“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word,
to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—
that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
~ Colossians 4:3-4 ~
As we enter the year of 20/20 vision, we ask that you pray for clarity. It has been said that there are three levels of language acquisition – academic knowledge, basic conversation, and cultural meanings. As we transition to language school, we will be working on the first level. By the end of this year, our goal is to attain the second level. But when we arrive in Ecuador, we will still need that third level of language acquisition. Every country has its own vernacular. We have that in the United States – terms and meanings shift as you travel from Boston to Alabama, and from California to West Virginia. The way you interact with people changes.
Paul is asking the Colossian believers to pray for clarity as he shares the gospel. He says, “Pray that I would not hinder the gospel from going out because I communicate wrongly. Pray that God would help me say the right things at the right times.” This is our request as well. As missionaries enter different cultures, there are many things that can be miscommunicated. This can provide humor and “break the ice,” but it could also offend the national and we would lose any other opportunity we might have had. As you pray for us, and as you pray for missions, pray that we would grasp the language and culture so that we can share the Gospel with clarity!
We have done a lot of personal traveling this month. At the beginning, Lisa went to Minnesota for the adoption of three of her nephews. Simon spent several days with Lisa's parents as we went to New York City for a quick getaway. We also traveled to the other end of Pennsylvania to see Jeff's family. What a blessing to spend so much time with family!
In addition to family time, we have been working hard in preparation for our move to Texas. We are almost packed and ready to go! This is an exciting time and we are so thankful to be taking this next step. Last Sunday we were able to update a supporting church on where we've been, where we're headed and how they can pray for us. We have specific prayer request for language school listed below.
We leave for Language School this weekend, but we have a quick family visit planned along the way. We officially leave for Texas on Monday, January 6th, and we will be departing from Virginia. The trip is almost 1,600 miles, and we hope to arrive in Edinburg, Texas on Thursday, January 9th. For more information on our upcoming itinerary, please click HERE.
Prayer Items for Language School:
We have a long trip ahead of us, and we will have long days in the car Monday-Thursday. Please pray for safety as we travel, and that God will help us to be patient and aware of His help. We will have a car-top carrier and a cargo carrier. Please pray that God will protect our belongings during our overnight stops.
2. Language School
Simon - the school provides childcare during our class hours (8AM-12PM). Simon struggles with nurseries and is not accustomed to being away from us. Please pray that he will adjust quickly to the childcare workers.
Time - that we will be wise stewards of our time and learn to balance school, family and social interaction with the Latin American students.
Marriage – we’ve been told by numerous people that the intensity of language learning can be taxing on the marriage relationship. Please pray that God will help us to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit with one another.
3. Spiritual Growth
As part of our language acquisition, we will be assigned to a Spanish-speaking church. We will also attend daily chapel services in Spanish. This is good because the language immersion is profitable. However, Lisa will not understand most of what is being communicated. Please pray that she will be able to glean from God’s Word in spite of these challenges.
Pray that we will be sensitive to what God has to teach us through this next phase of ministry. We have much to learn in and out of the classroom.
While these challenges can seem daunting, we are so excited to be entering this next phase of ministry. Recently, we’ve been talking about how God is always good, and while this will be a difficult transition, God is very good and kind to allow us to arrive at this point! As Paul said to Timothy, “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service” (1 Timothy 1:12). Thank you for serving alongside of us through your prayer and financial support!
Praise and Prayer:
1. Praise: Family time this month 2. Praise: Privilege of serving the Lord 3. Pray: Finalizing travel arrangements to Texas 4. Pray: Transition to Language School 5. Pray: Wisdom and consistency in parenting
For a printable PDF, please click HERE.