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.”