Which Direction? –
The shortest distance between two points is always a straight line. But that doesn’t mean it’s always the fastest or even the best way to get there. Recently 3 of us from our team experienced that firsthand when it took us about 30 miles of hiking to get to a village only 15 miles from the nearest road. When there are rivers and mountains in between you and your destination, typically a straight-line route isn’t possible.
We’ll get back to that, but it’s also true in life isn’t it? Many of us had a “straight line” plan that didn’t work out like we hoped. Instead, God took us on a bit of a windy route through the mountains of life to bring us to where He has us now. As a family, we were thinking we would go to the ‘L’ people (mentioned in our last update)—until about a week ago. God seems to be rerouting us and pointing us in the direction of the ‘K’ people.
(above) Survey trip up into the mountains & one of the approx 50 river crossings!
The Winding Road –
Those of you on our “Prayer Team” (want to join?) have followed some of this already, but as a recap here’s the quick version of the story. Thanks for praying by the way! God has been answering.
After many disappointing trips to the neighboring island trying to find a people group that we could work with, we had one final lead to follow up on. The person who was originally going to take us to this final location was never available to go, so we decided to attempt it on our own. We opted to begin in the town closest to the people group we were looking for, and there search for guides to lead us the rest of the way. However, before we left on the trip, our coworker Dave shared about our plans during a language session with our neighbors. As it turns out, we were headed to our neighbor’s dad’s hometown! She was able to call the local “King” there who arranged for three guys to serve as our guides up into the mountains. Who knows how much time that saved us and it gave us an immediate connection with people on the coast.
We made the hike up—which took us 13 hours over two days—and found a small village of people living very simply in the mountains. We had a great time with them even though communication was challenging (only the young men could speak the national language). It was obvious that they need the Gospel in their own language and without that they will never have a chance to hear.
Remember, we thought it wasn’t going to work out for us to live and serve on this island—this was the last-ditch effort. But God may be cracking open the door in this small corner of the world for His light to break through.
What does this mean for our family?
In spite of the results of this final survey, our family still figured we would be moving further north to help the ‘L’ people while some of our coworkers would try to head towards this new location. However, that changed last week with some big meetings we had as a team with our leadership. Throughout our many discussions, everyone came to the realization that we really need to focus on this new opportunity and send a larger team to the ‘K’ people as soon as possible. We were asked to be part of that team hoping to reach the ‘K’ people, which we are totally willing to do. Our main disappointment is that the ‘L’ church won’t get the help they need right now but we pray that God will raise up others to go assist them. Would you pray for this?
- For this new opportunity to reach the people on our neighboring island.
- For unity as a team on how to move forward.
- For the grace God has given us to handle this new direction for our family.
- For the Lord’s watch/care over the girls through Tyler’s many trips away from home.
- For wisdom and guidance as we move forward towards this new group.
- For God to prepare both the people on the coast and the ‘K’ people to receive us (and HIM!) well.
- For God to work out our future transportation needs: 2-day hikes are not really doable with a family.
- For our coworkers (The Halls) as their 5th child is due next month!
- For our family in this new transition.