“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:
3510 N 1000 W 27
Converse, IN 46919