Our summer this year seemed much more full than previous ones. Maybe it is because we celebrated 25 years married! So many of you kept abreast of our “retirement-funded” anniversary weekend in Paris. We are so grateful for God providing the funds (before we knew we would need them!), now THAT is AWESOME!!! We had a sweet time with each other touring a couple of cities – Versailles and Paris. Went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and shared a champagne toast and later that night had a wonderful dinner in the tower, too. All along the trip we met people who were kind to the “old folks” guiding us to the places to visit and helping us figure out which were the right exits from the trains and trams. Even though we got lost on the way back to our room, arriving at 2:00AM, we had a joyous experience with one another.
We left Paris after our two nights and headed East, the real reason for our trip, to Asia Pacific. Our hope was to connect with as many of our co-laborers as possible. We knew most of them were so busy with their culture studies, our expectations were low on interrupting them, just to see us. When we arrived in our first “stop-over” we were met by former trainees of NTM Canada. They had their little boy with them. It was so sweet to see them all and notice they had changed a little. Their son had really grown and was willing to talk with the strangers some, he was great. They graciously took us to a Hindu temple, part of the culture there and explained the back story for its existence. It was just a blessing to realize our God has made Himself known (through Creation as an example) so that we are not confused by the many things the world tries to tell us about gods and more. It was a great visit.
We were provided a contact sheet for the area and realized we knew many families because 1) we were classmates with them when we were attending NTBI 2) we were classmates with them at NTMC. 3) we were in Missouri together when Jinni & I received advanced training. 4) we got to know them because they completed their training in Canada since we have been on staff, 5) or we met them because we were originally slated to go to Asia Pacific. Amazingly, of the 40+ families we were aware of we connected with over half of them personally! As we made our way across the area, we had the joy of eating together, talking with families and praying for God’s continued direction for everyone we connected with. Several opportunities arose where I, Roland, was able to use my computer experience to repair or provide recommendations to get some systems operating. Jinni had the opportunity to complete some testing for one of her former students, a homeschooling requirement for the families overseas.
We, together with a medium sized group, were treated to a snorkeling trip near the bottom of one of the dormant
volcano islands. Wondrous ocean life and special fellowship for the whole trip to and from snorkeling was a real treat.
Our trip interior was just as amazing. We were allowed to spend several days among a thriving community of believers and see first-hand how God is building up His body among every tribe, tongue and nation. Jinni got to help with some literacy ministry – right up her teaching gift’s “alley”. Our co-workers, living with this tribal people group, have been steadily working toward completing the New Testament scriptures. Committed to providing clarity in the Holy Scriptures, our brother is devoting many hours to complete 6 verses per day. Without the wisdom and stamina from the Lord this could not be done. So we are thankful to be partnering with this family as they labor among the Moi.
One of the things God impressed upon us was how He chooses to use ALL of His believers together for His purposes. We were able to experience first-hand most of the different ministries going on in the country: Different Level Language Learners, Language Consultants,Supply Buyers, Guest Room Maintainers, Maintenance Workers, Teachers, Translators, Literacy Workers, Advocates who work with Government, Pilots, People Group Assessors, Leadership, and probably others we don’t know about. All for the reason in Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Let us not forget, this cannot happen without our faithful supporters, prayer partners and support staff “back home.” Are you: a pastor of a church that sends missionaries? a ministry worker who is involved in missions? a student who prays and maybe gives some of his lawn mowing $ to a missionary? a fast-food worker, teacher, doctor, volunteer etc., who supports a missionary monthly? a prayer partner who faithfully prays for the same missionary family regularly? An advocate who speaks up about the need for missionaries and senders? a home support worker (trainer, teacher, administrator, IT guy, maintenance worker, finance person, secretary, child care worker, etc.) God uses ALL of these together. The most important is the one who is trusting God to do what He has promised. THANK-YOU to everyone we work with, pray with, partner with, and worship with.
If you are not on this list, why not? How is God calling YOU to be a part of HIS GREAT PLAN!!??
If you’d like to view some pictures, click here.