Well, we’ve made it through Week 1 of Equip. What a whirlwind! Everyone’s been feeling well for the last several days – praise the Lord! Our training sessions have covered topics like staying spiritually refreshed, essential attitudes for missionary success, moral purity, the translation process, support roles in the organization, parenting MKs, and the partnership model of ministry. We’re getting loads of incredibly useful information, and because of the incredible abilities and sensitivities of our training staff, it has been more encouraging than overwhelming. We’re starting to grasp just how much work lies between where we currently stand and our arrival in Papua New Guinea. The phase we’re entering into now is called Partnership Development, where we will be recruiting for and developing Team Wade to go with us on the journey. We need an army of people standing behind us praying us through struggles like spiritual warfare, discouragement, isolation and culture shock. And we need dedicated financial partners who will give with great faith and excitement so that the work can go forward. The time is now – we need you on board. If you’re reading this we know you’re interested in seeing the journey through, so we’re soon going to be asking you to prayerfully consider joining our team in some way. Pray that the Lord would go ahead of us in building Team Wade, and that He’d put just the right people and churches in our path that will be excited to partner with us for the long haul. We’ll be telling you soon about some exciting roles you can play in this journey – which ones will you pray about committing to?
But enough of that for now, how about some kid pictures?
We asked you in our last post to pray “that we’d be at peace with the childcare arrangements.” Some of y’all must have really gotten after that one, because I don’t know that we could be more pleased with what’s happening with our children. Not only are they keeping up with school work, but they’re learning cultural skills and preparing for major life transition in their own unique ways. They’re spending all day with other kids in their same situation, learning the importance of Bible translation, and being tutored by real live Wycliffe missionaries! Evie, who eight days ago would have told you that she was NOT excited about leaving Texas to go to Papua New Guinea, now can barely stop smiling and talking about how awesome it’s going to be. A big part of the shift is thanks to some great new friendships – one with a girl whose family will already be in PNG by the time we get there, and one with a sweet lady on staff who not only was raised there, but came back and raised her own family there too! This is a DIRECT answer to a long-time prayer of ours, so thanks so much for joining in on that. Abel is still pretty hesitant – he’s nervous about volcanoes, even after our assurances that where we’re going we won’t be in danger of death by lava. He’s also making friends, the closest of which is a boy his age from a family that’s moving here to Orlando to work at HQ. So naturally, he wants to move here instead of PNG, but he’ll come around.
Our little guys have been so great. Judah is loving life here – he’s pretty much top dog downstairs in the pre-school area, and he’s thriving on the attention. He’s playing great with the other kids, and I have a feeling he’s going to be fine no matter where we go. Zeke is…well, he’s eating a lot of raisins. He has a hard time understanding when he can’t have a cookie before he’s eaten his broccoli, so sometimes he’ll just refuse to eat at meal time. Taking most of our meals in a group of about 60 is quite a different dynamic than we’re used to, but we’re all learning a lot from the experience! Like Zeke, Silas is struggling with the sudden drop in Mommy time especially. Still, for as drastic a shock as this has been on everyone, they’ve both done very well (mommy,too).
As I mentioned, Rebekah and I have been exposed to an incredible body of insight and information from an incredible team of trainers who really know their stuff, each having lived it themselves. Just being around these people is exciting and making us want even more to follow this path. The other night the whole group was invited over to the President‘s house. Amazingly approachable and hospitable people, they graciously shared with us parts of the story of their involvement with Bible translation, not to mention sharing some Blue Bell ice cream and other goodies! Something I love about this group of people is that they’re liable to break out in acappella hymn singing at any point! We’ve sung together most every day, great songs like Ancient Words and the Doxology, and it’s always a powerful and beautiful experience.
We can only begin to share with you the great work the Lord is doing in our family and in each of our lives. Thank you so much for praying with us. Saturday we only had a couple hours of class in the morning, so we’ve been able to relax and enjoy family and friend fellowship time. Sunday morning, we went to First Orlando to worship and reconnect with some dear friends. Please pray for continued rest and rejuvenation, and refreshed minds and spirits to begin our second and final week.