God. – E.M. Bounds.

2. Financial partners

We can’t go to Papua New Guinea on our own. We need individuals, families, and churches who are passionate about God’s glory and people having access to His Word who will send us out. God describes His church as a body, and whether He calls us to go or to stay and send, we can all be a part of His plan to reach the nations.

“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent… Romans 10:13-15a

3. Advocates

Another huge need we have right now is for advocates. An advocate is someone who is excited about Bible translation, and wants to help us get the word out! An advocate might:

  • Host a home meeting with some of their friends
  • Invite us to speak with their Sunday School class, small group, women’s or men’s Bible study
  • Introduce us to their missions committee or pastor
  • Share our newsletter, Invitation to Partnership brochure, facebook page, or blog

These are just a few of the ways an advocate might help spread the word about the need for Bible translation and help us find new financial and prayer partners. Whether you live in Mississippi, Alabama, or somewhere else, we would love to talk to you about advocacy!

The next 12 weeks are crucial in determining when we will go to Papua New Guinea. We are so grateful to those of you are praying diligently with us! If you’ve been considering financial partnership, but weren’t sure when you should commit, pledging now will be a huge blessing and help ensure we are able to meet the necessary deadlines to go in January. If you would like to find out more about being an advocate or know of somewhere we can share, please contact us!