First Deputation Meeting

We returned from our first meeting November 9th. That’s over two weeks ago now! I suppose that when we have meetings closer together, our memories will run together, but we have so many good things to remember from this one. The people at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Millville, PA, were very hospitable. What an easy introduction to deputation!

Of the four missionaries, all of us are on or going to islands – Taiwan, New Zealand, Cuba, and Philippines. The other missionaries encouraged us, and we enjoyed their ministry to us.

Thanks!

We’re glad for Thanksgiving this week. I am especially because it’s also my birthday this year. Bella is pretty excited about the present she got for me – mostly because she wants me to share it with her. She doesn’t know about presents being a surprise yet, so she told me what it is right after she came home from the store with Erin.

Thanksgiving this year will be at our house, with one of my sisters and two of Erin’s sisters (plus a brother-in-law) coming over to spend the day. We’ll need more people to help eat all the food. But not too much. We need leftovers. Bella is probably more sensible than we are. She’s not aware of the meal being a feast, and she won’t eat any more food than she usually does. She’s just excited about the aunts and uncle who will be coming over.

Having a special holiday makes it easy to remember to be thankful. Now that our daughter is talking a lot and interacting with people, we’re teaching her to say ‘thank you.’ That makes us aware of how often we fail to tell people ‘thank you’ when they help us in some way.

Of course, God should get credit for every good thing in our lives – not just at Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is helpful because it gives us some motivation and a good reminder to do what we should be doing all the time.

Deputation: U-haul needed

Clothes are stacked near half-packed suitcases, while piles of stuff wait their turn to get neatly stacked in the van. With two children, we feel like no matter where we go, we have to pack almost everything for the trip. Today is packing day – tomorrow we leave for our first deputation meeting in Pennsylvania.

We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. After years of preparation and following the Lord’s direction one step at a time, we are taking our next big step toward the mission field. This will be a missions conference, Wednesday-Sunday, so we expect to get to know some of the people at the church.

I (Brian) will get to preach and teach a Sunday School lesson, and Erin will get to give a testimony in one of the services. But we hope that we can minister to the people there in other ways, too. We want to share how God has worked in our lives and see God use us to continue His work in others.

Even our daughter is excited about going. Every time one of us gets ready to leave the house for something, she gets worried that we’re going to Pennsylvania without her.

The services at our church yesterday focused on missions, and the Lord encouraged and challenged us. One of the statements by a missionary that caught my attention was about the necessity of avoiding a “missionary compound” philosophy which would hold the nationals at arm’s length. I’m sure that we’ll find things we don’t like about Taiwan, so that was a good reminder to renew our surrender of everything to the Lord and welcome people we can minister to, even if they do eat stinky tofu.