After 2 weeks of non-stop leadership training, followed by incoming freshmen bursting through the doors, and just days after the NTBI students were getting settled into classes, what did we do? Of course, we left for MEXICO…to spend a week challenging and encouraging the 7th -12th grade missionary kids to consider what it means to grow spiritually. Questions arose…
“Is growth worth all the pain involved?”
“What about all my failure?”
“All the ‘growth’ I’ve attempted before just fades away in time, why is that?”
What a priveledge to be a small part of God reaching into their hearts and lives, offering Himself as the answer to their questions, and reminding them where growth comes from.
If you’ve ever wondered if a kind, hardworking, fun-loving, unified group of teens exists…we are here to tell you they live in Mexico!
Thanks to all who were praying about this trip, and for those who support the ministry God has given us to do. Who knows what The Falls will do next?!?
We all remember those words well don’t we? Those fun trips to the doctor as a child, getting poked and prodded!!! For Savanna those visits continue and in fact she just had one of those visits where her team of doctors at the University of Michigan were able to take a look at her palate and nasal passage to begin planning our next steps. They were thrilled with her growth and progress. They were VERY pleased with her ability to control her speech and air flow, finding it amazing that her body has adapted and is actually manipulating the adenoids to assist in the formation of some consanants! What a Creator we have who can design a body that is so adaptable! As they spoke as a team they were able to formulate a plan where they will extend both her upper and lower jaws through inserting rods. This will push the lower part of her face forward making her even more gorgeous than she already is! This will open her airway improving her breathing. It looks like she can wait for two years before she has this surgery. We want to thank all of you who have been following Savanna’s progress. While it is a long road for her, God has proven Himself so faithful and so good in her life. Thanks for your prayers! Please keep Savanna and the year 2014 in the back of your mind.
Jae and Enoch, a couple from Korea, have two of the cutest kids you’ve ever seen, and today Enoch and I were talking about them as moms everywhere seem to do. Enoch and I have a special friendship; we get together and really enjoy talking about what God is teaching us. She has worked diligently in English, and she is nearly fluent, but admits that she would prefer to speak Korean if she is thinking through spiritual matters or matters of the heart.
So what about the children?
They are so young and seem completely comfortable in a totally english environment; and it’s only been two years! With more years ahead they will only improve. It may be that these two children grow up and have a different heart language than her and Jae. We talked about how this might make them feel, and she had already been considering this. She assumes her children will be fluent in two languages, perhaps three. But while they would be multilingual, if they preferred to share their deepest thoughts (spiritual truth) in English rather than Korean, it would be a challenge for them to feel fully connected.
They have chosen to come and receive training for tribal missions, knowing the cost may be that they are raising children to become something very different from what they are, and even what they would prefer. Yet they are confident that God will meet this very deep need should it arise.
Can you imagine sharing the gospel with your very own child in a language that isn’t your heart language? As they mature, they will want to talk about deeper things and Jae and Enoch may have to communicate in a language that isn’t their mother tongue, simply to reach the hearts of their children. They will have to trust God to meet them in this situation. They could quit. They could return to Korea and never have to deal with this. But they continue here.
Man, the sacrifices these families are making exceed my imagination!!
And God says He sees the sacrifice, He will reward. His grace is sufficient, and He provides for all our needs. I am so thankful that is true!!! Jae and Enoch are taking God at His Word, counting on Him to be faithful.
That was the million-dollar question raised last night in our living room. We’ve all been taught “Jesus Loves Me This I Know”, but the question that lingers in our hearts is whether or not God really relishes the thought of my company? Could I be that annoying friend that we all tolerate but would prefer to ignore if given the option?
If we are honest with ourselves, many times our personal track records are pathetic. God must surely wince when He looks at many of the choices we’ve made through the years. We could only imagine that He must need to take a deep breath, raise His eyebrows and sigh, “Well, I love them anyway”…. Is that true? How does God view us? Does He like us? We’d love to hear what you think.
What incredible transparency we see in our students’ lives! As we have these opportunities to invest in them as they prepare for missions please pray that we might biblically speak into the questions that they have.
It has been a long road for Savanna since those days she first entered the world down there in Latin America in 1998! With all of the surgeries and procedures and poking around in her mouth, throat and jaw, we are so encouraged as parents to see a young lady who has a heart for the Lord and who rather than bitterness or disapointment, shows a desire to serve God one day on the mission field! We find ourselves once again asking for prayers for Savannna as she will be going into University of Michigan to have her soft palate repaired on Friday. There will be swelling, and her airway will be reduced by repairing the roof of her mouth, so the doctors will be monitoring her breathing for a day or so following the surgery. Please pray for wisdom and skill for the doctors as they do this procedure. We also want to praise God for how far He has brought us as a family and the strength and love and encouragement He has given us in raisng three wonderful young believers and seeing Savanna’s needs met.
Carissa’s open house is tomorrow! Can you believe it?!!! Here Casie and I are with a young lady about to wrap up high school! I know it is cliche but it really does feel like it wasn’t so long ago that we were bringing Carissa home from the hospital to our little apartment in the NTM school for culture in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania! The years have flown by and she has been so incredibly honoring to Casie and I as her parents. It is awesome to see God at work in the life of a young person who is not only our biological child but also our spiritual daugther as well. Please be praying for her as she enters these last couple busy weeks of honors, open houses and commencement.
This fall Carissa plans to begin classes at New tribes Bible Institute in Jackson, MI… that’s right… not only are we her parents but we’re soon to be her trainers! She has a heart to grow in her understanding of God’s Word and believes that NTBI provides an excellent place to focus on this need in her life. As a family we just want to thank all of you who have been so intentional in your relationship with us and our three children. We couldn’t be doing what we’re doing in this ministry as a family without you!
We have a saying in our culture that “Practice Makes Perfect”. In many of life’s endeavors we will simulate certain conditions in order to give an individual the opportunity to be stretched and developed. New Tribes Mission has built an incredibly challenging program in Central Pennsylvania which simulates cultural and language acquisition in an isolated people group. Each year we send our seniors here at NTBI out to participate in this program which is called Wayumi, a Yanomamo word which means to be traveling away from home, “walkabout”.
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Last week, Casie and I had the honor of spending time in Sanford, Florida with a team which is devoted to offering care to the missionaries who serve in NTM. Most of them have many years of experience in tribal church planting all over the world.
So often when working in the harvest fields we forget to look up and see what other workers are serving around us. We tend to get tunnel vision and lose contact with others who are involved in the same task. The task that God has Casie and I invovled in is seeing the last tribal people group reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We want to see our lives poured out so that the unreached can hear God’s good news. Last week as a member of the USA Training Leadership Team for New Tribes Mission I had an opportunity to lift up my eyes and not only see fields that are ripe for harvest but also workers who are serving and desiring to be trained to serve in God’s harvest fields. I visited Mexico and spent time at NTM’s training centers for missionaries. There were young English speaking missionaries who were receiving ongoing investment in acquiring the Spanish language and Mexican culture prior to entering an unreached people group and beginning language study all over again. There were Mexican believers who are desiring to study God’s Word and have entered NTM’s Bible School. There were also graduates of the Mexican Bible School who are now receiving specialized training for cross cultural ministry among unreached people groups. My heart was so encouraged and challenged to be able to spend time with both staff and students from various backgrounds around Latin America. They are trusting God with their lives as they prepare for what He has in store for them and their families! I have gleaned so much information which I believe will help Casie and I as we train believers for cross cultural church planting. Please be praying for the next generation of young missionaries from Anglo and Latin America as they are trained for the daunting task of seeing the world evangelized and for the staff who are preparing them.
We have a dilemma: there are literally hundreds of millions of human beings here on planet earth who have NEVER had a chance to hear and believe the good news that God’s Son Jesus came to planet earth to die for them.Romans chapter 10 in the Bible tells us that people cannot believe unless they have a chance to hear, and they won’t hear unless someone goes and tells them.
This is crazy! 2,000 years since Paul wrote those words and we are still faced with the same dilemma… who will we send to those who have not heard?
Are you willing to go? Maybe God would have you give up what you own, and what you are involved in, to reach out to men, women and children who are lost in their sins. Oh their ethnic group may be reached someday in the distant future, but the clock is ticking on each person in those people groups. They are aging just as fast as you are. They don’t have forever!
Maybe God would have you get invovled in seeing missionaries sent. You can give of your time and finances to see young people trained and sent out as missionaries. Please take a look at the significant developments in our training program and consider how you could be a part. You won’t regret it!