Hello all, we wanted to give a brief update on our life & ministry as we move into the fall. The verse above accurately represents the journey we’ve been on, including the past month as we have been on the road. On August 16th, we said goodbye (for now) to a spiritual leader & hero of the faith, Josh’s grandfather Perry Hughes. Though there is much sorrow with his passing, we rejoice that his earthly struggle is over. We look forward to joining grandpa in the presence of the Lord someday! For now, for us, the battle rages.
These past several months have been a tremendous season of personal growth for us. Many times God has brought us to a place where all we could do is trust Him to guide our every move. Our Mobilization team has felt the effects of significant leadership transitions, both in NTM & also in leadership at the Missionary Training Center). We are learning to trust the Lord’s timing with the work He has set our hands to & we are confident that He is raising up laborers for His harvest (Luke 10:2).
You might be wondering, “What’s happening with AWANA?” We are excited to see Awana moving forward & getting more involved in church-planting ministry! Some friends of ours have helped to start an initiative at Awana”To multiply healthy churches among all peoples through the catalyst of children, youth & families.” We’re thrilled about this new organization called ZimZam Global & we believe that God will have us to do much together in the years ahead to equip church planters around the world. We have been prayerfully considering the invitation to join this new initiative. But we are confident that God has placed us where He wants us (mobilizing with NTM at the MTC) & that He will fulfill all of His purposes for us in His perfect timing & way. This is clearly a season where God has ministry for us here as mobilizers, but is also preparing us for what is down the road.
We have been visiting ministry partners & supporting churches this past month & will return to Missouri in early October to continue with our team at the Ministry Advancement Center. If you would like to hear more details about anything or would like to catch up more, please contact us! We would love to hear from you.
A Vision is Born…
We wanted to update you on some exciting things that have been happening & some requests for prayer.
Pursuing NTM & Awana partnership…
Our continued pursuit of bringing NTM & Awana into a greater partnership has been a bumpy ride for us. Leaders of both organizations have been very positive about collaborating on foreign fields. However, NTM is not in a good place to pursue an organizational partnership with Awana right now, and as we realized this, we were a bit discouraged, yet still confident in the vision that God has placed on our hearts. We are still trusting the Lord to continue leading us to connect the dynamic ministry of Awana with the time-tested experience of NTM to plant maturing churches amongst unreached people groups.
The GREAT News…
Awana Clubs International has been largely reorganized in the past few years – now called Awana Global – and we never anticipated what God would do through this process. As part of this reorganizing, Awana Global is helping to parent a new organization to focus on cross-cultural church planting – a “mission arm” to engage churches around the world that are using the Awana ministry & to equip & empower them to multiply their impact through church planting! This is essentially the very vision we’ve been pursuing for many years now! We just never anticipated an entire organization being formed to focus on carrying out this vision.
God is doing some amazing things in launching this new Missions Initiative! Awana Global has seen the importance of equipping pioneer church planters in global churches & have asked some key NTM staff to come to Awana to help develop & lead this new initiative. 3 key NTM leaders came over to Awana this past year to answer this call for help. They have been working for many months now to set up this new organization. They have been traveling the world with leaders of Awana Global & continue to meet with key leaders around the world. Wow, there’s so much to explain, but we will continue to do this over time.
Where Do We Fit In All This?
We have been asked to join this team & to be a part of this new church planting initiative. The President of this new organization (Dave) was the NTM leader who recruited us to join the NTM Mobilization Team that we have been a part of since last January. He is the man that I have been working with these many years to pursue this vision with the leadership of Awana Global. As Dave & these men have been working with Awana to set up this non-profit 501C3, we have continued to work with our mobilization team in Missouri, exposing people to tribal church planting & helping them engage in reaching the unreached. We met with our team a while back & they are totally supportive of us transitioning to work with this church planting initiative through Awana Global. We continue to trust the Lord to lead us in how & when to make this transition. This is the very vision we were sent out to pursue! We just didn’t anticipate that it would play out this well…
Trip to Africa NEXT MONTH!!
The leaders of this Missions Initiative have asked Josh to travel with them this next month (April 10-18) to Africa, where they will be meeting with the Awana Global African leadership team to discover the next steps for this initiative in Africa. These key meetings are directly in line with how God has been leading our hearts & we felt strongly that God was directing us to answer this call. We said “yes” by faith & Josh will be leaving with them a week from Thursday! Thanks to the faithfulness & generous support of our ministry partners, we are usually able to set aside funds ahead of time for trips like this. However, this trip came at such a short notice that we hadn’t been able to prepare ahead this time. We are trusting the Lord to provide for this trip, as we are confident that Josh is supposed to go.
Please Contact Us…
We would love to share more details with you if you are interested! Feel free to email us at email@example.com or call/text us anytime at (208)871-2509 We would be happy to answer any questions you have & explain more about this exciting vision finally coming to life!
We PRAISE the Lord for all these things that He is doing! We ask that you also please join us in PRAYING:
- For wisdom for Josh & the guys as they meet with African mission leaders next month, seeking how we may help to engage, equip & empower our African brothers & sisters for cross cultural church planting.
- For God to clearly direct the next steps of this Awana Global missions initiative.
- For God’s clear direction for our next steps & our involvement with NTM & Awana Global.
There is an opportunity to help support Josh’s Africa trip. If you would like to contribute towards this trip or if you have any questions for us, feel free to contact us. Contributions for this can be sent as a special gift to New Tribes Mission, designated “for the ministry of Josh & Shannah Beaudin – Africa Trip 2014.”
We’re not entirely sure what all God has in store for this, but clearly He is up to something. Just 2 days before leaving Senegal, we met Pastor David who is on staff at a local church in Dakar. He has a clear vision & deep desire to see Africa reached with the Gospel of Christ! He was very interested in the ministries of NTM & Awana Clubs International & asked us many questions about both. It was exciting to witness God at work connecting NTM leaders with visionary African church leaders & building this strategic relationship as God’s people work together to follow Him in making disciples to the “uttermost parts of the earth.” Shortly after we returned to Missouri, we received an email from Pastor David requesting information about the Awana ministry, as it could be a powerful tool in reaching the children & families of Senegal.
It is very interesting that God would set up these “divine appointments” for us, as He has placed on our hearts a strong desire to see the strengths & resources of these two amazing ministries (NTM & AWANA) be more available to assist the Church in Africa & around the world in a strategic way.
We don’t know what all this means or what God has up His sleeve, but we do know that He is at work & we count it a privilege to be engaged with Him in any way we can as He continues to build His Church! Thank you for your partnership with us in the ministry of Expanding the Reach of the Gospel!
Please Pray with Us:
- For God to give direction to local churches in Senegal & lead them in reaching their country, continent & the world for Christ.
- For the building of good healthy relationships between NTM missionaries & local African churches.
- That God would give NTM & Church leaders clarity as to how NTM can best serve local African churches in reaching out to unreached people groups.
- For open doors to utilize the tools & resources of the Awana ministry in reaching boys & girls & their families for Christ in Senegal.
- That God would continue to give us (Josh & Shannah) clarity as to how we fit into all this work & what role He has for us.
Wanna see some fun pictures?
Check out our Africa pictures through our album on Facebook! (W Africa Trip) This will give you a good visual of our time in Senegal!
We want to say a huge THANK YOU to our financial ministry partners!
- Your faithful support of our ministry was a major factor in making this trip possible for us (enabling us to save ahead for the airfare & travel expenses)!
- Thank you also to those of you who gave special gifts to help us to bring “Christmas in July” to our missionary team in Senegal!
It was definitely one of our top highlights being able to share gift bags with all sorts of goodies from home!! They totally enjoyed the gift items that you enabled us to purchase & they all said how meaningful it was that our friends back home would be a part of this! Food items like these mean so much more when they are unavailable & you haven’t had them for so long. You never know how far a package can go to CARE for those who receive it…but we can tell you that this went a long way!
There were also some really cool opportunities that God orchestrated while we were in Senegal. We will be sharing those stories in our next few posts. Some of those stories have to do with: hardships in language study, cultural differences, divine appointments, pastors, planes, peanuts & prayer requests.
Was it worth it?
It’s a joy to report that the purposes for this trip were definitely accomplished! We personally experienced some of the very real struggles of living overseas & at the same time, we witnessed the joys that come when missionaries cling to the Lord in those times & stay the course. We were blessed to be able to visit current works at various stages of seeing a maturing church birthed & established. We also made some great new friends & deepened existing friendships! This was all so rewarding for us & very impactful! We definitely feel more equipped to accurately represent what God is doing in W. Africa, as well as articulate NTM’s overall vision to assist the African church in reaching their continent. We are confident that God had many purposes in sending us to W. Africa – some that aren’t even clear yet. But it has been overwhelmingly evident that He has been at work around us, which makes us really excited about the days ahead!
We have much more to share, but we want to break it up into several shorter posts over the next few weeks, for easier reading. At this point, we’re just touching base to say how grateful we are for you, our incredible ministry partners & friends!
At this time, we would really appreciate it if you would remember to pray for us in the following areas:
- REST! (with non-stop meetings, wedding, who-knows-what’s-next, etc.)
- Sensitivity to the Lord’s guidance as we continue to pursue Him with the vision He’s placed on our hearts for seeing collaboration between NTM & Awana in the USA & around the world. We know that God is moving right now to work out His plan for all this, but we need discernment to distinguish His working from our own ideas. We need your prayers in a big way right now!
Please keeping checking our blog for more fun stories from Africa!
A Learning Experience…
What an incredible time this has been so far, although we’re pretty tired from our first week in Dakar. We had several opportunities this past week to meet & visit with a number of missionaries who are still fairly new to W. Africa, as well as with NTM leadership here. We have greatly enjoyed sweet fellowship & rewarding conversations with our coworkers here.
We’ve enjoyed meeting their Senegalese friends who are helping them to learn French & Wolof (the official & most widely spoken languages here). We’ve also had great opportunities to experience daily life the way they do on a daily basis. With the help of local Senegalese churches & believers, they are gaining a clearer understanding of how to communicate & function within the context of W. African cultures.
What do these have in common?…
Let’s see…a scooter, taxi, car rapide, demdik, tata, set plas & jaganjai…each of these is a common mode of public transportation here in Senegal. They’re all in competition for business, so you can imagine how getting around in Dakar is anything but boring for these families on a daily basis. Most of them use only these modes of transport & in the past 5 days, we’ve been on just about all of these but a scooter (which I can only imagine is a heavy dose of thrilling mixed with terror!).
“Is Africa like 150 degrees?”
The heat & humidity definitely saps the energy out of us. It’s not any worse than Missouri in the summer, but men have to wear pants everywhere to be respectful of the culture – (haha, bummer). This next week is probably going to be extremely hot where we’re going (about a 10-hour’s drive from Dakar). We’ll be visiting one of the tribal works where NTM missionaries have been serving now for several years.
How can you pray?
We’re not asking you to pray for cold weather or for us to be comfortable, but simply that we would be open to whatever the Lord wants to teach us & that we could be available for however He wants to use us. We hope to be an encouragement to our coworkers & to emanate the love of Christ to all those around us. We have been so encouraged already to hear from our missionary friends here how God has led them through many struggles & trials of faith already.
Uncomfortable circumstances (like heat & humidity or struggling to do the simple things like buy groceries) are just the means that God uses to reveal what our fleshly nature is really like & remind us how much we truly need Him. God alone can sustain us in our weaknesses & satisfy our every need. And as our friends here have reminded us, He is our complete sufficiency. We can fall on Him whenever we start to feel the weight of our not-enough-ness! We hope and pray that He is filling you with His joy & peace today as you seek His face. Thank you for praying for us as so many of you have been!
We hope to post some more pictures here in the next week or so…
It is our goal, as a mobilization department, to reflect a balanced perspective of NTM works around the world as our team exists to mobilize laborers to join these works. The desire of our leadership is to see each team member have an opportunity to see and experience firsthand what God is doing around the world. Because of this our team leaders have asked for each of us team members to make an extended trip overseas. We are writing to share with you that the Lord has given us the opportunity to make a trip next month to Senegal, West Africa! We are very excited about this opportunity that God has given us to be further equipped as mobilizers!
This is the main purpose for us in this trip, to become more equipped & more effective as followers of Christ and as mobilizers who represent His passions & His mission. We hope to visit current works in W. Africa, personally experience the joys & struggles of missionary life overseas, become more familiar with what God is doing in Africa, and also build relationships that will help us to be more effective in praying for His work in Africa.
We’d like to invite you to “come” with us to Africa!
The most significant thing we can think of that will make this trip a success is that God’s people labor in PRAYER for this. And so we ask that you pray with us about this!
1) That we will be as prepared as possible for this trip that is coming upon us suddenly.
2) For discernment & focus in our preparations as we look to…
- get needed immunizations
- gather needed supplies & gift items for missionaries on the field
- learn what practical expressions we can in French & Wolof (the predominant languages of Senegal)
3) That God would use this experience to draw us closer to Him & bind us together as a unit (in our marriage, as a witness & for ministry).
4) That we could be a blessing to our coworkers in W. Africa & a witness for Christ to lost people we encounter.
We also hope to be a blessing to our coworkers in W. Africa while we’re there, and this is where we’d like to invite you to join us! There is an opportunity here for people to invest in this together with us, as we are solely responsible for the cost of this trip out of our own personal resources.
Thanks to our faithful ministry partnership team, we have already been able to put some funds aside for ministry trips like this! Those funds have already been tremendously helpful as we’ve begun to work out the details & do the legwork for this trip. We don’t yet have all of the necessary funds for this trip though, so we want to open it up for others to join in helping us to go, grow & be a blessing to others. Here is a breakdown of the major expenses for this trip:
- Round-trip airfare for the two of us
- Visas, customs, immunizations, etc.
- Food/travel/lodging for 1 month in Senegal
- Missionary gifts/care items, requested supplies, etc.
Showing Love: “Christmas in July” Project
The part we are really excited about is being able to take several items to care for our co-workers on the field. There are many things that you can’t get in Africa that are very special once you’ve been away from home for so long. We plan to take a couple suitcases full of special “care” items to share with NTM missionaries in Senegal (& Guinea if we get to visit). To give you an idea, here are some of the items we will take with us as we are able:
Personal Care & Comfort Items
- Nice (scented) lotions, mascara, etc.
- Feminine products
- Scented candles (apples, cut grass, sugar cookie, and other scents from home)
- Wall decals, Magazines, etc.
- Betty Crocker salad mixes, Taco & pasta seasoning packets
- Instant oatmeal
- Packaged chicken & tuna
- Velveeta cheese
- Muffin/cake/cookie quick bake packages
- Mio water flavor
- Granola bars, trail mix, almonds
- Pre-cooked bacon, pepperoni, jerky, gum, etc.
Want to contribute?
We are excited to share this opportunity with you! We invite you to pray about how God might have you share in this growth experience for us & participate with us in blessing our coworkers in W. Africa. If you would like to contribute to help us bring Christmas in July to our missionaries in W. Africa or just to help with the cost of our tickets, visas, etc. – please contact us & we will share how you can do that. *All gifts to this project are tax-deductible & you will receive a receipt from NTM.
We look forward to updating you as the Lord pulls this together & reporting on how He works in our lives & through us during this visit to Senegal.
“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