“I never realized how much work was involved in reaching unreached people groups with the gospel! It takes so much preparation & such a long process if you’re going to see a church born & grown to maturity! I just didn’t realize all that was involved in this work!…“
This was one of the reoccurring comments that we heard from many of the students in the first group to go through our Flashpoint Adventures weekend program last month. We want to THANK all of you who prayed for this weekend! It was a huge success! Several high schoolers & a handful of college students came from New Heights Church in Arkansas to be challenged with what God is doing to build His church amongst the world’s least reached people groups.
You would hardly believe that these smiling faces were the same people who stayed up most the first night shivering in their beds as temp’s dropped to 23 degrees! God had definitely planned to stretch them in a few ways none of us expected! By the 2nd night, it was 10 degrees warmer, as it had snowed all day! The snow also helped to insulate their tents a bit.
Throughout the course of 2 1/2 days, these students & their leaders were challenged to discover what “NORMAL” is to hundreds of millions of people in the world! They saw the immensity of the task that Jesus commissioned all of His followers to & also discovered how this task can be accomplished as the Lord works through His obedient children. They were challenged to discover their role in expanding the reach of the gospel to the ends of the earth. What an exciting 3 days!
One of my favorite parts about our program is that it is all outdoors (we make some exceptions when the temperatures are below 32 degrees).
Visit our FLASHPOINT ADVENTURES Facebook Page that is now up & running! Hear what other people have to say about it & their experiences! This couldn’t have happened without all of our faithful ministry partners enabling us to be here putting this program together! We are so thrilled to know that this will be used by the Lord to challenge many people to join Him in carrying out His Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
We were privileged last week to spend the morning with 9 students from our New Tribes Bible Institute campus in Jackson, MI. We got to show them what our Flashpoint Adventures program is all about & share with them some of the things that we challenge students with during our weekend programs. Our main purpose was to encourage them on, as several of these students are already desiring to serve the Lord as missionaries to unreached people groups.
We want to share with you a letter we got back from one of these students. This is very encouraging – a direct result of YOUR PRAYERS & partnership with us in this ministry! We share this with you as a THANK YOU & to show what an impact you are making as God uses us all to raise up laborers for His kingdom work!
Wow it was really cool to have that time there at MTC. The whole time was good but we especially enjoyed our time out there at Flashpoint. On the car ride back we spent a good number of hours just debriefing and discussing all that we had been challenged with by all of you guys.
I gotta say, it is quite the incredible team that God has put together there at flashpoint! I am soo excited for some of the other guys that came, who may not have been thinking missions to the degree that they are thinking about it now. It was all soo good! I loved the challenges for myself and I’m excited to see how the seeds planted in my fellow classmates grows and matures.
Excellent work! I came away telling one of my friends that I felt like I was in one of those relay short track races. (You know the weird ice skating race they have in the winter olypmpics.) Well its such a weird race because when they pass the baton they actually push the next racer and he goes flying from the momentum of the guy that just finished the race, and the great big push that he gives with his arms. Anyway, so I felt like I was being handed the baton but was also getting this great big push by all of you guys. It was incredibly encouraging and challenging!
Thank you! Tell your team that we are still talking about it and I’ll try to pour this challenge into others here at Jackson.
All the best, Jeremy
On Feb. 22-24, we had the privilege of leading a missions conference for some precious little kids in Tulsa, Oklahoma! We were blessed to be a part of Tusla Bible Church’s missions conference! What a dynamic local body of believers that is committed to carrying out Christ’s Commission!
So cool to see God at work in the hearts of these young ones, as they learn about His promise to be glorified in all nations & His invitation to join Him in reaching those nations.
Hudson had a birthday during the missions conference, so he got to dress up in some traditional attire from Papua New Guinea!
One week later (March 2-5), we drove up to Chicago for the annual Awana Summit weekend. We had the opportunity to expose teens & adults to the realities & challenges that face tribal missionaries every day. God arranged some really great conversations during the College & Ministry Fair on the 3rd.
Brannon Marshall & Jeremy Pettitt, good friends from Awana, came by for a visit with our tribal man.
We also enjoyed catching up with some good friends from both Awana & NTM!
After a quick visit with friends at New Tribes Bible Institute in Wisconsin & family at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, we drove on March 7 to Kansas City, MO (8 hrs) & flew to Boise that night. One LONG day of travel! It was all worth it! We had such an incredible weekend at our home church’s Global Outreach Festival! We got to lead some musical worship & also teach a breakout session. Here we are enjoying lunch with family & with our main speaker, Gracia (who is also a friend from NTM).
After a few short days in Idaho, we flew back to Missouri to continue preparing to host our first groups for our new program, called FlashPoint Adventures. Here, we’re clearing trails & preparing for some hikes we will be leading during the program.
We recently had snow, which was beautiful, but not too great for camping (for those not from Idaho). Haha, turns out the forecast for this week is SNOW, and our first group arrives today! We look forward to reporting how God worked through this first FlashPoint Adventure, regardless of the weather! He has called us to be flexible & simply available for His use, so here goes everything…
God’s Provision & Timing
All summer we were aiming at a certain date for our launch into our NTM ministry. God was so good this Fall to remind us that His plans aren’t limited to our personal goals & that, in every location, we are to be fully available to be used by Him for His purposes until He sends us elsewhere. This summer was a very special time of seeing God’s provision for us, listening to His voice along the way & engaging in what He was doing on any given day, even if it fell “outside the boundaries of our plan.” As November came, God made it very clear that this was His timing for us to make the move.
We had about 10% left to raise in our ministry budget, about $18,000 to raise for outgoing expenses towards a ministry vehicle, Shannah’s surgery and furnishing our staff apartment in MO. In just under 2 weeks, God provided the last 10% of our monthly budget and brought in most of the funds we needed for our outgoing expenses!
By November 5th we drove out of Boise, fully-funded, in a ministry vehicle that was paid for! He even provided some of the furniture and appliances we needed for our place in Missouri! We loaded this pile of provisions into a trailer we were not expecting to pull.
God’s timing and provision has blown us out of the water! We were not surprised in the fact that He did provide, but in the way that He provided for us. God knows us so well and continues to confirm our ministry calling through His provisions.
We were so glad to be making our move in November and not January like the last time we moved to Missouri!
The weather was beautiful the whole way and we were very blessed by a few supporters and friends of ours who allowed us to stay in their homes along the way. Our new vehicle did great pulling the trailer of furniture and appliances we were given even though we were pushing the weight limit. God kept us safe the whole way.
Setting up our new place…
Our new apartment is more than we could have ever asked for! We have upgraded from miniature student housing to a townhouse style staff apartment. Two features that we are most excited about are having our own shower (we walked to a wash house in student housing) and kitchen counters (which we lacked in student housing as well).
We also have a *GUEST ROOM, so we can host any guests at our own place (*hint to all who might want to visit). The furniture and appliances all fit perfectly and make the place feel very comfortable. A big THANK YOU to all who gave! We only have a few final touches before we can say we are completely finished.
We have agreed with our team that we will be officially kicking off into ministry when we return in January, as our whole team will be traveling throughout December for Christmas and ministry.
We would greatly appreciate your prayers for us:
- As we travel in December & January, for speaking engagements & visits to friends & family.
- For Josh’s teaching opportunities this December – to effectively communicate what God is doing & His heart for the unreached.
- As we plan with our team for January.
- For continued strengthening in Shannah’s knees & for faithfulness in doing her exercises.
Igniting Hearts – Engaging Lives. This is the theme the Lord laid on our hearts as a team as we have been developing a program to challenge the next generation to missions. But… I’ll get to this in a moment.
Our Mobilization Team, a new team at the missionary training center campus, is led by Dave & Laura Percy who served 14 years in Thailand and 2 years at NTM’s Wayumi campus in Pennsylvania. Dave is our Program Developer and Laura is our Director of Hospitality. Justin & Shelbi Brammer serve as our Project Manager and Program Administrator. Josh will serve as Program Director and Shannah as Department Administrator (in addition to our role as NTM/Awana Liaisons). The leadership of NTM saw a greater need in our mission to creatively challenge and mobilize youth and churches to missions, and thus our team was born. Our goal as a team is to ignite hearts and engage lives! We not only want to get people excited about what God is doing globally but also be able to provide an outlet for individuals to invest their lives using their specific gifts and talents to see that every people group is given the opportunity to understand who Christ is (in their own heart language) and put their trust in Him.
We are currently working on creating a weekend program for upper high school and college-age groups, as well as various church groups. Over the course of a weekend, participants will be immersed in the life and story of a “tribal” village and its people. Their journey will start the moment they get out of their vehicles, with a canoe ride to a secluded bay on our campus’ 300+ acre property. As they get out of their canoes, their first encounter will be with a group of “tribal” kids fishing on the banks of the water with nets who will be calling out to them in a tribal language. Much like what missionaries have to deal with to move into a tribal village, their campsites will not be all set up for them. Instead, the group will have to work together to prepare and set up their hammocks and campsites, set up the water filtration system for their clean drinking water, and hook up a solar power system to run lights for their campsite and wash houses. The weekend will run more like a story, sort off a self-included extended dinner theater. Throughout the weekend the participants will be hiking to a “tribal” village built here on our campus that looks like one you might find in any corner of the world. In the village, they’ll come face to face with the realities of the command from God to get the truth of the gospel to tribal people like these and realize the urgency for them to become a part of it as there are so many who are dying daily with no eternal hope.
As we are in process of building this weekend program, our team is starting to get out into local churches with a campaign, “Will YOU accept the challenge?” In keeping with our theme of “Igniting Hearts, Engaging Lives”, we realize missions is not an individual event. We not only want to see young people challenged but our desire is to see churches come get passionate about sending people out from their own church body and being a strong support system for them.
Although it may not seem like it, this is a brief synopsis of what our NTM Mobilization Team does and is working towards. Thanks for the sacrifice you are making to pour into us through prayer, encouragement, and finances. YOU are our teammates in getting God’s Word out amongst the Nations.
Look very closely and you will see the setting where, in the months & years ahead, God will challenge & change many people’s view of the world! There have been many factors to consider as Josh and I have been helping to develop a life-changing tribal exposure program with our ministry team in Missouri. One of those factors is the process of constructing some different meeting areas & tribal buildings that we will use as part of our program. We found out last year that, in Missouri, many permits and other things are required for building, which has made the process draw out longer than we had planned. Still, we are so glad that God is in control.
This program is specifically set up to help individuals & local churches in America to understand what it takes to plant churches among unreached people groups and to help them discover where they can take a role in this very important task.
Our project manager overseeing the construction for this program is the amazing Justin Brammer. Construction has slowly been progressing since January of this year. Just this summer the construction has been completed on our first major project. It is a beautiful little amphitheater where people’s worldviews will be changed forever & many will gain a vision for reaching the world’s unreached! Located directly across the lake from New Tribes Missionary Training Center, this gives the perfect setting for people to discover their specific role in the great commission. We are so excited about this amphitheater getting finished! (“Great job Justin & Co!!!”)
Please be praying that God would continue to provide the resources needed to get this program going in the effort to reach the world’s thousands of unreached people groups with the gospel.
The program we are preparing is similar to our Wayumi Program, but will have a different setting & structure than the program at NTM Wayumi. The name of this program is yet to be unveiled, but stay tuned in the months ahead & we will be posting that as well! If you’d like to get an idea of what you might find in Missouri in the next year or so, take a look at our Wayumi program by clicking on THIS LINK.
Yes, we encountered all three of these interesting things on our journey from Missouri to Idaho and all come with a short story:
After my graduation, we were ready to come home to Idaho! The day before leaving we were all packed up and ready to go when we got the call… “I’m so sorry – a rock flung from our lawn mower and smashed through your truck window!” Bless his heart, our friend that was driving the lawn mower spent several hours of his birthday trying to find plexiglass to fit into our window, as no shop was open on a Saturday to fix it. So we spent 10 hours the next day driving with a flapping tapped piece of plexiglass in our window. We finally got it fixed in Amarillo, TX. Praise the Lord the rest of the trip was much quieter.
Well, after Amarillo and a fixed window we were ready for our next days drive. We drive by a few cattle farms…not to strange…but It wasn’t long before we noticed something was just not normal about this area. OH THE SMELL!! Soon we passed by a sign that read ‘Beef Capital of the World.’ From then on it was cattle yard after cattle yard, beef factory after beef factory and mound after mountainous mound of manure, for what seemed like the next 100 miles! We finally left the ‘Beef Capital of the World’ and – praise the Lord – the rest of the trip smelled much nicer.
After a couple of great days with my family in NM, we made it to Colorado! Now this was definitely the most beautiful drive I have ever been on. Driving through the Colorado San Juan mountains was just breathtaking! At one point Josh and I saw a small high-mountain lake that was a perfect photo opp. We notice a man standing up at a nearby cabin watching us with purpose. After a few snap shots we hopped back in the truck and on our way out rolled down the window to say ‘good day’ to this gruff mountain-man (long beard and all). Soon as we got near him he said, “WUT’R YOU DOIN’?” – I was a little scared at this point, but thankfully Josh tamed the conversation and we actually found out he had lived in the mountains for over 20 years and leased the campground we were taking pictures at. (Whew, back to our beautiful drive.)
We stayed with some great friends along the way and had an exciting, yet tiring, trip to Boise. Thanks so much to the Millers, Verts and Hoovers for welcoming us into your homes and giving us a comfortable place to stay along our way!
Finally we made it to Idaho! Oh, how relieved we were to be done with our driving and see friends and family that we have been waiting to see. We are here on our first ministry assignment with NTM, Ministry Partnership Development (or “raising our prayer & financial support”). We are so excited to be here and to spend time with our home churches and to watch God work in bringing in the funds to meet our ministry budget. We also can’t wait to finally get into full time ministry TOGETHER, back in Missouri, in the effort to reach every people group with the Word of God.
P.S. – Check out our Album for more pictures of our trip home!
Yes it is true! I am done with New Tribe Missionary Training! May 24th I graduated from New Tribes Missionary Training Center with my BA in Intercultural Ministry! It has been an incredible 4 years of gaining vital knowledge and experience in what it takes to reach unreached people groups & plant churches in remote areas. How glad I am that I took these 4 years for training! I have no clue how people do this with little to no training!
As many of you know, Josh has been waiting very patiently for me to finish out this training so that we can jump into full time ministry together as a couple with NTM. So you can imagine how thrilled he is that this time has finally come! We are headed back to Boise for our first Ministry assignment – Ministry Partnership Development (raising our prayer & financial support).
We are so excited for this time to be able to come home and be with our friends and church family. We have missed you all and plan to get together with many of you. Our June newsletter gives more details on the ministry God has lead us into, as well as a summary of our summer plans. I have posted this newsletter as well (just click here > June Newsletter).
Thank you for your prayers & partnership with us!
Meet Frank, the newest member of our budding family. He’s a standard North American Pink Flamingo (Issued in Michigan). He was given to us by our youth group (Overflow) at Cascades Baptist Church in Jackson. We wanted to share with you a bit of our adventures with Frank from our trip back out West. Scroll through pictures below (there’s 17 pic’s):
On Saturday, May 15th Shannah graduated from New Tribes Bible Institute! Her parents flew up from El Paso, TX & some friends from our church in Jackson (Cascades) were there to celebrate with us as well. Good job Shannah!! We’ll be headed to Texas for a few weeks & then Idaho for the summer & fall. Here’s a few pictures from Shannah’s Graduation: