Category Archives: General

SoMe TiMe In ThE SoUtH!

After leaving church on Sunday, September 22, we went to celebrate Bart’s 27th birthday. We knew what was coming, and we were all a little apprehensive. The next morning Bart was leaving at 4:30 to drive, alone, to Florida. My nerves were already raw when we left the restaurant to head home and pack. You see, this is our first time being lifelong missionaries. We’ve undergone training and taken many classes to prepare for what is coming up, but some training can only come through experience. Bart spent over an hour packing (Over and over until it all fit) our suitcase, the car seats, our display, toys, books and groceries into his mom’s car (which is much better on gas than our jeep).  Everything we needed for our trip was set out in piles in our room.  Neither of our children slept that night, and Bart was exhausted. The day after Bart left, I woke the kids up bright and early (4 a.m.) and we were in the airport by a quarter after five with an umbrella stroller and a backpack.  It was a step of faith that God grew us through. 

During our time in Florida we visited 11 places in 14 days. We began in Tampa and travelled to St. Petersburg to visit a wonderful woman who was in Zimbabwe with Bart’s grandparents, and then we left for Deland to see a friend from Johnson, who is now a youth pastor. Bart made awesome connections through the people we met in Deland. From Deland we travelled to Lake Butler and saw a family that traded kids with us one night a week when we lived in Knoxville so that we could each have a date night. They made connections through their church for us and again, we are blessed! We left Lake Butler and drove to Northern Florida Christian Camp. We spoke with our friends whom are now supporting us and were so encouraged to have our kids play with them as we visited. From there we drove to Jacksonville and spent 2 days with a couple who are missionaries with Word of Life. They showed us a bit of their town and we left encouraged by another young couple seeking to serve God through international missions. We drove from Jacksonville to visit my (Andi) Aunt and Uncle in Melbourne whom I haven’t seen in many years.  We shared with them about the fire God has placed in our hearts to go overseas with His Word, and it was so awesome to be able to have them ask us the hard questions (as family is supposed to) and encourage us.  After that we were able to go visit the Johnson University, Florida Campus (previously Florida Christian College). We drove back toward St. Pete, to Largo (nope, not the keys!) and after one church there and some time with stateside missionaries we left for the airport on October 8th.  We were home less than an entire week before I left for a 4 day trip to southern Indiana, which was followed by one day home to visit with my older brother and then leave for a week in Tennessee. The week in Tennessee was bittersweet, as we said goodbye to many of our close friends, and spent time with potential supporters. In 5 weeks, I have been home 3 days. 

 We are constantly reminded that we are only vapors. We are here for a short time and this is not our home. We have purpose, ordained by God, and this life is to glorify Him. We are so grateful that He has chosen to let us have such incredible relationships

We’ve become rather accustomed to living in suitcases, packing our groceries for road trips and saying prayers that the gas in the tank will last longer than anticipated.  We are learning about boundaries, patience, and how little sleep we can live on. We are practicing what it means to be a family with the constant love of Christ encouraging each other when we are all tired of saying goodbye. We also have learned that our family far exceeds DNA, as our children now have Aunties and Uncles around the world. As Lucas says “You can never run out of love!”. 

Last night as Hosanna played on the floor and I read our nightly Bible story Lucas began questioning me.  We were talking about Saul’s jealousy of David. “Mommy, why didn’t David share what Saul wanted?” “Because Lucas, Saul was jealous of David’s happiness, his joy that was in his heart, and that wasn’t something that David could give to Saul” Lucas puzzled for a minute “But we can share the happy with people like we do with our friends!” I was so delighted by Lucas simple observations of the profound. “Yes Lucas, we can share our joy, but there are people who aren’t happy with what God has given them and so they won’t be happy when we try and give it to them either.” My heart ached to help him understand “But we always keep trying my son. We always keep trying to show them the happy God gives us.” he quickly bounded off the bed and began raving about tomorrow’s story which he knows by heart….Saul chasing David around with a spear! Lucas is beginning to understand the purpose God has given His people. It’s about sharing joy and love. To indestructible elements of life with Jesus. That is why we are here in Indianapolis right now. That is why we are going to France, and Africa. To share with people what we have in abundance…

 the love and joy that comes from the Wellspring of Life!!!

 

To help us get to France (and West Africa!!) and reunited with our teammates Eric and Melissa Davis, please consider a monthly contribution or email us to sign up for our bimonthly newsletters!

Andi.cameron@pbti.org or

Bart.cameron@pbti.org

 

 

 

One-day giving opportunity, today ONLY!

Dear friends,

Today we have a chance to give above and beyond what our money says,  the North Texas giving day. Your dollars go further today, September 19, 2013! Please click the link below and give to our ministry with Pioneer Bible Translators. Gifts of $25 and more TODAY ONLY will be matched up to 8%, but you must give through this special website.   Make sure to include “to the ministry of Bart & Andi Cameron” in the notes field when you give. Thank you!

DonorBridgeTX.org

Thank you for being part of the vital support system of our family as we journey with God on our way to West Africa. If you have any questions please feel free to write to bart@bartcameron.com or call us at (765) 506-4413. Thanks again!

~Bart~

Where in the World are Bart & Andi Cameron?

Hello friends!!! We are so glad to share that we have been calling and visiting people, connecting and sharing about what God is doing in our lives. We have people joining us financially, long term with monthly donations, and we have those giving one time gifts and all of this is surrounded by people’s prayers. We want to share with you a unique opportunity to support us! On Thursday, September 19, the North Texas Giving Day offers a special matching donation program. For Pioneer Bible Translators, our office is in Dallas, so our donors can be located anywhere in the world and still give on this special day. Every donation will be matched, up to 8%, for any donation given. That means everyone’s gift is worth more! All of these donations MUST be given online, and we will not be given the website until Thursday morning at around 7 am. We will post the website on Facebook, and we also have a list of people who want the web address texted to their mobile phones. If you are interested but wish to just leave a comment here, we will post the website on our blog Thursday morning.

I was cruising YouTube for a segment from the old television show (Back before dish and streaming) “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”  On this show, a cartoon antagonist is created and wreaks some very unusual havoc on a specific place. For example, said antagonist might steal all the lions from the Indianapolis Zoo, or something of the sort. Three kids are chosen who have some geographical knowledge and represent different parts of the world. These kids get to help catch the antagonist by answering different clues about where the “bad guy” is hiding out. The host leads them through several games that each gives them a clue. I loved this show when I was a kid. So why am I bringing up the 90’s?

Two reasons. First, when we get to West Africa it will be like going back in time in some ways. Some places we will be might have WiFi but no electricity outside of a generator. While we are in West Africa, we will wash clothes with a washboard and a tub of water. We won’t have television; though on special occasions we might have a movie night from DVD’s we watch on the computer.  Also, like this show, our previous experiences will have a huge impact on our ability to transition. The kids on the show were not your average kids. They had studied big time, and had a knowledge far exceeding that of my 8 year old brain. We have studied books, people, and even blogs of those who have gone before us. We have allowed mentors to challenge our methods of interaction with everything from speaking to individuals, to speaking to churches, even to posting things on Facebook. We have had friends drill us with questions so that when we are put on the spot we have confidence in the answers we give.

Second, this show makes me think of what it might seem like we are doing. Sometimes people ask us questions about how our vacations go…meaning our visits with churches, and are curious about what we do all day. We definitely do not have the average American day. Now that both of us have finished classes, one is usually with the kids while the other hosts meetings, calls individuals and churches, organizes to-do lists for the smaller things like vaccines and oil changes and sends thank-you cards, writes newsletters and even blogs.

To give a little personal insight into our lives, most of the last two days we have been trying to organize shipping and storing things, and getting our technology updated. We have also begun to buy clothes for our kids for next year, because we were told that there are very few inexpensive clothing places in France. All of our lives MUST fit into small boxes. We have things that we will take to France, things that will be shipped to West Africa, and a small number of things (such as our wedding photo album) that will stay here. As of last June I could fit all of my clothing for every season into 1 suitcase. In a way, we are vagabonds, adventurers eagerly awaiting the next step of our life. Yet, usually, we are embracing the scriptures that say “Fear Not…”, because with the unfamiliar comes trepidation.

In one week we will be heading to Florida for a support raising trip. Yep, another “vacation”, only this one will lead us through Tampa, St. Petersburg, Largo, Lake Wales, Deland, Lake Butler, Keystone Heights, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Melbourne, and Sarasota. We will be in 10 places in 2 weeks and would love to make a connection with you if you live in Florida. (email or call/text, see below). We are blessed by this opportunity to visit with many different people. Would you please take this opportunity to pray for us?

  • Pray that we would have Holy Spirit filled adventurous
  • That our paths would cross with many people interested in supporting us
  • That we would have clear communication with our supporters and others who are curious of what we are doing.
  • That our kids would enjoy this time, and have peace during travel.

We can walk you through regular donations via scheduled electronic bank transfer (monthly EBT), check, debit/credit (available automatically), or cash. There is a special process necessary if you would like to receive tax deductions for those gifts.

Thank you friends!! We are so grateful to have you with us on this journey. We are so eager to see this place to which God is leading us. If you would like to come on board, and support us financially, prayerfully, or by joining our West Africa team, please contact us @

Bart.cameron@pbti.org

Bart’s cell (765) 506-4413

Andi.cameron@pbti.org

or mail us at : 3510 N 1000 W 27                                                                                                                  Converse, IN 46919

Come back soon to see where the Camerons go next, and look back here for the unique website where you can donate and have your one-time gift be worth more! Coming Thursday morning!

Andi

Pouring Into

Luke 6:38

“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

What on earth is the meaning of this verse? I’m sure we have all heard it used in a sermon illustration (probably out of context) regarding giving money. Pastor John Clark at Converse Church of Christ completed a powerful series in May about the offerings we give to God (not just monetary). He mentioned that this verse can be a wrong motive for the ways to bless with money. Might I take this verse and probe through it further? What is our greatest resource here on earth? I am not talking about water, electricity or any of those. I am talking about as believers what has Christ given us that we can use?

Think about it….

Is it love?

Is it life?

When I think about these two answers…and the context of the scripture, it perturbs me that we almost always use it in the context of money. Paper….that we decide the value of. I think it’s more powerful than that. Friends. God ordained our lives. He has given us an incredible value that we can’t take away. It’s easier to say the scripture is about money, because then we can be in distanced control. What about the powerful love in our lives? It’s time to surrender.

I’m almost there. Don’t give up on me yet…sit tight.

As I was reading the above scripture I was able to personalize it into a prayer to God. I challenge you to try it:

“God, I give you my life, knowing you will restore my life with a good measure. My life will be overflowing from me, when pressed down and shaken together it will pour onto my lap and the lives of those around me. God, I know, the measure to which I judge others on their lives, you will use on me. Let the value of my life be my measuring rod…let hope be my ruler. ”

There is a reason I wrote about that verse. Our family just had an amazing weekend of reunion, celebration and ultimately a good “pouring into”.  It affirmed to me that our lives are worthless if we are living out of ourselves and encouraged me over and over that Bart, Lucas, Hosanna and I are following God faithfully in the right direction.

On Friday we drove down to Somerset, Kentucky to celebrate the marriage of one of our amazing college friends Bethany Taylor Dills (York) to a really cool guy named Dan York. We missed the wedding but had a wonderful time with the kids visiting with close friends at the reception. Congratulations Dan & Beth!!

Friday night we stayed at Randy and Stephanie Penwell’s home in Byrdstown, Tennessee. They are our Tennessee parents. Their daughter, Hadassah Penwell (Andi’s Best Friend) is in Zimbabwe, Africa with Eden Children’s village and we were able to Skype with her during the wedding reception. Randy and Stephanie loved on us with words of encouragement, a delicious breakfast, a slow pace, a play ground and puke clean-up (Hosanna got the flu). They poured their “runneth over” into our lives. They let us be who we are…crazy missionaries…close friends…parents…children…and just spent the day encouraging us.

Saturday afternoon we travelled to Owensboro, Kentucky with two very sleepy and happy kids. We rolled into the driveway of the Litsey home at about 7:30. We have known of each other for many years, but as of PMI training last year in Dallas, we became family. James and Lisa Litsey spent 3 years in West Africa, in the town we will be living. They have “given us” their house to rent from a national (just as they did).

We were greeted by Lisa (Mom), Will, Jack, and Sento Litsey. James came home a few hours later, he was in Spain all of last week. We stayed until Monday, and the entire time we were blessed. Fatu, Laura and Sennah were gone to work for part of the time, but Lucas and Hosanna had an amazing time being silly with each of the Litsey gang. Lisa and I were able to sit down for a while and discuss the challenges and blessings of being in West Africa. She told me how to keep water hot all day for tea and where I can buy eggs and get my skirts sewn. Will and Jack warned us about the different types of ants and spiders, and encouraged me with stories of how well the kids will do with language learning. Bart sat at James’s feet and soaked up every ounce of advice for ministering to this people group. By the end of the weekend we were making plans for a time that we could meet again and soak up more of their ministry knowledge about the place that we will call home for the next 15 years.

Amazingly, God puts people in our paths all the time that truly change our worlds. During the weekend we met several people who are eager about financially jumping on board with us and changing lives of the people in West Africa. We are still at just under 24%. We get many onetime gifts from month to month and that radically helps us make ends meet.  To be the most effective we can be, PBT will not let us go to French language school unless we are at 90% funded to our annual board approved budget. Our yearly budget right now is $53,000 and will cover the costs for things such as travel to France, vaccines, health insurance (which at this point we are unable to afford), gas for support raising travel, groceries, internet etc. The biggest part of this year’s budget is coming up fast as we are planning on leaving for France in October and have yet to purchase our travel fare.

We so desire to be in France now, learning the trade language of West Africa so that we can get over there and tell them about Jesus. They don’t know!!! Some of them have never heard the story of Christ’s salvation. Some of them have never seen God’s word or had the chance to come to salvation. We need you now friends!!! Come on board and help us get there! We have one more week of classes and then we are in full fledged support mode!! Contact us if you know of a church that we could present to, or if you would like to set up a meeting with us to hear about our calling!

After the floods…

Greetings readers! We know we haven’t posted in a while, and I wish I could say that we tried as hard as we could. Sorry, but the blog fell to the wayside with our recent move. We hope to be able to re-establish a habit soon of making this regular, because we like writing it and hearing back from you!

We have been through the Indiana flood season and made it through with only minor water spots in the house we are staying in; God protected us from what could have been a lot of damage. It has been an interesting couple weeks, getting out of Texas and trying to settle into temporary housing in Indiana. Let me fill you in on where we stand in terms of our overall journey to West Africa via France language school:

So here’s a big picture… We finished our training in Dallas. We are continuing our online classes, which will be done the last week of June. Right now, we are staying at the missionary house at Rainbow Christian Camp, Converse, Indiana. That’s where my parents work. We just got back from a two-day trip to Richmond, IN to visit Andi’s parents & let them play with our kids 🙂

Now we are trying to settle in to a routine while figuring out what to do about housing. The missionary house we are in can only keep us until the first of June. We have another option on the west side of Indianapolis, and they are not available until the first week of June. However, we don’t want to move in the middle of our last online classes, because they are very intense classes. Also we hope to continue using babysitters and family that we have grown used to in times past. So we would like to find a place that is open now, or in the next couple weeks, where we can stay through at least the end of June, or better, through October (when we hope to be leaving for France for language school). We are hoping for a place that is within short driving distance to family and friends for both our sakes, and for our kids.

So that’s what is going on in the logistics world. For those of you on our ministry team already, thanks so much for your constant prayers and regular financial gifts. We will never be able to express what it means to have people like you behind us constantly and regularly lifting us up to the throne of God. Please keep praying for us to walk in faith, as this is not an easy transition time. Also, and maybe, above all, pray that God will already be moving in the hearts and minds of those with whom we will work in West Africa, that he will reveal himself to them through dreams and visions, and that we will arrive and find people waiting and anxious to hear the Word of God in their language for the first time!

Thanks again for the prayers and support we have gotten from so many of you! Grace & peace,

~Bart~

The Hunt for housing is ON!

Living on the Graduate Institute for Applied Linguistics (GIAL) campus in Dallas has been an awesome blessing for a number of reasons. We are surrounded by missionaries who have been through, or are going through the same transitions and stresses we are in. We have the incredible blessing of being only a half-mile from our teammates Eric & Melissa Davis and have grown very close to them in the past few months. We are on the same campus as the organization we work for (Pioneer Bible Translators) and thus have easy access to our friends and colleagues. PBT has a team counselor who spends time weekly with our team helping us prepare for all the stresses and challenges that another country will bring our way. We wouldn’t have this awesome opportunity if we lived further away.

This brings up a new blessing. Bart and I have also been able to receive counseling….after 7 houses in 5 years; we need a helper to lead us through a perspective change. We would be naïve and arrogant to say that our marriage hasn’t suffered from some serious battles, especially this last 6 months. Bart and I have no doubts about the mutual commitment to our marriage. We knew from the beginning that it would be hard. We even had people tell us we were crazy for getting married so young after so little time dating. I often wonder who called Jesus crazy. Marriage is a powerful symbol. In Ephesians 6:

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.

Do you think that people called Jesus crazy? He claimed He was God. He spoke to rejects & outcasts. Yet He was irresistible. People flocked to Him, because He healed them. Because He was overflowing with love. Not “I love you’s”, not empty promises, not a dead love. A living love.

So yes, Bart and I might be crazy to the love-lost world. A world where love leaves the morning after, a love that doesn’t recognize commitment, vows and covenants, a world that is separated from the all consuming love of God.  I think that over the years, the enemy has begun an all out war on love. He has attempted to cheapen it, weaken it and rob it of value. Marriage is the powerful secret weapon of hope. Bart and I, and the rest of the Christian world must teach love. That is why we are attending counseling. Bart and I are stuck to each other like super-glue. It’s not always pleasant, or fun. It hurts sometimes. Our commitment isn’t a dead commitment. I will continue to strive to submit to my husband, honoring God by faithfulness to Bart.

When I met Bart, my world was unchangeably shaken. He had been raised by a man who not only loved the Lord, but loved his wife. His mom submitted to her husband…not to let him walk on her, but to honor him as the God-given head of the house. His family raised him to cherish his some-day wife. Though my parents tried to instill these same things in me, the men who came and went in my life did not honor God. To marry me, would have seemed crazy to some. Thank God for crazy.

In the last blog I posted I mentioned our upcoming move. We are still searching for free or very inexpensive housing. Between April & Mid-September we hope to be raising the rest of our needed support. Bart is currently taking an Area Studies class that focuses on Muslim based countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Bart is taking 2 classes that begin May 14th and will require us to be settled in somewhere. One class we will be taking together. It is a class that involves us learning a language over a 7 week period by regularly meeting with an everyday person from a different country. I will spare the details. We hope to be living relatively close to family so that we can count on them to help with the kids during these more time-consuming classes.

We are moving, we hope, on April 16th. Our theoretical plan is that Lucas, Hosanna and I will fly out of Texas after the house has been completely packed and the trailer loaded. Bart will then drive from Texas to our unspecified home in Indiana. Immediately, this terrifies me, because driving alone over such a distance leaves a million risks. Then I think….”Come on Andi, your moving to Africa….to unpaved roads and poisonous snakes. Deal with it”. It will be much simpler if Bart drives, and we fly. He will have the opportunity to sleep at some point during the trip, whereas with both children, there’s no chance of us pulling over and sleeping. Every time we pull over….their little eyes pop open. Trust us, we tried it. So here is where YOU come in. Do you know of a place in Indiana that has missionary housing, ministry housing or something similar that would be available from April 17th through the beginning of October? Please contact us through our emails below.

Thank you friends, for following this journey God has given us. Thank you for your support and your prayers which have already changed our lives!

Andi <><

bart@bartcameron.com

Andi@bartcameron.com

A lifetime of change

This semester has been interesting to say the LEAST. Bart and I have entirely switched roles, if that is possible. I have been taking one class, and he has been being an awesome dad to our kids, taking care of the house and letting me have the time I need to learn and absorb all that “Missiological Anthropology” has to offer.

Let’s backtrack for a second. Many of you may be wondering why we are still here in Dallas. Our classes are online from this point forward and we have very few connections here. Let me take a second and answer that question, and then follow up with our future plans…er…options!

The Residency, our hands-on/mentor-led practicum ended in December. This practicum was a first time for everybody, so we gathered together with our teammates and one of our Professors and talked about the ups and downs of the whole experience. We spent Christmas with a church family here in Dallas and joyfully welcomed snow! In January I started class, and Bart became stay-at-home papa.  We have stayed in Dallas while taking online classes for 3 main reasons. First, our teammates are here, and the closer we build our relationship stateside, the more likely we are to stay healthy and functioning well overseas.  Our second reason is stability for our kids. We have lived in 4 houses in Lucas’ life and 3 in Hosanna’s. We understand that life on the mission field will mean a lot of travel, but we are trying to transition and prepare them gradually, meaning not dragging them all over creation if we can help it. Lastly, finances. We have not had the opportunities to raise support as we would have liked while in Dallas, because most of our supporters are in Tennessee & Indiana. Support is a challenge to raise over the phone. Not impossible, but definitely not ideal.

We have regular meetings with our on-site team counselor, and Eric & Melissa Davis (our teammates!). These meetings are an awesome opportunity for us to evaluate our personality types through many different tests, discuss our conflict resolution styles, and be guided into activities that help us grow closer and more effective as a team. Melissa and I have been getting together regularly to pray for one another. It has been a remarkable experience to get to be a part of their lives as we both prepare for a new and terrifying journey! Eric & Bart will be working closely together when we get to West Africa in order to do what is known as trekking. Taking the New Testament, by whatever means available to villages surrounding the town we will be in. Melissa and I will be making relationships with the women and children around us at first. Our most effective means of spreading the gospel is by competence in the language. This requires Language Acquisition School in France. Yes…you heard right, France.  This leads me to the next item at hand.

Bart recently received an email that his class that was to begin in early March has been cancelled. It has been moved to May. In May he has another very challenging class (as do I, the same class).  This means that neither of us have class for nearly 10 weeks. We can’t simply sit here in Dallas when we know that we need to be raising support. This said, we have gone back and forth with our options. We absolutely need to be settled somewhere by May for a very intense class that we are both taking. We can do one of two things: make an extended trip in late February, or early March and come back in time for the arrival of Eric & Melissa’s first baby (Sophia!). Then move the middle of April in order to be settled into a location for partnership development and our final class. Or we can stay here through March, until baby Sophia arrives, and then move and do some more partnership development before our May classes. This is our most likely option. Next we have to decide upon a place to live….THAT will be for our next blog!

A short recap of the happenings of the last month. Bart’s dad Bruce was on his sabbatical time and paid us a weeklong visit. We were so happy to have him come, and the kids were ecstatic. Even Hosanna was thrilled that Papaw got her from her crib in the morning! A friend gifted us with the Insanity workout, so we have been able to continue exercising (crucial for the amount of at home work we do!). Lucas just received his first big boy hair cut. He now has “Spikey” hair and loves it. Hosanna FINALLY received her first tooth!!!! The bottom left front tooth came in!

I am busy trying to finish up school, and possibly plan a Texan early 3rd & 1st Birthday Party for Lucas & Hosanna so that friends here can celebrate both birthdays with us. Bart is trying to stay on top of….well…everything! He has recently taken a twice a week cleaning position for one of PBT’s older buildings, as well as being a full time dad, keeping track of our finances (this side) and Newsletter writing! I am so blessed to get to celebrate our 6th Valentine’s Day together.

Thank you for taking your time to read this! We are happy to have you as a part of our story. God is doing big things in our lives right now and we need your prayers! We also want to hear from you! If you have any questions or comments please let us know below! You can also email us at bart@bartcameron.com

Andi

Figuring out faith

“I really don’t want to do this move Bart. It’s the middle of the semester and we’re already stressed out.” “I know Andi, but unless we can come up with $1,000 more in monthly support in the next week, this move is what we have to do.”

 If it were up to us we would leave now, move back to Tennessee, or maybe even make a trail out west somewhere and give up this crazy “foolishness for the sake of Christ” (1 Corinthians 4:10). Yet we can’t. We have died to the easy way out of our calling. According to Paul, Christ gave some to be teachers, preachers, apostles, prophets…and so on (Ephesians 4), all so that the body of Christ might be built up. When Bart and I entered into this New Covenant with Christ we also entered into His calling, and became wholly His servants. What is truly amazing is that we became heirs to His kingdom, His blessings and His providence as well.  In Matthew 5:45 we read that God lets His rain fall on the just and the unjust, but the radical difference for the believer is that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) and that His blessings unfold to the thousandth generation for His followers.

Point blank? God is good, ALWAYS. He is constant. He will provide EXACTLY what we need even when we think we need more, or we have to work harder for it. God LOVES His children and because of that we are blessed to be refined by His hand so that He can mold us into His image. Praise Jesus.

These last few weeks I have gotten several emails reminding me that I have a balance on my student account and that I cannot register for my necessary spring classes until it is paid. I was supposed to have registered by the end of last week. Robbing Peter to pay Paul has become a regular thing for us, and reading one more bill made me sick. Then I checked my Face book messages. A short note from a close friend was in my inbox. She was asking me if I had received the check her family had sent yet. I was puzzled and began to mentally sort through the donor checks I had dropped off at the office to be processed the day before. The Bart came in and handed me a letter that he had just gathered from the mail box. The letter was from the same friend and with it was a check for a sizeable amount. The letter specified that this amount was for school exclusively. Now Bart and I could empty our savings to pay for rent and use the donation to begin the payment for schooling. What is amazing about this is that this check was a onetime gift that this person described as “God told me to give you this much.” This is one confirmation that we are supposed to be doing this. God answers our prayers through you.

We have reached 23% of our needed budget. That is enough to pay one tuition bill, rent and electricity, and some fuel with small groceries after. This doesn’t include health insurance, life insurance, phone bills, most groceries or all of school tuition. Obviously, this is not a healthy way to live. Our stress levels are high most of the time and so we have had to make a tough decision. We have decided to move out of our apartment into one of the trailers on campus. I am thanking God that our landlord has let us have this option. We would love to stay here and not move in the middle of writing papers. The above quote is from an earlier conversation Bart and I had. This move seems overwhelming to me. We will need to get at least one week ahead in our class. Our kids have just gotten adjusted to this house and Lucas is sleeping through the night again. Please pray about this financial need. If you feel God has led you to it, please see the end of this blog for how to support us financially.

ICOM, the International Conference on Missions is only two weeks away. It could provide an awesome opportunity for Partnership Development (fundraising). We have been given a gift to help us get there, and we are borrowing a much smaller car than what we own to help us not use so much gas. We are thrilled to be able to touch base with other missionary friends and maybe connect with some churches. This year, ICOM is being held in Indianapolis, Indiana. We will be spending 3 days in Indy, a few days in Converse, Indiana with Bart’s family, and some in Richmond with my family.  On our way back to Texas we will be stopping in Knoxville again to make some more connections. If in any of these places you would be interested in touching base with us about a support opportunity, or a church connection please contact us!

Friends and family, thank you for sticking with us. It has been far too long between blogs (hence the length). For all who are already on board as our prayer team or supporting us financially, we give you a big ol’ Texan YEEHAW! And thank you!! If you would like more information about what we are doing with Pioneer Bible Translators contact us below!

Andi C

bart@bartcameron.com

andi@bartcameron.com

 

Make checks payable to Pioneer Bible Translators without our names on them and mail them to:

Bart & Andi Cameron
3510 N. 1000 W. 27
Converse, Indiana 46919

 

If you would like to give a personal gift without a tax deduction, send a care package (she likes Oreos), or to be in touch with us here in Dallas, here is our info:

Bart & Andi Cameron
7500 W Camp Wisdom Rd
Box 64
Dallas, Texas 75236

Changing plans…dreaming on…

“Look! There!” I whisper-shouted to Bart.

“Wher…..OH! Lucas! Look at the big spider! Do you see it?”

“Yes…OHHH! Big Spider!!” The tarantula crossed the ground right in front of us. We were walking home from having dinner at a friend’s house and the sun had been down for several minutes. The streetlights illuminated the silhouette of the large spider and we explained to Lucas that when he sees spiders like this, he is to leave the room and come get us. So is the beginning of our new life. To reassure you, Tarantula’s are pretty docile, only attacking when pinned. Currently we are more at risk with mosquitos than any of the more commonly known Texan terrors.

The last few weeks have flown past. We have met some really extraordinary people, and we rejoice that the Father is sending out so many amazing people to serve overseas. We were blessed to learn that I do not have to take online courses these six weeks. Bart is taking a linguistics course and we are both involved in the new residency program here. The residency program is focused on teaching us how to reach out to different people groups here in Dallas in a similar way to what we will be doing in West Africa. Dallas is a HUGE city; the U.S. Census Bureau says that there are over 1,223,229 people living in the Dallas, Fort Worth area.  We have a few different options of how we are going to reach out, and develop relationships with specific people groups. You may be asking…”So what do you mean “reach-out?”

        By reaching out, we mean finding a people group, and learning how we can become connected to them. This could be by visiting a shop one family owns and runs and learning what we need to do to start communicating with them.It could mean helping them with a need they have. There are also several churches that have minority people groups in them, and we could become involved with the ministries to those people. We will have regular meetings with our coach, and do some decompressing.  They will ask us questions like “What are your expectations of this ministry”, “What discouraged you about that?”, “What made that so effective?”  We also meet once a month with Rebecca Pruett, our Director of Training. She is leading our Ministry Planning workshops and will be helping us become as prepared for the ministry we are stepping into, as possible. She will help us understand our place in Pioneer Bible Translators. We will examine our dreams, and where we see ourselves in the years ahead, and how Bible Translation mixes with that. We will figure out the most effective ways to plan ministry in another country. We will write out our expectations of the West Africa, and what we think our ministry their will look like. We will write out what we think the end of our ministry will be and discuss these with Rebecca, who has been where we are going and done what we are doing.

Now for something really cool, and rather amazing. For likely the first time in PBT history two different missionary families who had no idea of each other’s plans, came to Dallas for classes at the same time, with the same location and work in mind. They knew each other vaguely, are of the same ages, and in similar places regarding Partnership Development (prayer support and financial backers). If you haven’t figured it out, we are one of these couples, and the other couple is Eric and Melissa Davis. God brought us here to Dallas and has been reconfirming his mission for our life. New doors open all the time. Including a new date for our departure. 

       We had initially hoped to be leaving for France in March. Yet, after some prayer and time with some of the leaders here in Dallas, we realize that is not the wisest decision. It would be much wiser for us to visit West Africa for a short trip to prepare us for the year that we will be there. We are praying about leaving in July or August but will give more details later.

We are grateful for your prayers and are constantly reminded of your blessings to us. I have been able to take these 6 weeks off from classes because I had already completed the class we had anticipated me doing now. Bart is currently finishing some assignments from the previous 6 weeks and has begun a linguistics course online. In October I will begin my next class, as will Bart and if things keep going this smoothly we should be doing Partnership Development full time by March!

         As far as budget goes, we are $2,000 dollars less than our estimated monthly budget. God provides weekly in amazing ways and we rejoice because His mercies are new every day!

       We would love to have you on our team for prayer or financially! If you are interested in supporting us, please write us an email or drop a comment at the end of this post. If you wish to donate now, please make checks payable to Pioneer Bible Translators. Please DO NOT write our names on the checks, simply attach a post-it with our names on it. When we submit the donations our Dallas team will then send us a tax deduction receipt, which we will forward on to you. Please include your address so we can keep track and get a thank you out to you!

Send any donations to:

Bart Cameron

3510 N 1000 W 27

Converse, IN 46919

Thank you!

The first week in Dallas

Hello Friends and Family from the heat and humidity of Texas!

The last few months were overflowing with blessings as we connected with many of you about prayer and financial support. People began to go out of their way to encourage us daily by lifting us up in prayer. We were amazed to see the divine appointments that came about and we are so grateful to all of you for following this adventure.

 As many of you know, we made our departure from Converse, Indiana on August 18th. The week prior had been full of packing…packing…and more packing! We said excited and tear-filled goodbyes to our family and friends then proceeded to haul the trailer away. Our first true step of faith was driving our Jeep and rented trailer full of our belongings down to Tennessee to visit with family and make some connections with supporters.  Last August we had made a trip to Tennessee to help my (Andi’s) brother and his family move to Johnson. We hauled most of their house in a small trailer and managed to kink up the transmission in the Jeep…just a tad. So, as we had the motorcycle, our things, and a queen-size mattress set on the trailer this time, we were living Mark 11:24-25 which is about praying with expectation that God will answer you. We prayed that God would honor this trip as we followed His calling…and guess what?!? He did! We made it through the Jellico mountain pass and to Knoxville, TN. We dropped off the mattress set and motorcycle to some family and friends, and we and our tires breathed a sigh of relief.  We spent an amazing and emotional few days in Tennessee, which has been home to our hearts for quite some time.

Then we began the 15-20 hour drive south to Dallas. Honestly….it went MUCH better than it could have. There were only a few times of wailing kids, and sleepy eyes that caused us to pull over to the side of the road.  Much thanks to God for audio books (for Bart) and good dance music (for Andi) that kept our bleary eyes open as we drove through the night and pulled onto the campus at 7 am. The apartment that we are renting in Dallas is on the main GIAL (Graduate Institute for Applied Linguistics) campus. It is also fully furnished! Many times, people who come to live here are either on furlough or planning to leave the country soon, so the apartments are stocked with everything from placemats to T.V.’s. Bart walked in the front door and went straight to the master bedroom that was made up and furnished and fell asleep.

We have been in semi-regular contact with several different friends here who arranged for an unpacking party at 9 a.m. We were blessed to have strong arms to help us unload our trailer and friendly familiar faces to help us begin this insane transition.  Our apartment has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a dining area, kitchen, washer & dryer, central air, internet, and a living room. We are well taken care of! We spent the first several days sharing meals with blessed friends until we could get to the grocery. Panera Bread and Tom Thumb, two local businesses, make regular donations of leftover bread to our dining hall for the students and families that live here. There are also almost daily fresh produce extra’s (slim pickins many times) from the dining hall. We live across the street from the playground and Lucas reaps those benefits often.

On Sunday we attended Crossroads Christian Church, where a friend from college is ministering to the college age students. The culture shock of the Dallas/Fort Worth area was emphasized as we walked into a church that serves with over 4,000 people. It was incredible to see such beautiful diversity as black, Latino, white, and Asian, all served under the same roof. There is a fountain centered on the front drive, and a fountain on the inside between the large staircases. They had at least 3 parking areas. My first reaction was “Whoa!”  As a girl from a small city, and from a large congregation, I wasn’t expecting my reaction. This isn’t the first mega church we have attended.  My instinct was skeptical of everything from the music, to the kids programs. I didn’t want to trust the mega church atmosphere. Yet, I was loved to it. We were blessed from the moment we entered. We were greeted with genuine smiles and were given directions as to how to drop Lucas off in child’s care.

Here is the point of this story:  As missionaries, we remind ourselves often to love the “least” of these. We are told to reach to the outcasts and love them to Christ, and that there will always be poor. I think Christ’s mission was love. He hated hypocrites, and despised those who glorified themselves, yet His purpose was salvation. He said it would be very hard for the rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but that doesn’t mean we forget them. This church was full of every extreme. Some wore business suits and others jeans. There was a wide variety of ministries to almost every need. It would have been easy to find a million things to dislike about this church….but that’s the same with every church. This was outside of my comfort zone, yet their ministry was thriving and their teachings were Biblical. God is honoring their ministry in a big way. As we left an older gentlemen made a point to thank us for bringing our kids. As a mom, that spoke to me. In the car I was processing the experience and Bart had a coy grin on his face. I asked him what he thought and after a few thoughts he said…”You won’t believe this…” “What?” I replied sternly. “They are debt free; both building and campus is paid off.” My mouth dropped open. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who is able to do more than we can ever ask or imagine according to His power that is as work within us.” (Eph 3:20) I was floored that such stewardship would be demonstrated from a church of that size. I want to remind you each to keep your eyes open for the God in all of us. He made us in His image. When it seems easy to think negative, or jump to conclusions about someone, hold on to the truth that we each bear His image. We are each capable of amazing things for the name of God. Also, remember who you are representing. This church of 4,000 people stepped up to the plate and demonstrated God’s love in a big way to Bart & I. Let’s bear our crosses together, standing firm in our faith and uplifting one another in the name of Christ.

Please know that we miss you already! We rejoice to be where God has us, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t miss you and pray for you often. You are along for the ride with us and we want to hear about what’s happening in your lives! Email us, or comment and share with us about how you and your families are. Tell us your adventures, or what has you laughing.

My laugh of the day was Lucas saying “Mommy, I need help. With my rooster. I need help!” He had been playing with his Lego Farm animals. “What’s wrong with your rooster Lucas?” He held up the two blocks that make the middle of the rooster. “His body broke!!”

 Andi