I sat there, on the well-worn aluminum floor, as the tiny Cessna climbed and climbed and climbed. Here I was, a seventeen-year-old high school graduate smack-dab in the middle of Mississippi cotton fields and ambling ribbons of forest, climbing higher and higher, as the nearly deafening engine droned into the cabin.
In my mind, two thoughts fought for supremacy: The first, “Am I really doing this?” was the voice of reason. “I’m really doing this!” was the voice of expectant, hopeful adventure.
We hit our mark, nearly two miles high, and my second-cousin-turned-skydiving-instructor, to whom I was securely attached in no fewer than five locations, gave me the signal. We stood up together, shuffled closer and closer toward the open hatch at the side of the plane.
There was a moment, a millisecond-long frame frozen in my mind, when toes hung out over the threshold–we were at the literal tipping point–where we were to either commit or give up, to pursue the adventure we agreed to pursue or to sit down and bail.
With one final glance at the dive coordinator, thumbs up and smiling, we rolled out into the nothingness–out of the relative safety of our tiny crop duster, now at the unflinching mercy of the laws of physics and fluid dynamics.
Today, our whole family is at another of those crossroads, a go-or-no-go moment in our lives, as we pursue the calling God has given us to join Him in His mission. We have been on this journey for some time now, and it is time that we jump fully into what God has for us. We feel the urgency, we understand the need, and we long to be working in the places He’s created for us.
Today, March 12, 2015, we are entering a new period in our partnership development process–we are kicking off a campaign to complete 100 percent of our financial partnership needs within the next 100 days.
This is a big, scary step for us. Despite this, we believe God has given us a gift in these last 100 days before our faith goal date to be on the field.
Wycliffe is a faith-mission organization, which means that we don’t receive a salary from our organization. Instead, we depend on God to provide for our financial needs through His church and His followers. Wycliffe will clear us to take up our assignments only when we have commitments from people for the full amounts of our one-time and on-going needs.
We have faith that God will use this time to provide a full team of partners for all of our ongoing/monthly and our one-time/startup financial needs (as He already has done in the last three months since I quit my previous job), so that we can begin our assignments in Germany this summer.
As part of our 100 Days Campaign, we are going to be doing a number of the things we’ve been doing, but we’re also doing some new things. Regardless, we’re definitely going to be doing those things a lot more frequently. We’re also going to ask you do be doing some things, too.
Here are some of the things we’ll be doing, starting today, during the next 100 days:
- If you’ve expressed an interest in partnering with us in our Wycliffe ministry, but haven’t yet, we will reach out to you. Please expect a call, email, text, Facebook message or smoke-signal coming your way soon.
- We will be sending out newsletters more frequently, so that we can update everyone about how God is bringing partners into our team.
- We will be blogging more, at least twice a week. These posts will include: posts about what partnership is and how it works, what we’re doing to get ready to leave (including items we’re selling and/or giving to others), places we’re speaking in the up-coming weeks, photos-of-the-day, and more.
- We will continue to schedule and pursue one-on-one meetings, home meetings, and opportunities to speak at churches that are interested in partnering with us (we’ve been doing this, and expect that God will allow us to do it a lot more)
- We will be asking many of you to connect us with friends, family, and fellow Christians who you think might be interested in hearing the story of how God is working in our lives and how He’s bringing His word to people all over His creation through Wycliffe.
- We will regularly update the status of our monthly commitment needs as well as our one-time needs, either through the blog, or though newsletters, or both.
- Above all, we will pray that God gives us wisdom to use these precious last 100 days well, and that we can finish this task well and transition effectively to the next phase of His calling for our family.
As we’re doing these things (and more!), we will ask you guys to be doing some things, too.
- First, please pray. We will list in a separate blog post some specific items to pray, but basically, please pray that God will bring financial partners–first for our monthly/on-going needs, and second for our one-time/startup costs.
- If you’ve been praying about partnering with us, please ask God if now is the time to commit. And then do so.
- If you are part of a fellowship of believers, please consider asking us to come visit and speak with your fellow believers–we’d love to!
- If you feel led to do so, please feel free to send us notes of encouragement during this time.
As my now-thirty-something self reflects back on that skydiving experience, I realize that the moment of commitment, the go-or-no-go time, was not as we floated in the air at 10,000 feet. That was merely the culmination of the journey. The real commitment time was when we stepped into the plane while on solid ground. That was when we committed to the task.
In the same way, our family jumped fully into this season of our lives nearly two years ago, as we began the application process to be considered as members of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Now we stand on that precipice, toes hanging out in the air. Please join us as we jump into the seeming nothingness, solely dependent on the grace of our Heavenly Father as He carries us into our new assignments.