As many of you probably remember, we wrote a blog post in January [found here] communicating how we were learning to trust God in the midst of feeling “stuck” in the pre-field ministry phase. We just wanted to take some time to update all of you on what God has done in our lives since that point, and what He has also done in our pre-field ministry fundraising.
To start off I want everyone to know how encouraged we are! In fact, we’re thrilled! God has reminded us time and time again to trust Him and to use every moment as a teaching opportunity for growth in our dependence upon Him. He’s shown us so much the last two months about how great He is, and yet how weak and feeble we are. He has used the body around us to encourage us this month. I received a call from one of my former instructors named George Walker in regards to a folk religion question I had asked. In closing he said, “He doesn’t use the PHD’s, Jared. Not that He can’t or doesn’t. But it’s my experience that He uses people like us: the weak and the foolish. Because it’s through them that He’s shown mighty and powerful.” Wow! What a great reminder to keep trusting the One who is adequate, despite our inadequacies.
In relation to our pre-field ministry, God saw fit to take us from 54% all the way to 74% in one day. Can you believe that? It doesn’t even sound realistic or even possible, but God did it. And we’re giving all the credit to Him. As if that wasn’t enough, since that time He’s taken us all the way to 80%. We only need 5% more ($250.00 more a month) in order to leave for the field of Paraguay. At times, on this journey of dependence and trusting God, I feel as though God is doing all of the hard stuff. We’ve literally been in a place where we’ve said, “God we’re convinced you’re calling us into full time ministry, we’re just going to trust that You can make that happen.” And indeed He has. We’ve just been in awe at His faithful provision month after month. We can hardly believe it.
So what’s the next step in trusting God? Well, we’re beginning to get things lined up for the life on the field ahead. We’re not looking at tickets quite yet as we’re desiring to get as much of our recommended goal as possible before departure. But we’re at least beginning to “think that way”. We’re also beginning to make arrangements for our next phase of ministry which we call, “E2.” E2 stands for “Equipping 2.” This entire time that we’ve been in Bible School, in Training, and even now raising money in Partnership Development, we’ve been in E1. Preparing to go, training to go, etc. E2 is where we will actually be moving to Paraguay, setting up shop, and learning the national language and culture of the Paraguayan people. That’s the next step in trusting God. So what we’ve begun to to do now as we’ve been blessed to have gotten so far so quickly with our finances, is study! We’re taking the rest of the time we have to read up on things like Folk Religion, Animism, Syncretism and preparing for full time language learning.
Here’s an important note/reminder. As missionaries with New Tribes, we’re required to meet at least 75% of our monthly recommended support level. Praise God that we’re already there! But, we’re not going to just stop at 75%. We’re shooting for as high as God will enable us to go given the time we have left here in the U.S.A. Our home church has also expressed a desire to see us get to at least 85% of our monthly recommended support level. So we’re still just shy of our goal by only 5%. Let’s trust God once again that He’ll provide us with the extra 5% we need in order to make the move to Paraguay this summer! On top of that, let’s trust God to bring in the remaining 15% ($750.00 a month) needed in order to be at 100% of our monthly recommendation. God is fully capable. Let’s all learn to walk with Him and trust Him through it all!