May 28: Ask God to give us spirits of humility, and that we would be open to correction and sensitive to any needed areas of growth as we prepare for cross-cultural service.
Something we learned clearly at ICC is that no one is immune to failing. Missionaries are not perfect. Whether you’ve served 3 days or 20 years, pride can lead you down a dangerous path.
As we continue to draw closer to our departure date for Papua New Guinea, pray that God would keep us humble, and surround us with people who are willing to speak truth into our lives so we can grow in our service to Christ and Papua New Guinea.
May 27: Pray for the thousands of Papua New Guineans who are hearing God’s Word in their language through audio recordings. Pray that the truth would be clear to them and that they would turn to the Lord.
In many cultures, truth is still understood best when it is heard, rather than read. Wycliffe works to get Scripture to people in many different forms, and in Papua New Guinea, audio recordings are a powerful tool that is often used in conjunction with printed Scripture.
Please join us in praying that as the Word of Life are listened too, they would soak into people’s hearts and minds, and that God would use them to draw many to Himself.
We listen to it daily. At noon we listen to it. We listen to it before going to sleep. Then we pray. Then we sleep.— Papua New Guinean man speaking about audio Scripture
May 23: Pray for healthy transitions for Isaiah as he 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.
Today is Day 23 of our May He Grant prayer focus. We are incredibly grateful to each one of you praying alongside of us!
We continue to have unreliable internet access during our time in the mountains.
Isaiah loved adventure, nature, and all things “boy.” He can’t wait to get to Papua New Guinea, and already has two friends that he met during ICC that he is excited to have movie nights with in Ukarumpa. Pray that he will maintain that excitement, and that as he says good-bye to friends, family, Tupelo, and our home church, that God will be with Him and give Him peace.
Checking out a “mud lizard” at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo credit: Star Noir Studios
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 16: Ask God to grant opportunities for many home meetings and speaking engagements during May and June so that awareness of Bibleless people groups and the amazing things God is doing through Bible translation will be increased.
It’s Day 16 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 live in an exciting time for Bible translation, when the number of language groups still needing a translation is rapidly going down! We could see the last Bible translation for the last language group started in our lifetime! Praise the Lord, for He has done mighty things! So many people for so many years have poured out their hearts on their knees for that day to come!
There is still much to be done. Almost 2,000 language groups are waiting for a Bible translation to begin. Almost 300 of those language groups are in Papua New Guinea. At Wycliffe, we are asking God for Vision 2025 – with the goal that a translation project will be started in each of these remaining languages by the year 2025.
You may not realize it, but we have already begun the work of our missionary roles with Wycliffe. Our current assignment is not only to complete our partnership team, but more importantly to raise awareness about Bible poverty in our world. So many people have no idea how much work there is still to be done in Bible translation. We consider it a great responsibility to do all we can to arrange places where we can speak and encourage people to become involved in missions, whether in homes of people we know, children’s Sunday school classes, or speaking to churches.
Pray that the Lord would open the doors, and that He would use us to build a vision and passion within the local church about missions, for the sake of His name!
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!
May 14: Pray for wisdom on what to purchase, both for our Pacific Orientation Course (POC) and Ukarumpa.
It’s Day 14 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 are downsizing a lot, as we shared here. However, there are things we need for our Pacific Orientation Course and life in Ukarumpa – good hats, hiking sandals, a water filter, a different kind of wardrobe, and much more. We want to be wise as we determine what exactly we need, the best brands, etc. We also want to be wise stewards of the resources entrusted to us.
Talia is already using her sun hat, thanks to a dear friend who sent it to us!
We are thankful to serve a God who gives wisdom to those who ask Him!
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
May 12: Ask the Lord to provide 5 new monthly partners this week. May they long to fulfill the partnership in Romans 10, of preaching, sending, and hearing!
It’s Day 12 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.
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? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:14-17
Please pray with us for the Lord to provide in a mighty way this week. He is our hope and confidence!
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
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 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
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