We welcomed our son, Jean Lukusa into our family on June 23rd. We call him Jean-Luk (or John Luke). He is named after Christian (Jean-Christian) and Christian’s father, Lukusa Tshimanga. The girls, Lorraine (3) and Colette (17 months) adore him—it is such a blessing to have these sweet children in our family. We didn’t plan to have children so quickly or so close together, but we see God’s timing and wisdom as so perfect in blessing us when He did.
In less than one year, we are planning to take our family to Roach, Missouri. This is where Ethnos360 (formally known as New Tribes Missions) has a Missionary Training Center. Our family will attend four semesters over the course of two years. We will be trained in a variety of areas such as: linguistics, cross cultural ministry, and church planting. When Christian and I first met six years ago, our plan was to attend the training center as soon as we could. Enter our three children! We are so excited to have had a clear indication from God that the time is right for us to move towards the training, so we can join a foreign missions team through Ethnos360.
Christian has been faithfully working at the county jail for almost the last 5 years, and we have both been helping with the outreach to the Somali refugees through the non-profit mission agency, The Well. We feel this opportunity to have cross-cultural outreach while waiting to go to missionary training school was so important to nurture our desire to bring the love of Christ to the nations. We also wanted to be faithful to serve in missions where the Lord placed us. It has been a joy to join with local believers to reach our Somali neighbors. We also have very much enjoyed our fellowship with our home church Providence and the relationships we have built there.
And it is the relationships we have with each one of you that we also count on as we go into this new adventure. We will need God’s people to partner with us in prayer and in financial support. Starting this fall, our family will begin to visit churches to raise monetary support, as well as seeking individuals and families to partner with us through prayer and finances. We will not be able to hold jobs while at the Training Center so it is important for us to begin building our support team before attending. Each year of tuition, fees, and housing will cost about $15,000 for our family of five. But we will also need money for food, personal expenses and insurance. We will provide more details in the future about our exact needs and how you can give financially.
We are trusting God to meet our needs. He promises that as our Good Father we don’t need to worry about tomorrow. We want to store our treasures in heaven and to see God’s will done here on earth as it is in heaven. We wholeheartedly believe this is what God wills for us. Please pray that we would trust God fully as we walk in obedience towards training school.
Christian and Betsy, Lorraine, Colette, and Jean-Luk