If you followed us on Social Media this summer, you followed the ups and downs of our epic road trip north during in July and August. Here’s a bit of detail on what happened.
As faith supported missionaries, it’s our responsibility to raise the funds we need for our living expenses. We don’t receive a salary from NTM.
We’re ok with that too.
As crazy as that sounds when you look at it from the same perspective that most people would, it’s in fact a really safe way to live. We’re more conscious of our need to depend upon the Lord in all things, than we would be if I got a paycheck every two weeks. Our God supplies what we need just when we need it.
But this doesn’t mean that we’re not responsible to communicate about our needs. Or that we just work away and blindly hope that God will give us enough food for our next meal. We sense the need to be a part of the way that God invites others to partner with Him, through the work we do. And with that mindset, we set out on our almost 4000 mile trip this summer. The purpose was to re-connect with dear friends and family who currently support us financially and to invite some others who are yet to be involved, to consider the part God would want them to have.
We were able to do both!
After making our way as far north as Kentucky, we had the sweet privilege of visiting with as well as staying with long time friends as well as people that Bethany had come to know when she was in missionary training a number of years ago, when NTM still had a training center in Cornetsville KY. There is a faithful little body of believers who have financially supported our family since Bethany trained there between 1996 and 1997. In addition to preaching that Sunday morning, I also had the chance to preach a sermon at a completely new to us Church that evening.
We then headed farther north to Jackson Michgan, where we served for many years at New Tribes Bible Institute. During a week there, we spent almost every day and night with co-workers still serving there or close friends who support us in many ways and are connected with the church body we served in while we lived there. I even had the chance to help lead worship for the congregation that Sunday!
On to the Ozarks
That would have been a satisfying and full trip all by itself, but we had another two weeks to go, that saw us spend the bulk of that time in Springfield Missouri.
We spent the next two weeks visiting again, almost every day and night with family and friends, many of whom support us in various ways.The highlight for us was incredible time spent with the pastor of our “sending church,” High Street Baptist. He and his wife are former missionaries to the Philippines and the few hours we spent over coffee with them was worth the entire trip, all by itself. We were so encouraged.
We again had the chance to teach and share about what God is doing in the world at two different churches there in Springfield and then again another rare privilege, being invited to a lunch gathering of local pastors to share about what our family is a part of.
After almost two full weeks in Springfield though, it was time to head home!
We’re so grateful for the safe time spent on the road for thousands of miles, the completely healthy trip we had and for the incredibly generous gifts we were given along the way. In addition the how the Lord provided for every cost incurred on the trip, He sent us on our way with just as much given to us in one time gifts.
In the end, we didn’t see any new monthly or recurring support raised, but just as important as that, we saw relationships renewed and re-invigorated as well as the potential for brand new relationships.
We have much to followup on in the coming months and realized first hand, how we cannot allow as much time to pass without getting back to see these dear-to-us people who “hold our ropes” as our little boat continues to float in the sometimes wild sea of great commission service!