|Surely you’ve heard of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, but how about Michael Collins? I was reading to Ty recently about the moon landing, and I learned that there was a third crew member of Apollo 11. While Armstrong and Aldrin were walking on the moon, someone had to pilot the command module orbiting around the moon so that they could get back. That person was Michael Collins. He had all the training and made all the sacrifice that the first men did, but he did not get the glorious privilege and recognition of walking on the moon. However, without him, the moon landing could not have happened. He was essential to the team. He was willing to play his role for the sake of the greater mission. Collins once said about his role, “I know that I would be a liar or a fool if I said that I have the best of the three Apollo 11 seats, but I can say with truth and equanimity that I am perfectly satisfied with the one I have.”
When Matt and I first realized that God was calling us not to be tribal church planters, but instead to be support missionaries enabling the church planting to go forward, I struggled with that. I felt like we had done all of the training and made all of the sacrifice of coming to and living in Papua New Guinea, but we weren’t getting to be the ones to go into a tribe and bring the gospel. God has done a lot of work in my heart and helped me to realize that this role is no less important than other roles on the team in the mission of bringing the gospel to all people groups. I think that I can now say that I am satisfied with the role that I have. More than that, I am thankful. I don’t take for granted all of the people praying for us and supporting us and enabling us to be a part of this work. Just as Collins got an up-close view of the moon landing, I get to have a front row seat to what God is doing in PNG. I get to use my gifts and obey God and be a part of something amazing. I get to do that because all of you are using your gifts and obeying God, and through praying and giving, you are part of this awesome mission- to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). So thank you.
“There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work” (1 Cor.12:5-6). Maybe like me, you sometimes struggle with the role that God has given you. Be encouraged, friends, that whatever work it is you are doing for the Lord, He sees it. And “know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor.15:58).
Till all know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck
Left: My view most days now as I fill the role of “homeschooling mom.” Right: It has been so cold in Minnesota that our house froze into ice! (Ok, not really, but these February days do make me miss PNG’s weather).
– He continues to provide for all our needs
– Even in spite of being short- staffed and having Covid restrictions, the work continues to go forward in PNG
– I’m continuing to tolerate my new headache medicine (It’s too soon to tell if it’s helping yet)
– Matt is learning a lot of things in his counseling classes that he’s excited about applying in helping missionaries
– God has given us opportunities to witness to our neighbors
– that God would be powerfully at work in the heart of our struggling friend
– for more opportunities to witness to our neighbors and friends
– that Wyck’s vision would continue to improve (He has an eye appointment this month)
– that Wyck’s speech will continue to improve despite having to drop down to two sessions a week
– that God will bring more people to serve as support missionaries in PNG
What are we supporting? This month’s tribal focus: Pray for the work on the Tobo Bible. (A portion is pictured below). “We have finished the check! The books of John and Acts are now consultant checked!! We now have 72% of the New Testament in the Tobo language, with only Matthew and Luke needing completion. Note: The other consultant (Levi Lenz) who worked with us for most of the check is not in this picture. But we appreciate him too!! He even bought us ice cream to celebrate” Chad Mankins, Tobo