We wanted to send out an update letting you know how our home assignment has been going and also sharing with you some details about our ministry as we return to Asia Pacific in October. We are more than half way through with our time in the States. We have been having a wonderful time connecting with many of you, either in a class or over a meal. It’s also been great for us to make some new memories as a family and have a place to relax together! The girls have finished their 10th grade year, Titus finished 1st grade, and Torin finished preschool.
Now that the newness of being here has worn off, all the kids are asking when we will return “home”. It’s finally dawned on me that our kids are actually more at home in Asia Pacific, where they have grown up, duh! Andrea and I obviously have a deep connection to coming home to the States. So we cannot always relate well to their readiness to go back when we are still enjoying being here. For both our kids and us though, the past 21 years of ministry in Asia Pacific we have had to make effort to invest in the people around us and the life context that God has us in.
Something we have been sharing about while we are here in the States is the Cross Cultural Missionary Training we have been a part of for the past several years. This training is for indigenous tribal believers, called to go outside their home area as missionaries. Some of these tribal believers have already been sent out by their local churches to live in other tribal areas doing evangelism and discipleship. We feel honored to have been a part of their being sent out to the unreached world around them.
The training is something that we personally have been so helped by in our missionary journey. The initial training and ongoing support Ethnos360 provided for us has been critical for our long term ministry. They filled our ministry tool box, so that when we arrived in a cross cultural context we had a sense of where to begin. Beyond that, Ethnos360 has come alongside us with seasoned missionaries and other more experienced consultants to guide us. Obviously it’s not just Ethnos but the Body of Christ in different places that has been a critical part of life and ministry for us here in Asia Pacific.
The training program we are now helping with is being led by mature and experienced indigenous church planters. They have asked us to partner with them in training and ongoing support for other tribal believers who are preparing to be sent out as cross cultural missionaries. In 1 Tim 2:2 Paul instructs Timothy to, “teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.” This is the model we are seeking to follow.
While in the States we have been sharing about this ministry with the hope of raising up a team to support this training program. There are great opportunities for partnering with trainers, and trainees alike, and for helping the program to keep running month to month. If any of you resonate with this ministry of training indigenous believers to reach out cross culturally with the gospel, send us a note and we will provide you with details of how you can join the support team.
Next month we will be traveling to Michigan with stops along the way to connect with friends and family. After that we will be back down in Jacksonville for our final two months in the States. If any of you would like to connect while we are Stateside please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your prayers and support!