One thing that I have learned on this long voyage is that it is important to celebrate the small successes. So every year we celebrate what God has done.
It was a year of humbling ourselves and being willing to not only understand the culture that is around us but enter in and become a part of it.
- I learned how to make most of the meals served here.
- I conquered making Ataya (the tea they drink)
- We have changed our eating habits to match the rhythm of life here
- We have become a part of our church and participate in most of it’s activities
- Joel finished French and feels comfortable enough now to preach and teach in French
- The boys are now comfortable conversing in French and have made friends at church
- We experienced weddings, funerals, camps, and other cultural celebrations and events
- We finally earned the right to really dive deep into the culture and life here, which promises to make the next year even more exciting
What We Have Learned
This year God taught me complete and utter dependency on him. We have experienced amazing things this year and have seen God at work in miraculous ways. However, those experiences often come after we step out of the boat and into the water. It is a scary place to be because it is a place of full dependence. There were moments this year that we felt like we were sinking under the stress of ministry and the forces of resistance. However those were the times when we started looking at the wind and waves around us instead of to Jesus. It is not a natural thing to do, but God is teaching us that no matter what we need to keep our eyes on him.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
How You Can Pray For Us This Next Year
- Pray that we would keep our eyes on God at all times
- Pray that we would be willing to sacrifice and continue to grow more and more relevant here
- Pray for wisdom as we constantly face decisions of how to use our time in ministry. There is no shortage of needs!
- Pray for me as I attempt to finish French
- Pray for the boys as they continue in school and grow in their faith
- Pray for Joel as he will be traveling to new villages and making contacts with people NTM would like to work with. This is a God size task!