Tag Archives: Family

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 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 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.


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

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


Fun at the park that is in walking distance.



ICC: Until Next Time

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Our ICC class

Our ICC class

Friday was the last of our Intercultural Communications Course. We knew we would learn and grow during our time here, and we did…. So, so much! But we couldn’t prepare ourselves for the way God would provide us with so many amazing relationships, and bless us through them.

Our ICC class included people from all over the United States, Canada, from multiple different organizations, heading to many different countries. It is hard to explain the way our hearts feel as we say goodbye to friends that we may not see for years, or ever, this side of heaven. The Body of Christ is beautiful!

We loved MK Station and all our wonderful teachers there!

We loved MK Station and all our wonderful teachers there!

Sweet friendships for our munchkins

Sweet friendships for our munchkins


IT Guys bound for August POC!

Love these ladies!



Enough said. Woah.

I don’t like good-bye’s. I think I’m sticking with, “Until next time.”





“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.

Birthdays, life, busyness, and prayer

Life here has settled into a fairly steady pace of….. busy, busy, and did I mention busy?

January was an exciting month for us. We are looking at this year with different eyes as we contemplate and pray that it is our last year in the States before heading to Papua New Guinea! It is a year full of lots of firsts, and lots of “lasts for now.” We sent out our first newsletter of 2013 (if you didn’t get it and would like to receive future newsletters, just drop me an e-mail at melissas_smith@wycliffe.org). We had a great time celebrating our youngest child’s birthday the end of the month. It is hard to believe he is TWO! Nehemiah is definitely our most laid-back child, but he is also our most verbal at this age, so it has been fun hearing his perspective and numerous questions about the world around him.

Getting to ready to blow out his #2 candle!

Getting to ready to blow out his #2 candle!

We also had our first “home meeting.” Dear friends of ours from church hosted dinner for us and a few families that were interested in hearing more about what we will be doing with Wycliffe. It was an incredible blessing to be able to get to know these sweet couples and share what God is doing in our lives and around the world!

February got off to a busy start, too! We had the amazing privilege of sharing about Bible translation with our children’s ministry. It was exciting to introduce these kids to the need of Bibleless people, and the many, many types of people and gifts that God uses to meet that need. Maybe there were future translators, software developers, pilots, or mechanics in that room. Who knows what God has in store! It makes me smile just to think of it! We also traveled to my home town of Huntsville, AL, where we did a homeschool workshop and also shared at Living Hope Church.

God has been so faithful to us! Many of you may remember how incredibly nervous David and I were about the public speaking side of this missionary call. But the surprising thing about each speaking opportunity God has sent our way is that not only does He provide amazing peace while sharing….. We leave feeling blessed, encouraged, and filled up by the passion, interest, and genuine fellowship we have experienced.

There has been one aspect to all this busyness. We know how much we need to be covered in prayer, and how much we need to be covering every aspect of this year in prayer. It’s easy to get so busy doing that prayer gets pushed to the background. David and I are going to be spending Thursdays, starting Thursday, February 21st really focusing on praying for God to lead us, equip us, and bring together the financial and prayer partners we need to be able to serve in Papua New Guinea. We’ll be “unplugging” as much as possible, and striving to take every spare moment and free thought to turn it over to God and beg Him to move in a mighty way. 11 months will go by in a flash, and we are still a long way from the needed 100% of our monthly ministry budget to be able to board that plane the beginning of January. We are always honored to be part of your prayers, but we’d love especially if you would consider joining with us on Thursdays.

Do not be anxious about anything. but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God….

Learning from the best!

I have always known that my folks had very hard times when I was little. Last night I had a taste of what that meant for my dad.

First a little back story. Melissa and I  have had trouble with our washer and dryer for the last couple of weeks. Fortunately, they are things that aren’t too hard to fix. I’m just having to learn as I go, so the process is going slowly. Plus we have had to wait on parts to arrive. Dad came over to help me out last night.

While we were putting the washer back together he told me a story about one of those hard times. It was a conversation that sprung from him telling me how the timer worked. It was some years back when the timer went out on their washer. They did not have the $80 or so to replace the timer out right. Which is normally what one does when it goes out. So my dad took it apart. Cleaned each of the contacts inside the timer. Put it back together. Then put it back into the washer. It worked!

As I thought about it this morning, I realized I owe Mom and Dad huge thanks.

  • Thank you, Mom and Dad, for teaching us about faith in God during the hard times and good times.
  • Thank you, Mom and Dad, for teaching us to work hard (even sometimes making us work hard).
  • Thank you, Mom and Dad, for the crazy things you did to be frugal so you could raise three boys!