Well, another year has gone by! And since so much has happened, we’d like to give you a recap of how God has been working in our lives in the past year and what we expect God will be doing in the year to come.
It’s crazy to think that just a year ago we were in Dallas at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics for a Wycliffe recruiting event called “Taste Of Translation And Linguistics” (aka–TOTAL It Up).
We had suspected that God might be calling us into service with Wycliffe, but we honestly didn’t know that much about the organization and we had a thousand questions! Throughout the week, we had the opportunity to hear testimonies from many different Wycliffe missionaries, learn a little about translation and linguistics, and learn about how Wycliffe functions as an organization. Each day our conviction grew that this was where God was calling us to serve. By the end of the week, we had no doubts. We drove home from Dallas as firmly convinced that God was calling us to serve with Wycliffe as we were that we were breathing! God had finally revealed the next step of his plan for our lives, and we were ecstatic with joy!
But there were still a lot of unknowns. I had felt that God was leading us to join Wycliffe and attend training before the end of the year. But, before we could apply to Wycliffe we had some debt to pay off. I was a contractor, and we were barely surviving the winter on my earnings. How could we ever expect to pay off the thousands that we owed in such a short period of time? And, where in the world did God want us to serve? Were we really qualified to do the task God was calling us for? How do we tell our family that we’re leaving? My mind was swirling with questions about the unknown as we made our drive back to Arkansas. But, I knew without doubt that if God had called us to this ministry, he would provide the means.
But things got worse before they got better, and our faith and resolve were tested severely. The next 2-3 months that followed were, financially speaking, the worst of our lives. The winter got worse, nobody seemed interested in home improvement projects, and what few jobs I did get were delayed by the bitter cold, snow, and ice. It was the coldest, wettest winter that I can recall in my lifetime. We fell behind on our bills, and paying off debt seemed like a fantasy. So, we prayed…a lot!
God answered. Through my quiet time and during sermons at church, my attention was directed over and over to stories such as Abraham’s call in Genesis 12. Abraham, or “Abram” as he was called at the time, was told to “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you,” and was assured that he would be tremendously blessed. But, before he received the promised blessings, Abraham had to take action. Without knowing all the details–without knowing even what “land” he was supposed to go to!–Abraham had to first pack up and start walking. I realized that God was calling me to take the first step in faith. Knowing that our high rent was partly to blame for our financial difficulties, Jennifer and I knew that moving to a more affordable house was one of the first steps. When our lease was up in April, we moved to a smaller, much more affordable home in Jacksonville and had a big moving sale. God blessed us immensely, and within three months of that move, we had paid off several thousand dollars worth of debt, sold our truck, and applied to Wycliffe! Though we had begun to think it impossible, God arranged everything so that we could complete our training in October as we had originally hoped, and even begin developing our team of ministry partners by the end of the year.
As we look forward to the year to come, there’s a lot more change coming! We hope to have fully established our team of ministry partners by May so that we can move in June to Dallas to begin our linguistic training. Throughout the past year, God has showed us over and over that he will guide our steps when we rely upon him and step out in faith where he leads. He always provides.
To all of our readers, family, friends, and ministry partners–THANK YOU! You are an encouragement to us and we pray that God will bless you, just as he has blessed us through you.
Just for fun–Here’s the year in review of our blog!
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 760 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people…Where did they come from? 14 countries in all! Most visitors came from The United States. Canada & Russia were not far behind…