A Tribute to Mary Jean Gardner

My classmate has moved away, to a much better place

Mary Jean Gardner

It was January 1989; I had saved up my dollars to come to England to take my advanced course in linguistics. We were at the Wycliffe Centre in Horsleys Green. I was the only American; there were several Germans, Swiss, and many Brits. Among them was Mary Jean Gardner, from Scotland, with that red sweatshirt we often wore to keep warm.

When I first heard the name of the latest victim of hatred and bitterness in Jerusalem, I’m sad to say, I only vaguely recognized it.

But that was Mary.

When we were in class together, she was not the one who stood out among the crowd; in fact, she blended in so well in the classroom, dining hall or the outing, you may not have remembered whether she was there.

More likely than not, she was taking her studies seriously, preparing to do what God had given her to do: help a people enjoy the same encouragement she experienced from reading the Bible in their heart language.

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Making Room for Unexpected Opportunities

Each one is a blessing in disguise (from March 2011)

unexpected discovery: friends are more precious than gold

Have you ever had your plans for the day interrupted by someone else’s plans for you?

That day, I had my Friday all figured out in my head and was reading my Bible.  Before I could finish, a friend came over to the house.  He had a military general waiting for me outside the gate, waiting to take me somewhere. I had no idea where he wanted to take me, so I was a little bit nervous about it.

download-2In the end, he brought me to his house here in town and had something to discuss with me that was important to him. He had seen our dictionary, and through it our heart for his people, so he felt he could trust me.

He wanted to help bring a school, wells, and hospitals to his region of the country by digging for gold.  A relative in the US had sent him a metal detector.  And because I was an American, “Of course I’d know how to use it!”

I had never used a metal detector before in my life, but together, we were able to figure it out somehow.

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What is a MicroBible?

"The Sower" by Jean-François Millet

Technically speaking, a MicroBible is an SD Card to TF Card adapter, and a TF Card (usually 2 to 4 Gigabytes in size).  We produce Microchip Bibles in 65+ languages!Before you hand it out, we load an audio Bible, a film about the life of Jesus, Christian radio programs, Christian worship music and films about the change that Jesus makes in our lives.

However, MicroBibles are much, much more than the metal and plastic they are made of.  They are even far more than the audio and video files within them.

When you dig deeper, this is what a MicroBible is:

A MicroBible is a Seed

The sower went out to sow his seed.” (Luke 8:5, MWNT)

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It was her wedding ring… until she gave it away…

How God used a wedding ring to get us back to Chad

wedding ring

God is doing some amazing things through Desert Springs Ministries!  Yet, we want to be honest with you.  wedding ringIt’s not about us… that is, our family.   In reality, it’s about you.  God uses wonderful people like you to bring His Word to the Nations through MicroBibles and Scripture translation.

One of the greatest illustrations of this reality is the story of how He used a wedding ring to get us back to Chad.

In a time of struggle

It was 2009.  We were having a difficult time raising our support to return to Chad.

Since joining AGWM, our support budget had more than doubled.  My fellow workers were finding it easy, but we just couldn’t promote ourselves like they could. Also, there were so many of us trying to get to the foreign field that year.  And almost every pastor I called or visited was already supporting as many of God’s overseas laborers as they possibly could.

One afternoon, while I was out shopping for groceries, I got “THE phone call”.  It was the support raising supervisor at Headquarters.  He told me that, if something didn’t change in our budget soon, we couldn’t return to Chad.

Around the time of that call, I was scheduled to speak at a missions breakfast at Calvary Temple Assembly of God in Fall River, Massachusetts.  We were all given five minutes to speak.  When it was my turn, I poured out my heart about our struggle to get back to Chad to continue the work we had started in 1992.

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Are you a winner in our Camel Mug Slogan Contest?

LIVE! from the Desert Springs Ministries Office in Hermon, Maine!

We’ve run the Camel Mug Contest for about a year now.

Win this hand made Bible holder from ChadFirst, you chose the picture of “99” to be featured on the camel mug.

Then, you suggested slogans to go along with the picture.

Then, you voted on the slogans, and picked a winning slogan…

and as a result, someone is going to win the Bible holder from Chad! (more…)