Well, it’s been a while since Rachel and I have given much of an update on here about our plans for the future. So the purpose of this post is to let everybody know what our plans are, and how they’re coming, so that you can keep us readily in your prayers.
Our goal, in short, is to bring the gospel to an unreached people group (or two if God wills it). We plan to fulfill that goal through New Tribes Mission. So far, we see that including three main phases.
Phase 1 – Preparation
This is the phase we are in right now. It includes living in Colorado Springs, saving money for school, and planting our roots in a local church that we can call home.
We believe we have landed at a church that meets our needs. It’s called Calvary North Church. It is a new church plant, so, in addition to everyone knowing our names, there are tons of ways we can get involved and minister to the church while we are here. Currently, I am helping with most of the audio/video work, and Rachel is helping lead the children’s ministry. It has been really neat to be a part of a church that is so young, because the preaching is so pure, and the people are so genuine. We’ve been enjoying our time there a lot.
The other part of Phase 1 is saving money for phase 2 (training). If you’re reading this on our website, then I’m sure you’ve seen the thermometer at the top of the page. That is how are saving is going. So far we have $10,000 packed away to pay for school. Our goal is to have $40,000 by the time we leave.
This is the part that has probably been the most stressful. Even though we’ve been watching God provide in miraculous ways, allowing us to save $1,000 per month, I think I have begun to stop trusting Him. The larger our savings account becomes, the more I want to put my trust in that instead of in Him. According to my planning and figuring, we will only have $30,000 saved by the time we want to leave for school (Fall of 2011). Whether God provides that extra money before we leave, or after we’ve started school, I know I need to trust that He will take care of us. I could definitely use all of your prayers in this area.
Phase 2 – Training
This phase will include Bible/Missions training, as well as raising support for our life overseas.
Lord willing, we will begin this phase in Fall of 2011 at New Tribes Bible Institute in Jackson, Michigan. Since Rachel has already graduated from NTBI, it will just be me taking classes while Rachel works and/or takes care of the kids (I will not be taking questions on ‘kids’ at this time).
After the two year program at NTBI, we hope to go straight to the Missionary Training Center to continue our training. The MTC consists of 3 or 4 semesters of hands on/classroom training in the many different fields that modern missions requires. The 4th semester is when we would get our linguistics training, if the mission decides that we are gifted in that area.
Phase 3 – Ministry
The final phase in our plan consists of actually bringing the gospel to an unreached people group.
After raising support, we would head off to make contact with the tribe. At first, we would just be making relationships with the people, and learning the language. This is one of the more exciting parts for me, as this would be a language formerly unknown to anyone in the world outside that tribe. After learning the language, we would begin the process of creating a written language for them (if they don’t already have one), and then translating the Bible into that language. As we complete sections of scripture, we would begin teaching the Bible to the tribe in a method known as the “Chron” (which basically means teaching Chronologically from Genesis onward). This is important because for them to gain an understanding of God’s Grace in the New Testament, they need to understand our sinful state as portrayed in the Old Testament.
After presenting the gospel and continuing in the Bible teaching, we would begin to raise up tribal leaders. The ultimate goal would be to leave a fully functional tribal church that consists only of the tribes people.
This phase is said to take around 20 years.
So there you have it. If you would like to keep up with this area of our lives, but don’t come to our site very often, just click on the “Trek to the Tribe” link at the bottom of the page (under “Categories”), and that will take you to a list of all the posts on the topic. We appreciate your prayers and would love to answer any questions you have for us.
For those of you reading this via E-mail, consider checking out or website (thenarwolds.com). Since it is a private website, you will need to create a user, but the process is quick and painless. If, however, you have any difficulties, E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can set up a user for you.
Thanks, and God Bless.
Stephen and Rachel