Every few weeks, my colleague in Germany and I talk by phone or by Skype about what’s going on there and what’s happening in our efforts to get there. It’s good to stay in contact so that I keep our goal of leaving the U.S. within sight. In return, Martijn and Wycliffe Europe get some reassurance that we haven’t dropped off the face of the planet – or given up.
In our conversations, I am always reminded of our brothers’ and sisters’ urgent desire that we come and help. Hopefully I can convey something of the same to you so that you, too, understand their desperation – if you’ll indulge me in calling it that. Then, you’ll be able to pray more clearly and in the right tone, and you won’t have to rely so much on the Holy Spirit getting it right for you behind the scenes (that’s from Romans 8:26-27).
Martijn told me that we have been invited again to provide technical support for the next instance of the conference that we helped last October. That event will be held in early 2012. Another invitation, also resulting from our success last year, has been given to us for a conference in September aimed at helping people working among the deaf communities in and around Europe. Did you know that Bible translation is important for the deaf? You can read more about this need at Mission Network News, and you can read at JAARS about one way in which technology is used to give the deaf access to the Word of God.
Supporting such conferences – and the individuals who attend them – is icing on the cake of the daily technical support that Wycliffe Europe IT provides to the people in the region who are busy recruiting and assisting their fellow citizens in ministry. (That is, both parts taste good to me.) We do what we do best so they can continue doing what they do best, whether their jobs seem mundane or extraordinary. Each of us is working for the growth of the Kingdom of God. What a sweet thought!
But Martijn can’t continue doing all the technical support work in Europe alone. And I can’t live here in the United States and provide him with effective help. If all of those ministry efforts are to continue smoothly, he and our brothers and sisters spread throughout that region need me and my family in Germany. Not here!
Added to this urgency is the fact that Martijn and his family need to relocate this year, moving from Germany to Switzerland, his wife’s home country. Logistically, he needs me on hand soon so that we have time to develop our working relationship and share knowledge face to face before we are separated by several hours’ travel. If you have ever taken a job without adequate orientation, you know how important such time is.
On a personal level, we need to make this move soon for the sake of the boys’ educations. Jonathan and Caleb are homeschooled here, but we can’t continue to do that in Germany. They’ll attend the local school instead. If you have ever moved as a family, you know the benefit of changing schools at the start of the year. Add to this their need to get used to speaking German on a regular basis before class starts, and I’m sure our sense of urgency will take full form in your mind.
Getting there is a whole-Church effort – it needs us (the goers), Wycliffe Europe (the receivers), Wycliffe USA (the facilitators), and our brothers and sisters who send us. All we lack now are the senders. Are you one? We’re thankful for your boldness and generosity!