Tag Archives: updates

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

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IT Guys bound for August POC!

Love these ladies!

 

Taliax2

Enough said. Woah.

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

 

 

 

 

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!

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….

Three Weeks

We completed our church interview Tuesday, and we both had our membership interviews this week. We feel like all of those went well, and we appreciate your prayers more than you can possibly know!

From this point, our Personnel Administrator will need to conduct an interview with our church leadership, and then he needs to transcribe all the interviews, and make a recommendation to his supervisor on whether our application should be approved or denied. How long that process takes can depend on a few factors, especially as he is also working with two other applicant couples. However, he told me that ball park for those steps to be completed is three weeks. That is just a ball park, and it could easily take less or more time, which we totally understand.

We would greatly appreciate your prayers for protection from discouragement during the next few weeks. For David, twelve years of his life have been leading up to this point. For me, about ten years. We are so excited to be here, but it is a scary time as well.

For now we wait (again). I knew we were going to have to get good at this!