Tag Archives: partnership

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

6 flights, 7 people, 50+ hours: one big opportunity to pray!

It is really happening! We have our plane tickets. Our bags are packed. And re-packed. Weighed and packed a different way. Okay, maybe we won’t be fully packed until we leave, but you get the idea! We will be getting on our first flight towards Papua New Guinea THIS Tuesday!

A sweet board a friend of ours made showing our route!

A sweet board a friend of ours made showing our route!

You have all been amazing during our journey up to now, and we are counting on you to keep holding the rope for us! Our itinerary is a little daunting, and we are desperate for your prayers over us. I’ve listed it below, with local time for where we will be listed first, followed by central standard time.

  • Depart Memphis at 1:47 PM, September 9th.
  • Arrive in Denver at 3:22 PM (4:22 PM CST).
  • Depart Denver at 6:10 PM (7:10 PM CST).
  • Arrive in LA at 7:36 PM (9:36 PM CST).
  • Depart LA at 10:30 PM (12:30 AM CST, September 10th).
  • Arrive in Auckland, NZ at 6:30 AM September 11th (1:30 PM CST September 10th).
  • Depart Auckland, NZ at 9:30AM September 11th (4:30 PM CST September 10th).
  • Arrive in Brisbane, Australia at 11:10 AM September 11th (8:10 PM CST September 10th).
  • Depart Brisbane, Australia at 7:05 PM September 11th (4:05 AM CST September 11th).
  • Arrive in Port Morseby, PNG at 10:10 PM September 11th (7:10AM CST September 11th).
  • Depart Port Morseby at 2:25 PM September 12th (11:25 PM September 11th).
  • Arrive in Ukarumpa at approximately 4:00 PM (1:00 AM September 12th)

That’s over 50 hours of travel time!

We would love to be covered in prayer during every moment possible of this trip. If you are willing to commit to pray specifically for us during one or more 15 minute windows of time, and view specific prayer requests for different stops, you can do so here. You can even set up e-mail reminders, if you want too!

Several friends of ours traveled to PNG recently. They said the trip went better than they could have imagined it going, and they also said they had people at home praying faithfully for them 🙂

We will be keeping social media up-to-date as much as possible during our trip, and we will update as soon as we can from Ukarumpa. This may take a few days, but we plan to at least call family, who will be able to spread the word that we have arrived safely. Thank you for sending us, and standing with us as we go!

Vision 2025: Now. Is. The. Time.

“By 2025, together with partners worldwide, we aim to see a Bible translation program begun in all the remaining languages that need one.”

This is the core of Vision 2025.

We have over 400 English versions of the Bible, while hundreds of millions of people wait for a single verse.

Can we be ok with that?

Wycliffe USA and our partner organizations believe the answer is a resounding, “No!” Now, now is the time for God’s people to mobilize.

If you have 5 minutes, please watch the video below from one of Wycliffe’s partner organizations to learn more about Vision 2025 and why we believe it is so crucial.

Join the Team – Start a Campaign!

We are so close to being able to leave for Papua New Guinea! During the month of May, God brought us to 75% of our Wycliffe monthly ministry budget. He is so good!

As we shared in our latest newsletter, as soon as we reach 100% of our monthly ministry budget and our Visas come in, we can leave for Papua New Guinea! We invite you to partner with us in all God is doing!

One new way you can partner with us is by starting a campaign through Wycliffe’s new website. Click the “start a campaign” button in the top right on our Wycliffe page. We’d love if you would consider starting a fundraising campaign to help with the remaining 25% of our monthly budget. You can also start a prayer or awareness campaign. Wycliffe’s site will walk you through the steps, and you will be prompted to upload a photo of yourself, share a bit about why you would like people to consider joining us, and then share your campaign.

We pray that these campaigns will be used for God’s glory, as He provides to send us to Papua New Guinea, and as new people have the opportunity to join in this exciting task!

May He Grant: May 16th

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 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 12th

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!

 Map_of_Papua_New_Guinea_Demis

 

 

 

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 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!