Missionary Blogs

The latest Christian mission news from around the world

Study Hall

Posted by Shaune and Jenny Preston in Ministry on Jul 29th, 2014 | Comments Off

We’ve gone back to school around here – kitchen table mission school! As associate members, we won’t be going to the official NTM training center in Missouri; instead we will transition straight to our positions at the home office. But that doesn’t exempt us from learning!

Every night, after Grace goes to bed, we brew up a pot of tea and get studying. We’re studying the history of New Tribes Mission; scripture study regarding finances; scripture about God’s heart for unreached people; and more. We also spend a little time organizing our partnership development contacts and presentations.

This is a special time for us. When we met, Shaune was writing his master’s thesis and Jenny was an undergraduate student. We spent many nights working quietly side by side while we were dating. Jenny finished school a year and a half after we were married. Studying near each other was our “normal” for the first 3 years we knew each other. We’re really enjoying getting back to studying together – this time on subjects we’re both passionate about!

Reading aloud The Story of New Tribes Mission has been both challenging and encouraging to us. God has been so faithful to NTM through many dangers and struggles; seeing His faithfulness builds our trust in Him as we step out into this new experience. I want to share a quote that I keep coming back to ponder:

When one is abandoned to the Lord Jesus – not to a “cause” or a “program” but simply to the Lord Himself – then to that individual it matters not whether he be placed in a wheelchair, a hospital bed, a prison cell, in a darkened corner where men never see him, or whether he be set on a pedestal where he may preach Christ before the multitudes! It becomes simply a matter of being a “bond slave” to the Lord Jesus. Whatever may bring the most glory to Him becomes the consuming passion of his life. (The Story of New Tribes Mission p 54, quoting Paul Flemming’s article in Brown Gold magazine January 1944).

May we live a life where this is our consuming passion!

Family Stuff – July 2014

Posted by Joel Potter in Family on Jul 29th, 2014 | Comments Off
The Potter Kids

The Littles

School is about to start for all three kids!

After a few more weeks of Summer Break, all three kids will be back in the classroom. This will be Kate’s first year! The kids will all be at different schools and while this is a bit of a challenge, Jack has the opportunity to attend a school designed for kids with gifted abilities. Please pray for these little ones as we disciple them!



The Boys!

The Boys!

Father – Son Trip

The “guys” are planning to take a 5 day trip to the woods up north. After connecting with a dear “aunt” of mine who lives in NC, I realized how good it would be for us guys to get away for a little bit before school starts. Our support has been stretched this summer and yet we really feel that this is a needed time for the “boys” to connect. Would you pray for our needs to continue to be met as we trust the Lord to provide?


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August 2014 – Praising the Lord

Posted by Calvin and Gwen Taylor in Uncategorized on Jul 29th, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear co-laborers,

We count it a privilege to write again to thank you for your financial gifts so that we can continue in the translation work the Lord is giving us to do.  We are very aware of your care for us.  Even though we are not in Brasil, the country and the work of the mission is still very much a part of our lives.  The technology of the day permits me to keep in constant communication with my team.  The corrections on the translated texts go back and forth between the two countries with the click of a mouse.

My getting used to Parkinson’s disease continues.  Finding a medication that meets my needs and doesn’t have significant side effects has been a challenge.  Thank you for praying.

In these last months our hearts have been encouraged by what the Lord is doing in Gwen’s home church in Kentucky.  Both Homecoming and 70th anniversary meetings have brought praise and glory to the Lord for what the Lord has done and is doing there.  Certainly in these last 70 years the Lord has affected Gwen’s home community, her own family, and many others as His word has been preached.  Gwen’s own cousin has just accepted the pastorate.  He grew up in the church and has lived and taught the Word faithfully in the community over the years.

Now back to Brazil. Goooooooooool!  We cheered with both the United States and Brazil during the games of the World Cup.  Brazil is in mourning for that lost opportunity to be World Champions for the 6th time (more than any other country) in their own country.  But many applaud them for their big show and reception of the world for this big event. Those of us who grew up there are also sad but today what is on our hearts are the 90 or so Brazilian tribes still needing teams of missionaries to reach them. Let’s not think it impossible since the number 200 used to be the goal.

We missed not returning to Brazil this year—the first time in 15 years. My mom continues to do well in her 99th year;  my sister and brother-in-law are faithfully caring for her. This week, Carleen spoke of how well Mom did with being interviewed by 10 young Brazilian scholars.

Off the Grid, Weekend 2

Posted by Mark and Lauren Ducommun in Ministry, MTC Canada on Jul 29th, 2014 | Comments Off

We are done with our second weekend of Off the Grid. Leo slept over at Mark’s parent’s house for both nights, which we so greatly appreciated! The youth groups and families arrived on Friday night. We showed them their houses and had a campfire. The next morning we had a pancake breakfast (half went to our house and half went to Wes & Tenley’s house).



After breakfast there were three sessions and a coffee break before lunchtime. After lunch we took them to the Dobu village for a case study and then they had free time until supper.



Part of Lauren’s responsibilities were to help wash dishes after all the meals. We had running water, but the hot water was heated up in the wood stove.



Sunday morning we had a time of worship and communion (or “breaking of the yams”). Yams and water are what many tribal believers in Papua New Guinea use for their communion. There were two more sessions before lunch on Sunday.



Want to see what some of the participants thought of Off the Grid? Watch the video below that a youth group from the previous weekend made. It’s neat to see how they were impacted by Off the Grid!

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 10.17.36 AM

Thanks for praying for us! Mark wasn’t sick, Leo slept well at his grandparent’s, and Lauren had a much more relaxing weekend not having to chase Leo around. We enjoyed our time getting to know some of the individuals and pray that it has challenged their thinking about church, discipleship, and tribal missions.

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UNREACHED PEOPLE… who’s gonna’ reach them?

Posted by david_hilt in Uncategorized on Jul 29th, 2014 | Comments Off

One by one they’re stepping out… from local churches, from Bible colleges and Bible institutes.  They are young couples, families, single men and women.  They are dedicated individuals from all walks of life, stepping on faith to obey  the command of Christ to make disciples among the nations.

It’s been enthralling for us to see fruit for our labors, having spent these last 15 years beckoning believers to take God’s Word to unreached peoples.  …But it’s not all been encouraging.  At times our work has been downright discouraging, especially when we see folks responding to the call of God, only to have their passions squelched by well-intentioned believers who discourage them from going.

     “Stay here… we’ll invest time & teaching to assure you’ve really heard the call of God.”

     “Look what you’ll be missing out on if you go there; stay here, make a name for yourself.”

     “You have a good job.  Why not let others go and you stay here and support them?”

Our work is difficult enough; the enemy of our souls convincingly tells us to ‘leave the unreached alone… they’re happy the way they are.’  Are they, really? What if we were living in their destitute condition… would we not want someone to bring the gospel of Christ to us?

We’ve poured our lives into preaching the constraining love of Christ and the ‘go’ of the gospel which still motivates ‘called ones’ to become ‘sent ones.’  I wonder how many unreached people will remain unreached as a result of someone discouraging another from going?

As we survey new areas where the gospel’s never gone I ask myself, “Why has no one ever come here?”  Is it really all that hard to reach these people?   Sure it takes special skills and specified training, but we and others can provide that.

Could it be that those who resist the hardest actually may be the very ones God is calling onto the harvest fields of the world?  We object with “Oh, I couldn’t go there!” or “I don’t have what it takes.”  –Like God isn’t capable to prepare us for the work He’s given us to do.  If he could take a band of crusty old fisherman and a rowdy tax collector to turn the world upside down in his day, then surely we should make ourselves available to His command.  …Or is it that we don’t want to?

I had my ‘don’t-want-to’ challenged many years ago. It was at a time when I was in the work-a-day world, building air conditioners at a day job and reaching people in my community for Jesus in the evenings.  That was good, so I thought, until I considered what value an air conditioner would do someone destined for hell.  Moreover, I came face to face with the question “Am I really obeying the command to make disciples among the nations?” That really jarred my thinking.

The more I read of scripture the more I began to realize the immensity of the job. There were millions who needed to hear about Jesus.  But we were just one couple; what difference could we make?  We didn’t have a lot of money to send others, but we did what we could… and we prayed!

And amid our praying and serving we sensed the personal responsibility to go. What?  Us?  Go?  Go where?

We didn’t even think about those questions when we realized the command to make disciples was to all believers.  Sure, we were doing that here, but there were lots of people doing that here and so few going ‘there.’  We knew we couldn’t stay here; we had to go there… wherever ‘there’ was.   I think the Apostle Paul gave us a clear window into the heart of God when he told how he strived to preach the gospel in regions where the message never had been declared.  That’s where we wanted to go… but it would take specialized training.

After extensive research we found that NTM was one such group going to unreached peoples.  Then we learned just how isolated these unreached people were; it was shocking.  But shocking as it was, we knew they needed to hear about Jesus.  We felt privileged to be among those who would tell them… but we needed training.

NTM was able to provide the tools we needed for missionary work –a biblical foundation, New Testament church planting principles, and a boatload of language & cultural acquisition skills and lots of practical insights.  It was intense.

It was during our training days that I realized this was an investment of our lives, not for any return we would receive, but the bringing of souls to leave at the feet of Jesus.  We did a lot of reading and research about areas of the world without a gospel witness.  Somehow the Lord pressed upon our hearts the country of Papua New Guinea.  A country only the size of California, PNG has more than 860 languages.  At that time, more than half of them remained unreached with the gospel.  …So that’s where we went to serve.

Today, many of those language groups are still unreached with the gospel, although NTM has made it their business to reach as many as possible.  That work carries on there today and in other regions of the world where the gospel has never been declared.  It’s a bit staggering to think that there are still some 2,500 people groups who never heard the gospel, never held a Bible, and what’s most sad to say is that they don’t know Jesus.

We’ve been at this work a long time and it still thrills our hearts to receive news that yet another tribe has stepped from their darkness, into the marvelous light of the gospel –from death unto life.  But many more die while waiting to hear.  Is it their fate to face eternity with no hope and without Christ?  …Or is it my failure to be obedient to the command?

We’ve been given a job to do. Somebody’s gotta’ do it.  Who’s it gonna’ be?

This job of getting the gospel to people who never heard of Jesus weighs heavily upon our hearts.  We go to sleep at night in a comfy bed with clean sheets and clean hearts, knowing full well as believers in Christ, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.  But we know of countless tribesmen who would trade all the clean sheets in the world, if they had them, for the assurance of eternity with Jesus.  But clean sheets don’t buy clean hearts. Only the liberating message of the gospel can change them.  …And that’s a story worth repeating.

Thanks for listening to my heart.

Dave Hilt, Nat’l. Rep for NTM

Day 14 of 21: Sunday pot luck

Posted by BJ and Jill Sanders in 21 days in the tribe on Jul 29th, 2014 | Comments Off

Most of you have been to a fellowship after church, right?! I was raised Baptist, and we all know that they like to eat…therefore…have the best potluck fellowships! So when you have this in mind, you become disappointed very quickly here in the tribes of Papua New Guinea!

After church or bible study, everyone gathers outside and pulls food out of their bilum (bags) and guess what?! EVERYONE has brought the same thing…kaukau (pronounced cowcow: sweet potato!) It’s like a bad dream! So people offer it to you and you say, “Thank you so much!!!” and then you eat a little piece and then secretly give it to the kid sitting by you! Needless to say, we just eat when we get home!!

The Path to Death…Can be Paved with Hope!

Posted by Joel Potter in Ministry, Tribal News on Jul 28th, 2014 | Comments Off
Nahuatl Cemetery

Nahuatl Cemetery

The following happened in Mexico and underscores why Bethany and I are serving our God with NTM. It’s adapted from “A Path We All Must Walk” – NTM.org

Dark is the path that leads past the little Nahuatl village to the cemetery. “It’s a path we all must walk,” said the father of a little boy crushed to death under a truck when a jack slipped. He shrugged, and walked on.

Word of the boy’s death reached NTM missionaries on a Saturday. They also heard why it happened: magia negra, the villagers said without a hint of doubt: black magic.

The moment the coffin began to be lowered into the grave, his father turned his back on the boy and faced east. His family followed his example, and then the whole crowd turned away. They had to; the Nahuatl people believe that if you do not, the deceased person will take your soul.

It’s for this reason that our NTM teammates are working day in, day out, to deeply understand the Nahuatl peoples’ worldview, the lens through which they interpret everything in their lives. They must understand how the Nahuatl think in order to be able to present the incredible Hope, that the gospel of Christ offers to them.

The walk to the cemetery is indeed a path we all must walk. But, Peter, NTM church planter, added, “For those who know Christ, it is a path we walk with hope.”

Subscribe to pray more intentionally for this kind of work!

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The Other New Mr. & Mrs. Simpson

Posted by Dave and Jill Simpson in Uncategorized on Jul 28th, 2014 | Comments Off

Mr. & Mrs. Simpson


We are excited to share with you Daniel & Lauri’s wedding photo.
What a delight it has been to watch their love grow for one another and with the Lord they serve.  It is wonderful to have Lauri in our family!

Flight Billing Program

Posted by Jeff and Jackie Schaa in Ministry on Jul 27th, 2014 | Comments Off

Jeff has been busy these last few months writing a billing program for one of our overseas programs.  He has enjoyed every moment and every challenge.  They are to the point of beta testing. The team members who will be using this program are very enthusiastic. The bookkeeper wrote the following to Jeff after she saw it for the first time.

“By the way- Brian gave us a quick overview of the spreadsheet system you made for us.  HOLY COW. We are totally blown away- that thing is amazing.  I absolutely can’t wait to use it!!  THANK YOU for all your time and effort you have poured into this.  It is truly an awesome tool!“

To say the least Jeff is thrilled he can help and he is thankful for the response to the new program.

Kodiak Arrival

Posted by Jeff and Jackie Schaa in Ministry on Jul 27th, 2014 | Comments Off

NTM Aviation Welcomes Brand New Kodiak Today!

June 6, 2014

When things seem impossible . . . God makes them possible!

Today at 3:05 p.m., NTMA’s new Kodiak landed in McNeal, Arizona, at the operations center for NTM Aviation.

Though a Kodiak for Papua New Guinea still seemed an impossible dream last year, it is now a reality!  Just six weeks ago, on April 24th, a couple of ministry partners chose to buy a Kodiak for NTM Aviation’s ministry in Papua New Guinea!

Now missionaries can breathe easier knowing that soon the Kodiak will be in PNG to sustain them as they bring Jesus to difficult remote settings and to provide medevac capabilities for them and their families—even to Australia.

In a ceremony yesterday in Sand Point, ID, the plane officially changed hands.  Quest Aircraft Corporation engineer Todd Harkins, a former NTMA colleague, handed the keys of the new Kodiak to Phil Koop, executive director of NTMA.  Quest Aircraft personnel who have prayed over every part of this plane joined with NTM personnel and local believers to surround the aircraft with prayer.  Nels Pitotti, missions pastor of Valley Fourth Church in Spokane Valley, WA, led the whole group in giving thanks to God.

Today chief pilot Daren Spence and pilot Larry Dye flew it to McNeal.  They landed to a cheering crowd waving colorful balloons and posters bearing messages like “All things are possible with God.”

“It was a beautiful day.  We could not have asked for better,” said Daren.  “The Kodiak is a true joy to fly.  It climbed smoothly to 19,000 feet and we stayed there for most of the 5-hour flight.”  He noted that the Kodiak’s ability to climb well is a great asset for navigating over the mountains of PNG to the most isolated areas.

Once the Kodiak rested safely out of the blistering sun, staff and visitors joined together as veteran pilot Paul Dye led in a prayer of thanks to God for this good gift.  He praised God that missionaries will be sustained in remote settings and tribal people will finally hear of Jesus, the Savior.

Even the lemonade stand set up in the hangar had a message of thanks.  A poster recalled the Kodiak Kids who, in 2005, put their faith to work, set up a lemonade stand, and reached the impossible goal of raising $375,000 for the down payment for NTMA’s first Kodiak, now serving in Asia-Pacific.  The Kodiak Kids started a chain of events that led quite directly to this present Kodiak, delivered today.

Many of you reading this news are part of that chain of events too.   You have prayed.  You have put your faith to work by giving and sharing the need with others.  All the while, God worked quietly behind the scenes preparing this very airplane for His work.

Thank you for your investment to reach the tribes of Papua New Guinea with God’s eternal hope.

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