Faith in God takes us further

Lessons learned at my first missions conference

Ever since I had obeyed the calling God had placed on my heart, things started moving in the right direction. I had completed my Bible School training at Faith School of Theology, and my linguistics training with the Summer Institute of Linguistics.  My linguistics studies brought me from Nashua, New Hampshire to Grand Forks, North Dakota by Amtrak train, and to Horsleys Green in England, then finally to Dallas, Texas.

I was 21 years old, and had gotten it all done.  I only needed to raise the support necessary to go to Chad, Africa. It was my first missions conference ever.  I still remember the church: Lyndonville Baptist Church, in Lyndonville, Vermont.

It was and interesting experience, representing Wycliffe for the very first time, but I felt a little out-of-place. While I attended this conference, I arrived with about a dozen of God’s seasoned servants whose combined years of overseas service most likely exceeded a century. They represented SIM, New Tribes and other mission agencies.  I felt small and insignificant beside them. Their stories and knowledge left me amazed.  What did I have to offer beside these giants of the faith?

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Why do I sell dictionaries?

This post was written while we were in Chad.

A while back, my good friend Mike Washburn (who is currently senior pastor at the Full Life Church of Fremont, Nebraska) asked me, “Why are you selling dictionaries?”

It’s the kind of question Sharon would ask, the kind that makes me stop and think about why we do what we do. So for Mike, and for myself, I wanted to write a little tonight about why I do this.

selling dictionaries in the pharmacyHere’s what dictionary selling looks like: I sell dictionaries in the language I have worked with since 2003. This version was produced in 2007, before I left the country, but we will improve it over the current term. The dictionaries cost me 1311 CFA each (about $2.62) and I sell them for 2,000 CFA each (about $4.00).

The higher price allows me to sell them to other distributors like the five pharmacies and the bookstore who are currently selling them. Thus, they are able to get a bulk of the profit for helping me to sell them. After a tithe, any additional profit will ultimately go into producing more literature. I also sell them on the street, showing the few copies in my hands to anyone who looks my way. If anybody motions to me to come over, I go tell them what I have.

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The next revolution in the Great Commission of Christ

From anywhere, to anywhere, without having to raise support

The way we have traditionally fulfilled the Final Commission of Christ is broken. And we need to be fix it. We lose too many of those who are called to make an eternal difference in the world, due to an unbiblical barrier of raising support and depending on a missions agency to do what is meant to be done by the church.

And those who serve because they were good at raising support, aren’t always the best laborers in the harvest field. Some of them tend to waste money and to not blend in well to their host culture.

We need to take advantage of the new economy to send out our brightest and best in new ways.

In the past, our best laborers have been the Bruchkos, the Gladys Aylwards, the Hudson Taylors.  These laborers refused to blend in, and asked the difficult questions.

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Serve better: ask questions.

Help us serve you better

We desire to serve you better in 2016Happy New Year!  I pray that 2016 will be the year where you will be empowered to serve others well in the place of your calling.
     For about three months now, I have worked to improve the appearance and content of our website.  I have put a lot of hours into this, hoping for an increased opportunity to make an eternal difference in the world of my calling, and among those who help us to be there through their prayers and monthly support.
     However, our impact is still small compared to what it could be.  Apparently, the way websites and search engines work today is very different from when we first set up a dozen years ago.  SEO, HTML, CSS… so much to learn!  I am excited with the progress we are making without the help of a web developer.  However, it is increasingly clear to me that I am missing something.  It is probably something pretty obvious, but I just can’t see it.

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