Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Giving to God

When Jenneka and I attended a Partnership Development seminar with Pioneer Bible Translators we did a short Bible study that I thought was exciting, because it gave me a new perspective on financial support for those in ministry.

"Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord's; it is holy to the Lord."  - Leviticus 27:30

This can be applied today as well.  When we are giving to our local church, to a missionary or some other work of God we are giving to the Lord.  I was reminded that it is important to recognize we are giving to God, not to people.

"Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, ‘When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance...'" - Numbers 18:26a

Those in ministry are like the Levites, who can't earn money for themselves in the conventional sense, because they are doing God's work.  Numbers 18:26 makes it clear that it is God is paying his workers.  This is sometimes particularly important for missionaries and others in ministry to hear.  In doing support-raising I am tempted sometimes to feel like we are living off handouts, but we are actually being paid by our Great Provider!

This paints the relationship between a missionary and his/her supporters in a profound light.  In the deepest sense we are giving to and receiving from God, not each other.  We have a joyful relationship with our God as we worship him and know his provision.  That is not to say that as missionaries we are not grateful to our supporters - we are deeply so - but we recognize God gets our deepest gratitude and holds our primary obligation.

God bless you and may he get the glory!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Chapters

April 29, 2015:

We're soon to finish our time here in Dallas. This Friday we give our final presentation for our Ministry Planning Workshop, and May 8th we finish up the last of our obligations here  ... and then it's on the road again!

We've been enjoying beautiful, balmy weather that has prompted these bluebonnets (aren't they lovely?!), but we've also experienced some stormy weather - rain, tornadoes, thunderstorms. Last night, we took a walk during a thunderstorm (don't worry, we were careful :) marvelling at the terrific streaks of lightning criss-crossing the sky over our heads and the deafening rolls of thunder.

Here's what our journey will look like as we detour to Minnesota to visit James' sister and her family. We're excited to see them!

What are we going to be up to now that our training in Dallas is done, you ask? We'll be spending the rest of this year recruiting people to join our financial partnership team so that we can begin our ministry in Bible translation in East Africa, hopefully by January 2016. We are excited to see God raise people up to send us! Please pray and consider how you might be part of this ministry.

We're excited to see many of you very soon!

With much love and gratitude,

James and Jenneka

Monday, February 09, 2015

En Route to Dallas

Feb. 9, 2015:

We've been staying in Phoenix for the past week with our good friend Ben.  The drive down here from Seattle was amazing!  One of the things that struck me about these wide-open western states was the bigness of it all.  The picture above in Nevada illustrates it for me.  You can see someone at the far end of the valley, driving towards you, and yet not pass them for a good 10 minutes, even though you are heading 70 mph towards each other.

As we entered Arizona we saw Hoover Dam for the first time.  That feat of 1930's engineering has awed me from pictures since I was a kid.  While we've been in Phoenix, we've been working on our online class, but have had time to enjoy being here.  We've visited some sights from the old west.  Ben and I have loved the old west since we were kids, so that was a treat.  See some pics below from the ghost town Goldfield, and you can see the full set of photos on Flickr here.

Tomorrow we leave Phoenix and set out for Dallas.  We're very grateful to be renting a room there from a Christian family that Jenneka got in touch with, and are looking forward to settling down there for a while.

James in his new cowboy hat
Ben and his family

Jenneka: "Mom and Dad, look how big the cacti are out here!"

Friday, January 23, 2015

Kitties, Computers, and a Road trip

Jan. 23, 2015:

We spend a lot of time on our computers lately, and we’re happy for the company of these cute little guys – the new kittens of our friends we’re staying with in Seattle. (Also note our Seahawks-wear.) We've been making plans for our upcoming trip, connecting with people to share about our ministry, and also completing an online class in Missiological Anthropology (how to do missions well in another culture). We're just about to send off an email newsletter too, so if you don't receive those, and would like to, let us know. 

We head to Dallas next weekend for three months of further training and planning for our ministry. Check back in soon for pictures of our road trip! 

God bless you all! Each of you are such a blessing to us.

Jenneka & James

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