Tag Archives: PNG prep

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 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 14th

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!

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

 

 

 

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

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Fun at the park that is in walking distance.