Today’s update is the third update of the Potter Mission and maybe one of the most important. We hope you’ll read or watch the whole thing!
Let me first of all say, WE HAVE GOOD NEWS to report. We’ll get to that in a second. But first you should know that this is a long update. But, we really need you to read it. And in fact to make it easier on you, we made a video of it as well. So if it would be more convenient for you to watch it, click here or on the image above. You’ll be taken to our YouTube channel. You can even just hit play and listen while you’re on your way to work. We value your time and your partnership with us and wanted to bring you completely up to speed.
Update on the call for help in August
First we would like to thank you ALL for the prayers, words of encouragement, financial support and solidarity with us over the past few months. Our hearts have felt the encouragement and we are so very thankful to be on this journey, with you by our side.
In August we put up an SOS flag and called for help. You all prayed and gave generously. God provided almost $3000, which helped shore up things and meet obligations. It was an encouragement to our whole family to see that. And in the space of time since that and now, God has continued to provide through unexpected sources for our needs.
But we were still in the “woods” of wondering what God was doing and that’s where we want to bring you up to speed on the big picture of what else was going on and where we’re at now.
The Main Points
(For all of you TLDR people)
~ We seriously evaluated if Ethnos360 is still a good fit for us and came out with a “yes, it is.”
~ But, we need to seriously work on raising the amount of monthly financial support we receive.
~ Joel will transition to working FULL-TIME on this journey of raising an additional $2020 a month.
~ He will working on this intensely between January 17th through July 17th of 2020.
~ We will be working through a plan that has been approved by our leadership to prayerfully see the increase come in.
Over the years, our ministry has changed many times. From Bethany’s early years in ministry at the Bible School in Michigan, to our time overseas, from our time together back at the Bible School to our ministry here at our Home Office, our hearts have always had as our utmost passion, the good news of the gospel going to those who remain unreached by its message. It’s what drives us.
For 24 years now, we have found our hearts content and unified with those of our co-workers, serving together with New Tribes Mission/Ethnos360. We have been convinced that serving with this organization, however imperfect it is, is the best use of our time and efforts.
Did something change?
This year, we found ourselves in several circumstances that caused us to ask ourselves tough questions. Questions like, “is this still the right thing for our family?” It’s not the first time we have sensed these questions in our minds but the first time we couldn’t immediately answer, without hesitation, “yes!” To say we were hesitant to “go there” is an understatement. But we felt like God was asking us to really consider our future with Ethnos360.
We will not go into the details of those circumstances here but trust us that there was little else taking up our thoughts and emotions. We have sought counsel from several trusted friends, who know us closely and they know Ethnos360. We feel like we’ve prayed as a couple more in the last 6 months than in many of the recent years.
We feel like we have gained some perspective in order to make a decision and that decision is that we will continue to serve with Ethnos360. Joel will remain in the position of Social Media Strategist and Bethany will continue managing our family, which includes homeschooling Jack, keeping up with our two very active, not so “Littles” and caring for Lynn as Alzheimer’s Disease slowly takes it’s toll on her.
With that decision, however, also comes the need for us to put our focus and energies into full-time support raising. We call this Partnership Development because that’s really how we see it. Developing relationships and partnerships with other like-minded believers who want to invest in the work God is doing through giving to our ministry.
Currently, our financial support level is below 50% of the recommended amount given to us by our mission, making it very difficult for us to make ends meet. And since this level of support has been in a downward trend over the last few years, we believe the right thing to do is to actively seek new partners. So starting in January of this year, our ministry will primarily be to connect with friends in our church community and other communities where we have ties, in order to present what we’re doing and how they might be able to support this incredible and worthwhile work.
In our 24 years with the mission, we have never had to cold contact churches or individuals in order to raise financial or prayer support. God has always provided through relationships already in place or new ones he brought along. It is still our desire to function that way in our upcoming PD time. And so we are in prayer, asking God to lead us to those whose hearts he has already been preparing to join us, whether they are known to us now or not. We LOVE sharing our hearts with those who have an interest in what God has given us to do, in fulfilling His Great Commission.
We know there are many believers in America though, who have no idea there still exist those who have no concept of a loving God who came and gave his life to save theirs. They still live in darkness, and not because they have rejected God directly but because they have no idea he exists. Their language, culture and often location, have stood in the way of Truth coming into their lives. We would love to introduce those believers to the people in Papua New Guinea, Bolivia, Thailand, Northern Canada, Mexico and many other countries, who are still waiting for light to penetrate the darkness.
So, if you, who do know these people are without Truth, would introduce us to those who do not yet know them, we would love to bridge their gap of understanding and present the opportunity to be involved in reaching the Unreached with the Gospel. Perhaps they are actively asking God to direct their giving to a new ministry or are asking God to direct their own paths into ministry but just haven’t found the right one.
And that’s where you come in… Do you know believers who have never heard of Unreached People Groups? Maybe they don’t know about our mission and the methods we use, starting with learning the language and culture of their community, and then translating God’s Word into that language, followed by teaching chronologically, literacy development and finally, discipleship of new believers. Do you know of couples, families or individuals who are feeling the tug of the Holy Spirit to give their lives to the work of the Great Commission? Well, please, by all means, introduce us! We’d love to meet them. One on one, small group, whole churches, it doesn’t matter. Tell us the date and time and we’ll be there!
Ok, we’re signing off now! If you made it this far, THANK YOU for diving into the details with us. We’re trusting the same God you look to for provision of needs, to work through the ministry we’re a part of. And as we go into a time where that ministry looks way different than it has in the past, we’re going to need your prayers.