Waukesha, Wisconsin: New Tribes Bible Institute
Our journey as a married couple first began with two years in frigid Wisconsin and ended after a year in the remote hills of Missouri. Why would we spend our first three years of marriage traveling from state to state you might ask? In order to accomplish our goal of assisting overseas church planters through education, we recognized we needed cross-cultural training.
While in Wisconsin, we were privileged to be able to study each book of the Bible as full-time students. We also got to know many missionary kids (MK’s) who grew up all over the world. Through these relationships, our heart for church planting and discipling MK’s grew as we saw the great need for people willing to teach and disciple MK’s. While in Wisconsin, we also learned what a real winter is like and witnessed snow that refused to go away. Temperatures like 8 below zero were hard to get used to for two Oklahoma natives like us, but we survived. After two years we were excited to be moving in a southernly direction for the final phase of training in Missouri.
Roach, Missouri: NTM’s Missionary Training Center
Can you imagine moving overseas to a remote area and being responsible to plant a church in the middle of the jungle? Where would you even start? That very question is why the training center exists. In our year of training, just a few topics we covered in our classes were field health and medicine, jungle construction, setting up solar electric systems, linguistics, and learning an unwritten language. More practical classes included raising and educating a family overseas, doing taxes overseas, raising support teams, and how to effectively communicate your ministry.
Beyond classes, we had other ministry opportunities on campus and in the local community. We volunteered at a rehabilitation center for abused teens, which challenged us to rely on God’s wisdom to effectively love teenagers who had given up on hope altogether. In addition, our living conditions proved to be part of our training as we had no dishwasher, used a communal laundry and shower facility, and had minimal living space. This was great preparation for existing in less than ideal living conditions and learning to be flexible. We added another variable to our training with the addition of our daughter, Sadie Grace, on St. Patricks Day. Our sweet girl has brought us many smiles, sleepless nights, overflowing trashcans of diapers, and thankful hearts. We completed our training in May and consequently became members of New Tribes Mission on June 1st.
We have currently moved back to Tulsa to develop our support team which will allow us to serve in the Philippines, Lord willing, in a year.