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It Is Worth It!

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us...For in this hope we were saved."
Romans 8:18,24

One of the many responses that we get when we tell others about our future plans is excitement. Missions is a great adventure filled with international travel and intrigue. But I think that it is also important for us to count the cost of our decisions. We are fortunate to have the experience of other missionaries to turn to in order to count that cost. One such missionary couple is Wayne and Sally Dye who spent many years on the field. In their kindness they put on a weekly Bible study at their home here in Dallas which we often attend. The Lord led the Dyes to Papua New Guinea, a small island North of Australia to work with a small tribal group in the 1960s. When they arrived the infant mortality rate among that people group was 100%. None of their children were surviving, mainly due to malaria. Sally told me that she was infected with malaria once every six weeks while they lived there. God had led them to an extremely inhospitable environment. Further, language learning was hard, they were lonely, feared for the lives of their children, and found themselves struggling and wanting to come home. Missions is a great adventure, but from what we hear the giddy excitement quickly wears off when you get sick and lonely.  Often missions does come with a cost, one that forces us to move forward with sobriety.
After hearing the Dyes explain the suffering and stress they experienced with tears in their eyes, Stacey asked Sally "Was it worth it?" Sally replied that In the Lord's strength they pressed forward, spent many years working in PNG, and have seen many books of the Bible translated and nearly all of the people in the tribe come to the Lord. They were even able to help them physically, teaching them malaria prevention including how to sew their own mosquito nets. When they travelled back to visit in 2007 every family had on average of four kids. So, when Stacey asked Sally if it was worth it, she said, “YES! The hardships, the sickness, the loneliness were all worth it, because so many Bahinemo people will join us in heaven.” Because of their work there is one more of the "every tribe, tongue, and nation" represented before the throne of Christ!
Certainly, we have not tasted nearly the suffering of Wayne and Sally. But even now when we realize that we are eight years into pursuing missions and still living in Texas, the nagging questions of "Is it worth it?" comes to mind. We are fortunate to not have to ask this question alone. It is such a joy to have those who have gone ahead of us, seen the fruition of their work, and can remind us that it is worth it. It is worth it because we are in this to make God's name great. It is worth it because the nations are filled with those who are worshipping other gods. It is worth it because this life is not the end. There is coming a day when Heaven and Earth will be united in complete perfection, joy and rest. And we have the opportunity to bring people with us from the far reaches of the globe. It is worth it because the sufferings of this present life are not worthy of being compared to the glory that is to come.

France It Is

Many of you have been praying for wisdom in our decision about French School. In the course of the last few weeks we have contacted numerous missionaries and individuals with information about French study. With the help of our World Team leadership we have determined that it would be best to study French for one year in Chambéry, France at a school called IFALPES. The decision was made based upon several considerations:

The level of French that we will need to speak will be high. This is something that we already knew. We will be engaging with national workers as we translate the Bible, and we will need to be able to handle the Bible in French as well as French commentaries.

The level of French that we could learn at the school in Cameroon is lower and proficiency would take longer. This information is new to us. Due to the fact that most people in Cameroon use French in a much more practical capasity (i.e. for trade and dealing with the government only), we are told that the school in Cameroon would teach more to this lower level of French usage. Also, as a result, arriving at the neccesary level of proficiency would take much longer.

France is the place to go! We did a cross comparison between the school in France and schools in many other places and we have come to the conclusion that our best option is to study French in France for a year. This decision has been a group effort that has involved a friend (who just happens to have spent 10 years in France), our co-workers in Cameroon, and our leadership with World Team.

THANK YOU to all of you who have prayed/emailed with us during this decision-making process. We have felt so blessed to have so many counsellors.

Prayer Requests

Stacey School
Stacey has now completed 3 of 6 sessions at GIAL. Please pray for continued endurance and academic ability to complete the linguistics program.

Kids' Obedience
As the children have gotten older we have experienced more disobedience. The Lord has granted us patience and repentance when we have not been patient. Please pray that we would be wise and consistent in our raising of Kaden, Makyra, Elias, and Zoey.

Visa
We are shifting our attentions from moving directly into Cameroon to France first. This means we will need to apply for visas and be accepted into France as students. Please pray that the Lord would provide in these ways.

Dallas
We will remain in Dallas for about six more months and while we are here we long to be used. Please pray that the Lord would allow us to serve our local church well and that we would always serve Christ wherever we are.

Language Studies
We have started to study French in our spare time right now and are intimidated by the level of French we will need to acquire. But even after that we will need to learn a tribal language in Cameroon. And that one we will need to learn without the help of a school or even a written language! Please pray that the Lord would give us supernatural language-learning abilities. And diligence even if our abilities are not so supernatural.

Thanks again for everyone who has prayed and supported us financially so that we can progress towards Cameroon. We are overwhelmed by the great love that you all have shown us.
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