Monthly Archives: April 2014

The training continues….Equip 22

Well, the training is over, but not really. We are still in the program, but we are all going to different places to build relationships and reach the lost with the Bible for God’s glory. Yes, we are on a mission. During our time at Wycliffe in Orlando, God flipped my switch in how I thought about partnership development. My thinking at the beginning was raising funds was not my idea of having fun. Yes, I realized it was necessary for the mission to reach the Bibleless people groups in Papua, New Guinea. That is what motivated me to go, but as we heard story after story of all the things Equip was about and their stories of the tremendous opportunity to encourage and strengthen the body of Christ the switch was flipped on and the light is shining bright.

Our friends from the ICC class in Waxhaw had been such a help by going before us. They gave us a great recommendation and it was noted by training staff upon our arrival. Chris and Megan Guthrie gave this sterling recommendation aka ( Warning!)


I’m praying for the next Equip class that starts next week. I hope you guys have a lot of fun. I must warn you though, you really need to watch out for Timothy C. Matthews and Gina Marie Vidamo. Especially Tim, he is a trouble maker… Deb Borland keep your Nerf gun handy, you will need it for these two.” — with Deb Borland and 7 others.

Well, we always want to start out on the right foot with staff and words are powerful containers.  So, the staff facilitator thought it would be helpful to make this known to every one center stage in front of the entire Wycliffe organization with the cameras rolling, we got to tell our story.

And that we did! Only through God’s strength which we are learning more about every day. He equips us for just what we need at just the right time.

Our classmates and teachers were so great. They were such positive examples of what God can do through willing humble servants. Everyone had their own uniqueness that God had placed in them for the position that he would place them.



What would you consider to be a paradigm shift in your thinking as to what would be required  for the type of mission work we are preparing for?

Well, frankly I was not looking forward to raising finances as part of this ministry. God has greatly blessed us to be about his business and this new area was going to be a great stretch of faith. However, the light came on as we continued in His journey for us.

Time after time the staff gave us examples of God’s faithfulness in supplying our needs to complete the work of advancing Bible Translation.

George Cowan, a 98 year old missionary came and gave his testimony of how many times and so many ways that God provided for the work of Bible Translation.

But, to sum up everything into a simple plan .One of Wycliffe’s messages that impacted me, is that they are about building up the body of Christ. They do this by building personal relationships to advance Bible translation. Finances are a small part but not the main focus. They stressed over and over the concern for their partners and their needs. The ministry opportunities opened to us are tremendous!

Partnering with Wycliffe members for translating the Bible is great, but the icing on the cake is, that partners become extended family. These relationships with many have stretched over many decades. The paradigm shift for me was when I heard, “We came to give not to get.”




In the beginning…..

Every story has a beginning and my “God story” started 38 years ago in a sweet little place called Oak Harbor Baptist Church. My parents did not go to church but by Gods grace a school bus showed up every Sunday and through this ministry  I began my love story with my heavenly Father. In 1976, I turned 11 and during VBS that summer I walked forward and accepted Christ as my personal savior.”



I have been able to share this story several times since becoming a fulltime missionary with Wycliffe. When sharing our stories we usually show pictures to help you get a glimpse into our lives. Last month, I contacted Oak Harbor Baptist church to see if I could come by and take some pictures of the church. I never expected what would happen next….

I got a call back from Julie Crews (the Pastor’s wife).  She invited us to come and share our story with the children that are now riding the bus to “my” church. I was so excited! We had moved when I was in the 7th grade and had not been back since. Just as we arrived the children were finishing up a pizza dinner that the church provided.  The children gave us a warm welcome and listened attentively while we shared our story. We did a game called “the people chain” that shows the children how all different people can play a part in missions. Too soon it was time to go and the children board the bus to head home.

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It was such a pleasure to meet the current Pastor, Randy Crews. He and his wife Julie have so much love & compassion for this community and to meet the needs of the congregation. It was nice to see that some things never change…. Pastor Crews invited us to come back and share our story with the whole congregation. I pray that I can be some small source of encouragement and “give back” to the very church that changed my life forever!

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Serving through safety!

Not long ago we learned of a harrowing survival story after a boating incident involving Wycliffe translators, their Papua New Guinea (PNG) co-translator, and crew. Miraculously, all survived about 9 hours in the open water and safely made it to shore. Here’s the statement released by Wycliffe’s Summer Institute of Linguistics SIL-PNG:

“On Wednesday, 26 February, SIL-PNG members John and Marjo Brownie departed from their village on Mussau Island, New Ireland Province, along with one Mussau translator and 3 boat crew to make a two hour dinghy trip across open ocean to a neighboring island to meet a SIL flight the following day at the airstrip there. During the trip, the dinghy was struck by a large wave and sank. Although all the passengers ended up in the open water approximately 12 kilometers from land and the group was separated from each other by the rough seas, by the grace of God they were all able to make their way safely to shore by floating on some of the wreckage. John was carrying an emergency signaling beacon which he deployed when their boat sank. This provided an alert of the crisis to the SIL-PNG administration, and an aircraft was dispatched to the area to begin searching with the limited daylight that was remaining. The aircraft  landed at the airstrip on Emirau Island, where they were able to confirm that all the passengers in the boat had been able to make it safely to the island. John and Marjo returned with the SIL aircraft to the Ukarumpa Centre on Thursday.”


Thank God that Brownies were able to deploy their personal EPIRB, supplied by Wycliffe’s Jungle Aviation And Radio Services (JAARS) Maritime Branch, notifying NOAA, PNG, and JAARS of their distress and activating the chain of response. While thanking God for the survival and safety of all involved, please pray for speedy deployment of a boat that JAARS is currently retrofitting to send to this very region of PNG to serve translators by providing safer water transportation.


Although we had heard of countless stories of this kind of thing happening, it was still shocking for us to read this. We just had to share it with you.  Tim’s role will be to operate the new boat being shipped to PNG and provide safe transportation for the translators to get to these remote out islands. His work will help prevent this kind of thing from happening through training, safety equipment, communication procedures, and navigational and weather monitoring devices.

Join us on this great adventure and be part of changing/saving lives in Papua New Guinea