Who Are We
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Here is a picture of the Senegal flag to help you color yours.
And here is a map of Africa that shows where Senegal is.
Thanks for praying for us!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Well, it has been an incredibly long day, a long week actually, so we are all off to bed soon. After being awake all night waiting for our plane, sleeping some on the plane, missing a connection and waiting for another, and then arriving in Moline and having Addie run up to us, we are emotionally and physically exhausted! We sure have missed our little girl and are so glad to be back with her! She grew this week! Hopefully she will be ready for bed soon, we sure are.
Friday, December 7, 2007
One of our options Wayne mentioned in an earlier blog. John Huffman school is a Senegalese run Christian school in Thies. It is an elementary school, run on more of the French system (I don't understand all what that means) and is completely in French. We would love for Addie to be able to go to school here. She would be around a lot of Senegalese children (actually, she may be the only white girl there!) and would really learn French well. It would also be a great mission field, for Addie and for us. Even though it is a Christian school, 75% of the kids that go there are actually Muslim! The parents know it is a great school and are told up front that the Bible is taught there, but they want a good education for their kids and so send them there. It seemed to us from visiting that the kids are saturated with the Bible, which is such an exciting evangelistic opportunity! It is actually in the Senegalese constitution that there must be freedom to teach religion in all schools, so they take full advantage of this! We would like to further explore this option but feel that it might be good to try with Addie. We know that there will be challenges to her going to school here. She will learn to read and write French only, it is a French system which is more demanding and less creative...but we have been encouraged by one missionary who grew up going to French schools that we can look at it as an adventure to help her through!
Another very good option that we have is an MK school in Dakar. We visited Dakar Academy yesterday and were very impressed with it. It has about 250 students from K to 12th grade and the missionaries and MK's here are very happy with DA. They have a great library, nice facilities, and even dorms (we will think about that later!). The downside to this is that DA is in Dakar and we would like to live in Thies. We also realize that as Addie will probably go to college in the states (yes, I'm already thinking about college for my baby girl!) it would be really good to have her in the American school system to be able to function better in college in the states.
Well, this is just one of many decisions that we face in the coming years as we transition into a new life and ministry in Senegal. The trip though has given us a good picture of what is here and gotten us excited about living here and bringing Addie back with us next time we come!
We leave tonight for home, so our next update will be from our apartment in Iowa! We hear there is some snow on the ground now, so we are gearing up to have to wear warm clothes soon! Actually, we told my mom to bring some to the airport as we really didn't want to pack any for here.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
We also spent the earlier part of the day with another missionary who has a book store and a study center. When we arrived, she was going through an Emmaus Correspondence Course with a new believer. After seeing the ministry she is involved in, we went to the market (simiar to our earier shopping experience).
The final randomness from the day was when we took a taxi from Dan and Angie's back to where we're staying. As you may have gathered from Hilary's earlier blog, we didn't exactly just give the driver an address that he plugged into google maps. After a slight detour and Hilary only mixing up left and right in French once (I didn't even try); we made it home.
Every day we gain more insight into the culture and several practical advice on what to bring and what not to bring. These insights are exactly what we were praying to gain from our trip. Praise God for the many people who have gone before us and are helping us in so many ways.
Another aspect we found very encouraging was some specific stories from Dan and Angie about how friendly the Senegalese people are. The more time we've spent here, the more we gain a love for the Senegalese. This has truly been a great trip!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
First, the roads. I really have no words to describe the road system here. Now, they tell me it is not always this bad. The city is completely under construction now because in about a year they have planned a big worldwide Muslim conference here in Dakar. They are trying to get the road system up to speed, and that means a lot of detours now. Now the detours here are not just take this street this way. Often you detour from a paved road, onto a partially finished (meaning still dirt) exit ramp, and then onto a side street that has construction materials from the house being built halfway in the street. There are no street signs either, at least not that I have seen. All this to say, one of my big fears about moving here is getting lost! I will probably only go places with Wayne at first and if I do go by myself, take only roads I know. I will survive somehow.
Another aspect of life that I will have to get used to is the shopping here. In the States, I'm not even that much of a bargain shopper. If I really want or need something, I will pay what they ask! If it's too much, I won't get it. That's not how things work here. We were in a market buying clothes today, and the people looked at the color of our skin (the Wolof word for 'gringo' is 'tubob') and when they saw how white we were (yes, I really stick out!) they would ask a price way far above what we ended up paying for it. Luckily, our hostess and guide, Alice, speaks Wolof very well and really impressed them. She impressed me too! She could get them down below half of their first asking price! I just nodded and followed her when she would start to leave the shop. Now, we're not really ripping these people off by not paying what they ask and bartering, but it is really going to take some getting used to for me. I don't like confrontation! And that is what it feels like to me. The good thing in all of this is that Wayne thinks shopping will be fun here, so I might get him to go with me some!
This evening we had a nice dinner with the staff of ITES (the college) and tomorrow we will get together again with a couple who just moved here and I'm sure can give us some advice on our upcoming adventure!
Monday, December 3, 2007
Christian Hospital - They have started a hospital that meets many physical needs. Oh, and they also give gospel presentations through a video that is played in the waiting room.
Christian school - A private school has been started with about 300 kids. About 75% of the kids are Muslim. This is even in light of the fact that all the teachers are Christian and the school states up front they will teach the Bible. Also, at Christmas, the parents of the kids are invited and a gospel presentation is given to them! This school also meets the needs of poorer children in that around 60 kids every year are sponsered so they can recieve an education they would not normally be able to afford. (Side note: It's interesting that the constitution in Senegal actually allows freedom of religion in the public schools! If someone wanted to teach Bible, the government could not tell them no.)
Bible College - I will give more details about this later. We met with our team leader and his wife this morning and they shared with us the vision of the college and too many details for this post. However, the story of how the college purchased land is awesome. There is a plot of land being developed on the outskirts of Thies where land is being sold very cheap at the current time (but Thies is expanding at a very rapid rate and the vaue will definitely increase). When Adama met with the developer, he noticed plots were reserved for mosques. Adama remarked, why have you not reserved plots for a church? Since the government will grant land for religious buildings and is not supposed to discriminate, the developer was embaressed and offered some land at no additional fee so a church can be built. Also, the developer offered a plot of land equal to what they sought to purchase for the Bible College if they promised to use half of it for a public primary school. So, God gave twice as much land for the same price and an additional ministry opportunity!!
We were extremely encouraged with what is taking place in Thies and really enjoyed our visit. It is a much smaller city than Dakar with much less traffic (which is very attractive to this country boy). We have not decided yet that we will live there; but we were able to gain very important information on what our ministry would be there, what life would be like, and some schooling options for Addie.
Please pray that God will give us wisdom as we process the information and see what life is like in Dakar in the remaining days of our trip.
Praise God that our jet lag was not that bad! We have had 2 really good nights sleep.
Thanks you so much for your prayers.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
The trip went very well. We arrived in Dakar with no problems early Saturday morning. After breakfast with one of the missionaries, we drove (or were driven, the roads are crazy here!) to Thies, about 50 miles inland. After a nap and lunch at a small hotel, we toured Thies and saw many of the works that are going on here. Wayne will share more about these in a later post, but I want to tell you about my weekend.
One reason that we chose Senegal was that both Wayne and I would have an opportunity for teaching, Wayne at the Bible College and I will help with training the pastors wives. They do this through weekend retreats which just started about a year ago. God made it happen so that I would be able to see one of these happen this weekend! I spent a couple of hours with the women and it was this time with the people that really confirmed even in my first day that God wants us to be here. Now, it was all in French, so I really didn't understand much of what was said (I have taken French and am even now understanding more, but yesterday I was sooo tired that it was difficult to concentrate). There were some ladies there who could translate for me, so I wasn't totally lost. Let me just share a few of the things that stuck out to me.
One of the activities that they did they called a "listening prayer". One of the ladies would share her prayer requests, and then the others would think of a word of encouragement or verse, share it with her, then all would lay their hands on her and one would pray. It was a very encouraging and powerful time. After the first lady shared, people started sharing verses with her to encourage her, and everybody had thought of the same 2 passages, including me! The Holy Spirit was at work to encouarge this young lady and to build up the body of Christ. And it is wonderful to be able to be a part of that body even in a culture where I am brand new and uncomfortable.
Near the end of this time, as some women were praying for another, I could hear at that time the Muslim prayer call. Now, the mosque was fairly close, and the windows were all open, so it was quite loud! It struck me at that time that no matter how loud they cried out and how many times a day, they were empty prayers to a god who would not help them. We were praying to the God of the universe who can hear and answer our every need! What a great God we have.
Another activity they did was skits. They were learning about the Christian Family this weekend, and so their skits were on what it was to be a good husband and wife. Wayne and I recently attended a marriage conference, and I realized yesterday that we teach things in very cultural forms. Many of the things that we will teach, we will have to learn before we do. I mean that we must learn how best to culturally communicate God's truth which never changes.
We returned to Dakar this afternoon (in horrendous traffic! we almost ran over a cow, but it was in the crosswalk, so we let it go) and are spending a relaxing evening with our hosts, Alice and Marcy Statler. We are excited about what God will do the rest of the week as He continues to confirm His call for us!
Please keep praying!
Pray that many more of our questions will be answered (many were this weekend, so that is a praise!)
We still really miss Addie. I got to talk to mom tonight and heard Addie a bit! Pray that it would not be difficult for me this week (as the tears are still coming :)
We will update again soon!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Thursday 11/29 - Drive to Moline, IL and spend night near airport (cry a bit when Addie leaves)
Friday 11/30 - Depart from Moline, IL at 6:00 am. Spend 7 hours in the Atlanta airport (shop, read, nap, eat etc...) and depart from Atlanta at 4:00 pm.
Saturday 12/1 - Arrive in Dakar, Senegal at 5:00 am (Senegal time is 6 hours ahead of Central) Have breakfast with the Penneys (WV team leader in Senegal) and then drive to Thies (about 5o miles). I will attend the women's classes going on this weekend, and we will both see the site where the Bible College will be built.
Sunday 12/2 - Attend church at Eglise Evangelique Baptiste du Thies (yes, it will be in French!) and then return to Dakar in the afternoon.
Monday 12/3 - spend the morning and lunch with Dan and Esther Penney. He is the team leader in Senegal and will be able to share with us the vision and goals of the team. In the evening, we will attend a class.
Tuesday 12/4- Morning - tour Dakar and shop for Senegalese clothing. Tuesday evening we will have dinner with the staff of ITES (the Bible College)
Wednesday 12/5 - Lunch with another missionary in Dakar.
Thursday 12/6 - Visit Dakar Academy (the MK school) in the morning and then have lunch and dinner with several other missionaries.
Friday 12/7 - Open so far (we might need it to rest from the busy week!)
Saturday 12/8 - Depart from Dakar at 3:25 am (yes, there is only one flight back to Atlanta). Arrive in Moline, IL at 11:30am where Addie will run into our arms and gives us big hugs and kisses (we hope!)
We will try to post a few times to let you all know how things are going for us!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
In the past year and a half, Wayne and I have come to a conclusion…we are not normal! Not many families spend half of the month on the road, shop for baby toys that travel well, and have babies that have been in over 20 states before their first birthday! But that has been our life thus far. Things are changing though, this week in fact! Our travel will be dying down as we transition out of
Here are some things we hope to accomplish on our trip.
-We do not yet know which city we will live in, so we will have an opportunity to visit both
-One ministry that I hope to be involved in when we move there will be teaching weekends for women. They hold 3 of these weekends a year, and one will be the weekend we arrive! I will get the chance to observe and meet some of the people there on Saturday.
-The Bible college that
-Addie just turned one, but we are already thinking about where we will send her to school! We would like to check out our options as that will probably help us decide where to live.
-We have heard nothing but good things about the WorldVenture team we will be joining in
-We are moving to Dallas 3 weeks after we get back, but we still don’t know what of our stuff we will keep and move with us, and what we will just get rid of and start over with in Senegal. On this trip, we hope to scope out what is available there and what we really want to bring with us.
-Meet Senegalese people and get a taste for the culture. Everybody that we have talked to who has been to
Please pray for us as we seek to accomplish these goals. Here are a few specific requests.
-Jet-lag. Our trip is short (we will be returning on December 8th). Pray that we will adjust quickly to the 7 hour time difference and have the energy to accomplish all that we want to in that week.
-Addie. Actually, this is more of a prayer request for me. I know Addie will be fine, but I have a feeling I will miss her a lot (
-Wisdom. We hope to gather a lot of information on this trip that will help us make some big decisions (where to live, school for Addie, what to take etc…) Pray that we would have wisdom in these areas.
-Excitement. We are already incredibly excited to be moving to
As always, we greatly covet your prayers and know that God does great things though the prayers of His saints. We would like to keep you updated as we are in
Thank you again for your prayers and support, and we look forward to sharing with you the great things God will do and show us in our trip!
Hilary (for Wayne and Addie)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
...for so great a salvation.
...that God is worthy to be praised.
...that God chooses to use us in His plan.
...that God has given us a clear vision and plan for our future.
...for my husband who loves me and cares for me.
...that I have a husband whom I can respect and follow.
...for my baby girl.
...for my education.
...for my heritage.
...that God is not done changing me yet.
...for the Holy Spirit, the helper that Jesus promised.
...that we have people in Iowa, North Carolina, and Texas who get excited to watch Addie.
...did I mention Wayne and Addie?
Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thankful for!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Please pray that the trip will be productive for us, that we will be able to meet a lot of people and get a good feel for the ministry and possible living situations. Please also pray that we will stay healthy and alert as this is a very quick trip! I don't think Addie needs any prayers as she will be spoiled here by her grandparents and aunt and uncle! Pray for me though, as I sure will miss her! (Wayne will too, but he doesn't cry like I do:)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The latest issue of Time magazine has an article about the differences between Western cultures and Muslim cultures. The writer, Carla Power, quoted a Muslim scholar who once wittily remarked about the differences, "You Westerners make love in public and pray in private. We Muslims do exactly the reverse." Carla Power summarized the differences like this:
"What's decent to do in public? The French have no problem with bare breasts on billboards and TV but big problems with hijab-covered heads in public schools and government offices. . . In the Islamic world, religion is out of the closet: on the streets, chanted five times daily from minarets, enshrined in constitutions, party platforms and penal codes. Sexual matters are kept discreet."
What I found incredibly interesting and revealing about our Western culture is that after the article identifies the difference, it says nothing about why religion is private in the West. The article proceeds to discuss how Muslim cultures have responded to sexual issues made public, but ignores why we have such trouble discussing religion.
While I am painfully sorrowful that Muslims have not embraced Jesus for who is really is but just acknowledge Him as a prophet, I look forward to the fact that Muslims at least believe it's an important issue. So much is wrong with our culture when discussions about whether or not someone has come and truly conquered sin, or even what is sin are taboo. Religion is taboo but Paris Hilton remains newsworthy. I'm going on record right now as saying, I look forward to more news about religion than Paris Hilton.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Actually, the reason for moving back surfaces a big prayer request. The main reason we're moving back is to focus on preparing for Senegal. We have greatly enjoyed our time working at Emmaus Bible College. But, the job has involved a lot of travel; which has made preparing for Senegal difficult.
I will be working part time in engineering and we will be living rent-free with some friends. That will help us to both save money and also focus on preparation for Senegal. Our main prayer request is for discipline as we transition into another phase of life. Some specific things we hope to get accomplished are:
- learning French
- spend more time meeting with people and casting our vision for what we hope to see God doing in Senegal
- finish our reading list from our mission board (we're probably half way)
- save money
- eat cheddar fries at Snuffers
Saturday, November 3, 2007
"Sunday we received a report from one MBB with a huge praise report. After joining in prayer for Muslims to receive visions and dreams, her brother whose body was broken down the right side due to a care accident, said he had dreamed of flying with a white bird and being baptized in a pool. When the brother awoke, his body was completely healed and he could walk again. He is now seeking a Bible and more answers about being baptized. Praise the Lord!"
Pray that God would continue to use this to draw people to Himself!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Our recent trip to
First, I was again reminded that, as Jim Elliot says, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” The first session at the conference was on the cost of discipleship. I must admit that I sometimes still worry about moving to Africa, about taking a child to
Second, like I said, we got to meet and reconnect with many people who are interested in Muslim evangelism. One such person we met Saturday morning as we were walking up from the parking garage (yes, it was a huge church!) to the breakfast. Angelique and her family are planning on moving to
Finally, a highlight of the conference for us was hearing the testimonies of the MBBs. Their stories differed greatly – some came to Christ because of visions and dreams, others because of reading scriptures, others through the witness of friends – but all shared this in common, they were triumphant stories of people being led out of darkness and into a relationship with the living God! Most all of them came to Christ at a cost as well. Their families have disowned them, some were beaten, and many are still praying for the salvation of their lost families. It was so good to see their joy and zeal for the Lord.
Addie had a great weekend too! She was spoiled by her Aunt Kara on Saturday and her friend Katherine on Friday. We are so blessed to have friends and family wherever we go!
Please continue to pray for us as we continue our preparation for
Please also pray for us as we are beginning a time of transition.
Monday, October 22, 2007
But for the real reason we are going to Dallas this weekend...Wayne and I will be attending a Muslim Background Believers Conference put on by Gospel for Muslims. It is a 2 day conference put on by Muslim background believers which we hope will give us a good perspective and good advice on ministering to Muslims. Pray with us that this would be a fruitful weekend and good preparation for our ministry in Senegal.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
A few weeks back, I was listening to a 3 part series on the book of Romans by N.T. Wright. As the justice of God surfaces in the book of Romans, Wright made a passing comment about how in Western countries, the justice of God is often spoken of with unease, but in many countries in the world, God’s justice is cherished. The justice of God is not an attribute in competition with His love, but an extension of it. The reason Wright states this is so is because in so many countries justice is not the norm but the exception.
Think about it, what if you lived your life expecting injustice? What if you expected every cop to be dirty? Sure, some are, but not all. What if you expected every public project to never be finished but simply fill the pockets of a government official? I think what struck me the most about Wright’s comment was how out of touch I am with injustices that occur in the world. If Myanmar was not just a headline on my homepage, but something I regularly thought about, would I not long more for the day of God’s justice instead of being uneasy about it?
Longing for justice is not foreign to us. We don’t watch Die Hard With a Vengeance and hope that the terrorists are caught, but then simply let go. Come on, can’t the judicial system just let em go? I mean, this is only the first time they’ve tried to tear apart the country. As I thought about how much I long for justice while watching movies yet find it rarely passes my mind while reading the news, I was struck by a challenge from the great theologian Bono in the song Sunday, bloody, Sunday:
And the truth is we are immune
When fact is fiction and TV reality
And today the millions cry
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die
And the battle is just begun
To claim the victory Jesus won
On Sunday, bloody Sunday
This post doesn’t isn’t geared at a specific aspect of our ministry in
Monday, October 15, 2007
So why were we gone so much? Well, we spent 2 weeks in North Carolina for the job, recruiting for Emmaus. We spent one weekend at Mountain Top Youth Camp at a retreat, visited several churches and did a few Christian College Fairs. This took us all over the state with a lot of time in the car! Between the work though, we were able to visit with family and friends, and also to visit with some individuals and churches to share our vision for Senegal. We are very encouraged that out of this trip, we have two new couples that have committed to monthly support us! God is continuing to provide for our financial needs to go to Senegal! Wayne also had the opportunity to preach at a church in Durham one Sunday. He preached on missions and we were both very encouraged as a couple of people talked to Wayne after the service and told him that they had never heard missions preached as he did and were excited about it!
Well, while we were on the road, things were happening back in Iowa as well. Our church here in Iowa took up a special offering for us last Sunday and the result is a good contribution towards our outgoing expenses! Even today Wayne found some money in his box at school from an individual who was not able to be at church that Sunday but wanted to contribute as well. It is so encouraging and exciting for us to see people get excited about missions and want to participate alongside us in what God is doing in Senegal!
So we finished up our two weeks in North Carolina last Thursday with a really long day of travel (getting a child up at 5:00 am to catch a flight is not fun) and spend last Thursday night at home. Then Friday afternoon Wayne and I were back in the car and on our way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One thing that our mission board wanted us to do before we go to Senegal is attend a marriage conference. They realize the pressures that marriages go through, and especially when a family is adjusting to a new culture, language, country etc... and so asked that we attend a conference before leaving. It was a good weekend for us. It was good to be reminded of those things that we ought to be doing everyday, but sometimes don't. It was also good just to be away for a weekend by ourselves. We got to go see a Milwaukee Bucks game for our date night and had cable TV in the hotel (we don't have TV at home) so we could watch baseball playoffs! All in all, it was a really good weekend, but we are glad to be home!
As a side note, while we were in North Carolina, we spent a couple of nights with some friends who are missionary appointees with MAF. He is a photographer and took some family pictures for us while we were there. Here is one of our favorites!
Monday, October 1, 2007
Q - When should we start giving?
A - As soon as possible! All monthly support that comes in before we leave goes towards our outgoing expenses. So, if someone begins a $50 a month commitment this month (September 07), then by the time we leave that will be the same as a $600 gift towards our outgoing expenses.
Q - If I begin monthly support, how long is the commitment?
A - There is no formal commitment. It's easiest for us for people to commit to whatever our term length is. Our initial term will be 4 years (beginning Sep 08). If our support falls off while we're on the field, it's more difficult to raise it back up. Of course, we do realize that situations change and some will either choose to or be forced to withdraw support. That's OK. Ultimately, God knows yours and our situation and knows both of our needs.
Q - Why do you need so much?
A - Good question. We thought the same thing at first. One, there are several items that most people have provided by their employers (i.e. health insurance, social security tax, some contribution to retirement, etc.) In our case, we don't have an employer to provide these items. Also, contrary to what you might think; it's more expensive to live in a city (yes, if we were in a village it would be much cheaper) in Senegal than it is in the U.S. One quick example is that a $15,000 car in the U.S. would cost $25,000 in Senegal and gas is close to $6 per gallon!
Q - How much of your support needs to be raised before you can leave?
A - Our mission board will not let us leave until we have 100% of our monthly support commited and coming in (i.e. first check sent) and also 100% of our outgoing expenses in hand.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Yes, that is how we feel right now. We have a lot of little things to do before we are ready to go to
Prayer letters - we have just sent out our first official prayer letter. If you would like to be on our list for future letters, send me an email with your address!
Books, books, and more books – WorldVenture has given us an extensive reading list to prepare us for ministry in
Shots – one thing I just never thought about when we decided to move to
Marriage conference – One of the requirements from our mission board was that they wanted us to go to a marriage conference before going overseas. They realize the stress that ministry can put on a marriage plus add to that living in a new culture! So on one of our free weekends, Wayne and I are headed to
Moving – well, we’re not moving yet, but we’d better start thinking about it! This is no ordinary move either. We’re not just packing everything up. Some stuff is going to goodwill, some to the trash, some to friends and family, and what we will keep and take with us must be packed very well, because some of it will be stored for a couple of years until we get to Senegal. We’re not too concerned about the dishes and towels, it’s all the books!
These are just a few of the things that are keeping us busy right now…more will come later. But even though things seem crazy and hectic right now, we are thankful.
First, we are thankful for where the Lord is taking us, and with each thing that we do to prepare, we get more excited about going to
We are also thankful for our mission board, WorldVenture, and the way that they are preparing us. Let’s face it, we’re young, have never been overseas long-term, and if we didn’t have help, we would have no idea what we were doing!!! Just having them assign reading that they know will be helpful to us is a huge blessing, not to mention all the other training that they have for us.
Finally, we are thankful that we have this time to spread our vision for
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I have been reading a book recently, one required by our mission board, called From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya - A Biographical History of Missions. It tells about missions by telling the stories of missionaries, from Christ's time to the present. I just am currently in the section about the Far East in the 1800's and just finished the section about Hudson Taylor. The section is not titled "Hudson Taylor" though, but "The J. Hudson Taylors". It is about the ministry that he and his wives (yes, he had two - a lot of the women seemed to die back then when overseas) carried out. There is one statement that he made that really encouraged me. "Writing to potential candidates, he had charged:'Unless you intend your wife to be a true missionary, not merely a wife, home-maker, and friend, do not join us.'" Now this can take form in many different ways. Many women that I have met that are on the mission field do spend a majority of their time at home caring for their families, and I'm not saying at all that this is bad. Most of those that I have met who do this are actively pursuing relationships with people around them to share the gospel. They are using their home as a venue for missions. I will do this some, but I will also be involved in a teaching ministry. The point is, as Hudson Taylor said and as the Taylors ministry showed, both husband and wife must want to be there and must have ways to serve God and reach people in the setting they are in.
When Wayne and I met, it was on a missions trip. I had been on several before and knew that the Lord was leading me to missions. Of course, I thought it would be as a single woman ( I had never dated anyone before Wayne, so practically speaking, it looked like I would be single for a while!). It was Wayne's first time out of the country, but he went on the trip because he was becoming interested in missions. So from the time we met, we had a shared vision, and as our relationship grew, so did that vision for seeing God's name proclaimed where it was not known.
Now Wayne and I have different roles, I know. We will be involved in different ministries. I will not be teaching at the Bible College. I do not have a Masters degree like Wayne, and he has had a lot more experience teaching than I have. But I will be able to teach. One reason that we chose Senegal is for the opportunities that I will have. We had several options of countries where Wayne could teach at a college, but in many of those, I would have no opportunity to teach. In Senegal, some of the missionaries have already started a program for training women that I will be able to get involved in. We chose Senegal because it fit both of our gifts and passions for ministry. I also realize that in my role, I will be the homemaker and spend more time taking care of Addie. But that will not keep me from being able to use my gifts in the body of Christ, mainly that of teaching.
Now I'm going to brag on my husband a little bit :) He is a great teacher. I love hearing him preach at churches, camps and anywhere else he has the opportunity to do so. But saying that, I feel very privileged to be a partner in ministry with him. There are many times, more often than not actually, that Wayne is up in front of a group speaking, and I am in the audience. It may be that he is preaching at a church, giving a devotional to a youth group, telling people about our plans for Senegal. I realize that many times, it is his job to be up in front of people, not mine. But here's the great part, he lets me help him! I have not heard a sermon from him yet that I have not already heard before Sunday, or dare I say it, one that I have not helped him write! It is such a blessing for me to be able to help him think through what his is studying, to be able to give a slightly different perspective on a passage, to help him come up with gripping illustrations! And when Wayne is in front of a church giving a presentation on our plans for Senegal, it is so good for me to hear him say "Our vision for Senegal..." And vice-versa, when I am teaching a group of girls or discipling someone, Wayne is there to help me become a better teacher and to give me advice when I don't know what to say to someone. We are partners in ministry.
So if you ask me, "How does it feel to be a missionary's wife?" I will probably tell you that I love being Wayne's wife, and I'm also glad that my longtime dream of becoming a missionary is also finally coming true.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Another reason for excitement for us this weekend is that Wayne will have the opportunity to preach at our church here in Iowa, Asbury Community Chapel. He will be giving a challenge on missions and then sharing our vision for Senegal. Please pray that people at ACC will get excited about what God is doing around the world and will want to be involved! We want to help churches with their vision for missions as we share with them our vision for Senegal.
P.S. There is no connection between his preaching and my tears :) I am so blessed to have a husband whom I love to hear preach and teach! (good thing)
Just a few days later, a distinction came to my mind that clarified the thoughts I was having. There is a difference between not being opposed to diversity and valuing diversity. One mindset doesn't run off people from a different ethnic background. The other mindset actually pursues people from a different ethnic background. I illustrate the difference in that my first year in Dallas, I attended a church where I and maybe one or two others were the only white people there. But I didn't choose the church because of that; I chose it simply because I wanted to be involved in inner city ministry. The DTS prof who taught urban ministries was at that church. The fact that it was an African American church did not influence my decision. In my last year of seminary, my perspective had changed. I chose to meet once a week with an African American friend to read "The Souls of Black Folk" by W.E.B. DuBois so I could better appreciate his background.
What do these ramblings have to do with Senegal? I'm excited that Adelaide will grow up learning about American and African culture. I'm excited that she will somewhat understand what it's like to be a minority (I do stress, 'somewhat.' Maybe I'll blog about that some other time). Are there challenges we will face raising Adelaide in Senegal? Sure. But I feel that we will have so many benefits of raising her in Senegal.
The apostle Paul speaks of the benefits of diversity in 1 Cor. 12 and I have to think while Paul mainly mentions diversity of giftedness, diversity of background must also be beneficial. Rev 5:9 emphasizes not the quantity of people praising God; but that there are people from every tribe and tongue. Ephesians 2 and 3 talks about how the church (composed of Jews and Gentiles) brings greater glory to God. I do expect we will make sacrifices in our move to Senegal, but what a tremendous gift it will be to be a small part of bringing people from more tribes and more tongues to Christ.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
want to serve where there are spiritual and physical needs. All this seemed to fit what WorldVenture told us about Senegal. So, we decided that it was the place for us.
Now usually people visit a place before they decide to move there, we didn't really have that option or feel it was completely necessary for us. But we would like to take a little of the shock out of it when we do move there, so... Wayne and I are planning on taking a trip to Senegal to meet the team that we will be working with and just get a little feel for what it will be like. We are only planning on going for one week, just enough to get a quick picture of what it is like, but hopefully long enough to get a good idea of where we will live and who we will be working with.
Here are a few prayer requests regarding this trip.
1. Timing - pray that the time that would be best for us to go would also work for the team in Senegal. We are looking at the week of December 1st. We don't want to be a burden to the team there and we want to be able to spend time with them, so pray that early December is good for all.
2. Mom - that's me. I'm now a mom and things get more complicated. In this case, it's because we will be leaving Addie for the week in Iowa. It will be much easier for us to make a quick trip without her, and our time will be much more effective. Even so, it is hard for me to leave her, even though she loves my mom and sister and will be in good hands. I know she'll be fine, but pray for me! (I'm actually getting tears in my eyes writing about it:( ) I guess Wayne could use some prayers too, that he can put up with my emotions while we're there!
3. Finances - due to the upcoming changes in our work situation (we'll post that soon!), we should be able to afford this trip without having to use ministry expenses. Pray that we would be wise about spending so that we can best use the money that God gives us.
4. The trip - pray that it will be a fruitful time for Wayne and I as we meet the team and the people of Senegal. We would like to get a good idea of where we will be living (in which city), where Addie might be able to go to school, and what the Bible College is like. Also, we will be learning French next year, and I know some, but pray that we can get around! The missionaries will take care of us, but we might be on our own some.
Thanks for your support and prayers. We're excited about the next step as God leads us to Senegal. We'll keep you updated as we plan more for the trip.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Our mission board, WorldVenture, has determined the financial needs that we will have both to get to
Below is a summary of our monthly support package and outgoing expense support package. If you have any questions about this or how to support us, please feel free to contact us.
Our Monthly Support Package
Outgoing Expensess (one time)
And now, a little about Wayne.
I remember being in high school and thinking, why would I ever leave North Carolina? I mean, it's the home of Andy Griffith, Bojangles, and the promised land of college basketball (Go Wolfpack!). I have always loved the scenery of North Carolina and all my family and friends were there also. So why leave?
I grew up in an awesome family that loved the Lord and placed a strong emphasis on worshiping Him. Every Sunday, we celebrated the Lord's Supper and took time to reflect on the greatness of our Saviour and proclaim to Him how great He is. However, the passion for worshiping God did not hit me until my sophomore year of college. It was then that my faith became my own and not just my parents.
At that point, I realized how exciting studying God's Word could be and developed a love for teaching. Even though I was a civil engineering major at N.C. State, I was much more interested in reading theology. I loved to read books by G.K. Chesterton, Phillip Yancey, Ravi Zacharias, and many others. That love for studying and teaching led me to do the unthinkable; LEAVE NORTH CAROLINA!
After graduation from N.C. State in 2000, I began at Dallas Theological Seminary (still no intention of going anywhere overseas). In my first year of seminary though, I began to think about missions in a new way. For the first time, I viewed missions as an extension of worship. I noticed that the Psalmists not only praised God; but called on all nations to praise God (Ps 67, 96). True worship should automatically lead to a desire not just to praise God, but see the entire world praising God.
That insight and the recognition that not just evangelists go overseas led me to want to learn about missions. That's why after my second year of seminary, I chose to go on a missions trip to France. That's the trip where I met Hilary. From the beginning of our friendship, we both had an interest in missions and have always known God wanted us to pursue ministry overseas, we just didn't know where until last year.
I feel that God has been preparing me in that I have grown up in a home and church that empasized worship of God and studying His Word, I've had the privilege of sitting under incredible teaching at Dallas Theological Seminary where my focus was New Testament and Intercultural Studies, I've had a chance to teach overseas (6 month internship teaching at a Bible College in Australia) while being discipled by a excellent teacher (and fellow Monty Python fan). All of this along with Hilary's background has both of us eagerly anticipating serving the Lord overseas.
A major reason the Bible College is so strategic is because the teaching is done in French (the official language). The importance of this surfaces when one realizes how much of Africa is French speaking. Most of North Africa is both French speaking and Muslim. So, the idea of training African Muslim background believers who speak French with a desire to evangelize Muslims in Africa seems ideal.
(French Speaking Countries in Africa and Muslim Countries in Africa)
Second, we have both had a heart for reaching not just spiritual needs, but also physical needs. Senegal has a population of about 12 million and 100,000 of those are kids who live on the street. Also, there are two types of street kids in Senegal. The type we are planning to work with are called talibe boys. These are boys that are brought in from rural areas where their parents are unable to take care of them. However, they are often forced to beg for money and live in dangerous conditions (see Arms of Love). We have an opportunity to work with a group that seeks to meet health and education needs of these boys. Our desire is to show them the love of Christ by meeting their physical needs.
Third, U2 rocks and Bono is always talking about Africa! Our hope is that one day U2 will do a concert in Senegal.
Fourth, Hilary has already had 6 years of French in middle and high school. It will be much easier for her to relearn French rather than learn a new language. With a toddler underfoot, we thought it would be better to go the easy route.
Fifth, Language school in Paris, need we say more!
Friday, August 31, 2007
I grew up in a strong Christian family in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where my dad was a full time teacher at a church. From a young age, my family instilled two loves in my life, sports, and God's word. This led to two very sacred times in my family, March Madness and Sundays when we sat under Dad's teaching and ministered together as a family. Ministry really was a part of our family life. Because of this, I have had a desire to be involved in ministry from an early age.
I have also had a desire to be involved in missions from an early age. My first missions experience was when I was 6 years old and my family spent a summer in Ireland. I had the very important job of setting the tables for meals and licking the brownie bowl clean. This was the beginning of my experience of seeing the needs in the world and what God was doing in the rest of the world. Throughout my school years and college, I had several more opportunities to go on mission trips and be involved in various ministries. I loved them all. I loved helping people, I loved seeing how people worshipped God in other parts of the world, I loved having a common bond with people I had never met before because of our relationship with Christ.
My love for God's word continued to grow throughout my life as well. In high school, the favorite time of my week was when my dad and I would have breakfast together and talk about things I had been reading or thinking about, or things he had been studying at Seminary.
After high school, my parents encouraged me to study the Bible at Emmaus Bible College. I did not know for sure what I wanted to do when I graduated, but I knew that I wanted to be involved in ministry and that I loved to study the Bible. Those four years were wonderful, being able to spend all my time digging into God's word and gaining a better understanding of who He is and how I can best serve Him. I still get jealous when I see the Emmaus students starting classes and reading all the time! I had opportunities in college as well to serve overseas and my desire to go overseas continued to grow. I must admit that much of my desire to do missions was very practical. I thought that I would be single for a very long time (before I met Wayne of course!) and knowing that I wanted to be involved in ministry, I thought that a single woman would have more opportunities to serve overseas because there was more need. I wanted to build up the body of Christ where there was true need and lack of people.
College was also when Wayne and I met. From the beginnning, we both knew that the other had a desire to serve the Lord overseas (we met on a mission trip in France) and that has helped us grow closer together as we mutually grow in our desire to serve Him. Our relationship has been one in which we are both challenged by each other to continue to grow in our love for the Lord and our knowledge of His word and His person. We both love to study (yes, we are nerds!) and love sports, we're a perfect match! We also dearly love our baby girl Adelaide, who brings so many smiles to our faces. We are excited that Addie will have the opportunity to serve with us in Senegal.
(A nerd in the making! She makes us so proud!)