Tag Archives: Waiting

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

Quietness, in a Social Media age

When people first meet me, they might think I’m quiet. But anyone who knows me well knows that silence is not my strong point! I am an auditory processor…. meaning, I like to talk through things out loud, with someone else, in order to process them. This often translates to social media as well. I ran a blog with my sister-in-law for two years, and I loved processing things through blog posts. I often share from my Bible reading or just general thoughts on twitter and facebook.

Sunday, God prompted me to spend several days off of social media. He brought me to Isaiah 30:15 (emphasis mine),

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling.

Returning. Rest. Quietness. Trust. This week, God has shown me how quickly I fill my mind with the distraction of social media, rather than returning to His Word. He’s shown me how I struggle to quietly pour out my soul to Him, rather than to others. Honestly, social media can give such an illusion of community and closeness, but I will run there instead of my Lord and Savior, who knows me more intimately than anyone else. I don’t ever want the Lord to say to me, “I had all of Myself for you – but you were unwilling.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe and affirm that the Lord built us for relationships and community. I have exchanged some text messages and e-mails with a few dear ladies close to me during this week. But true, intentional relationships are different than “sharing” with 400 of our closest friends, aren’t they? If anything, social media can rob me of true community, because I can believe I’m experiencing community there, and am less likely to reach out personally.

I am not done with social media. I believe it has a place, and like many things, can either edify or tear down, depending on how it is used. God used these last few days to re-adjust my priorities though, and that was sorely needed.

Would we be strengthened to do what is required of us and to bear what is laid upon us? It must be in quietness and confidence; we must keep our spirits calm and sedate by a continual dependence upon God, and his power and goodness; we must retire into ourselves with a holy quietness, suppressing all turbulent and tumultuous passions, and keeping the peace in our minds. And we must rely upon God with a holy confidence that he can do what he will and will do what is best for his people. And this will be our strength; it will inspire us with such a holy fortitude as will carry us with ease and courage through all the difficulties we may meet with. – Matthew Henry

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!

Waiting

I’m not always a patient person. Once I set my mind on something, I want it to happen now. As we’ve mentioned on the Prayer Needs and Praises page, our family is in a (hopefully short) season of waiting right now. We have a few things that have to be taken care of before we can start our Wycliffe application, and at this point all we can do is wait. I’m finding this really difficult!

I know enough about the process ahead of us to know that this is just the first of many times on this journey I will have to wait. We will have to wait while our application is processed. Wait until it’s time for our Equip training. Wait for our support to be raised.

I’m so excited to see what God is going to do, and I know it is going to stretch and grow me in so many ways! But the waiting doesn’t come easily.

I’ve had John Waller’s song “Waiting” stuck in my head for two weeks, and it has been a huge encouragement to me. I want to serve God while I’m waiting. Worship Him while I’m waiting. I want to take every step in obedience to Him, and then turn the results over to Him. This waiting isn’t just a passive twiddling of my thumbs, but an active choice to obey God daily, and wait for Him to move in His timing.

 

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD! Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. Psalm 25:4-10 (ESV, emphasis mine)

 

Have you ever had to wait on God’s timing? What encouraged you, and helped you keep your eyes on Christ?