Tag Archives: prayer

March Cameroon Itinerary Prayer Points

These are some basic points to pray for our trip to Cameroon this March, according to the different stages of the trip:

Flying to Cameroon through Brussels

  • Please pray for health, rest, and productivity. We have three flights (3, 7+ & 8+hrs) and two layovers (2&3hrs), with lots of people, germs, and fatigue along the way (and in addition to other transitions, today the high in Fort Worth is 33ºF, and the low in Yaoundé is 70ºF).
  • Please pray that we and our bags arrive there in one piece and on time.
  • Please pray for productivity for Kent, who will use flight time to finish his presentation for the linguistics conference.

Yaoundé

  • Please pray for safety, especially what we eat, and how we get around.
  • Please pray that we would get to meet many of our colleagues, and have productive and mutually encouraging conversations.
  • Please pray that we would get good research on transportation and housing options, to plan well the move over the summer.
  • Please pray for our research into other life details (like what is available in stores and markets), to help us make a good transition to life and work there.

Kent at Linguistics Conference

  • Please pray for Kent’s presentation. It is from his dissertation, but needs to be adapted to this audience and translated.
  • Please pray for good relationships with other missionary linguists
  • Please pray for good relationships with Cameroonian linguists
  • Please pray for good relationships with government representatives

Children at School (RFIS)

  • Please pray that this trip would be a good preparation generally for our upcoming transition in June, but especially for our children.
  • Please pray they would ask and get answered as many questions as possible.
  • Please pray that they would get along with their classmates for next year.
  • Please pray that they would get excited about their school for next year.

Return Flights

  • Please pray for safety and health (the same flights home)
  • Please pray for us and our bags to get back in one piece, and on time.
  • Please pray for rest and recuperation after the trip, and planning our next steps!

Visas —Just in Time

Beyond every expectation we had just yesterday morning, we now have visas to enter Cameroon for the whole family! They are multiple entry, and good through August, so we will use these same visas for the move this summer.

Some of the backstory is necessary to fully appreciate the arrival of these visas. You can read the details of the Cameroon Application 1 getting denied in previous post (Visas – Episode III).

Initially there was no reason given, but Kent was able to get them on the phone before they closed. Apparently the background of our photos was not white enough? We scrambled that Friday night to gather the prepaid envelopes & new pictures for Application 2. Our first attempt took 12 days total. We now only had 9 days left before departure.

I should add that our zip code has the most unreliable postal service I’ve ever heard of in the United States. We have had items delivered two streets over, next door or not at all. We’ve had several items damaged by being mishandled. And if we put an envelope out to send, it may wait 5-6 days before they take it.

We discussed the possibility of changing airline tickets, but our kids’ Spring Breaks could not move. We had purchased these tickets specifically for their comparatively lower cost. If we moved our flights back even one day it would potentially cost us $1100/person! We cried out to God for a miracle & for favor. We Emailed an urgent request to pray these visas would return by Monday March 4.

We saw the tracking numbers hand-deliver Application 2 last Monday morning (2/25), as we hoped, but we needed them processed and back in the mail Friday to get them on time in Texas. The week crawled by with our whole family wavering between faith & doubt. Friday afternoon came & went without movement.

We discussed the possibility of flying to WA DC to retrieve them in person, or the wildest idea – to leave the airport and try to get them during our two-hour layover at Dulles! We are carrying a few bags for other people, and we began to feel the weight of missionary kids not getting the books or gifts they needed. This was not only affecting our family.

Friday I left for a weekend Women’s Retreat, where time in worship and teaching bolstered my faith. Many sisters stopped to pray over me. I believed God would take care of us with or without this trip. Still it didn’t seem likely to happen since our passports had not been mailed back yet. No Embassy is likely to work the weekend. I posted the stagnant news on social media.

Within minutes, a sweet friend with experience in embassies in WA DC offered to go Monday morning in person on our behalf. We held out hope they would let her in without an appointment and she could overnight our passports back to us Tuesday for our Wednesday morning departure! We called it our ‘hail Mary’ pass because there were still so many possible obstacles.

BUT GOD heard so many prayers lifted up on our behalf!

Against all the odds and circumstances, on Sunday evening at 6:15pm Kent’s phone beeped with notification that our envelope of passports had arrived in Fort Worth. ?!? There were no records of it ever leaving DC, nor passing through anywhere in between. On a Sunday evening – it just appeared. We were baffled. Was it an error? Kent felt that if they were indeed our passports, it would pop up again soon on the move. Sure enough, at 8:30pm they were leaving the distribution center for the Post Office!

We continued to pack our bags, still hoping it was true, they would be correctly delivered, and they would all have the right visas stamped inside.

So much hope.

Then at 1:00pm, our mysterious envelope full of passports arrived at our house! We tore it open to find 5 perfect visas! And guess what day it was?? Monday March 4. Exactly when we had prayed for them to arrive. We’re not sure how or why, but they are here and our trip is on!

We serve a God for whom nothing is impossible! Thanks to everyone who has been praying for this! God’s faithfulness to hear us and continually guide and provide for us is astounding. Join us in praise and thanksgiving for this miracle! We’re looking forward to a productive trip, and good preparation for our move this summer.

Epiphany 2017

the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous. (Ps 146:8 ESV)

I took two days off altogether from writing, for Sunday worship and rest, then Christmas day, and yesterday I got back to putting edits into my manuscript. While doing this somewhat mundane work, God opened my eyes to see something in my analysis that I’ve been looking for for over a year.

Last week, when meeting with a mentor in Canada, he encouraged me to rethink something I’d decided to leave out of my dissertation, since I simply couldn’t get it to work. And also, I had plenty of other things to write about, including a fairly important theoretical issue in the development of new tones.

But yesterday I took another crack at it, made an assumption that I hadn’t liked (and still don’t really like, honestly), and the rest of the pieces just started falling into place.

So in the middle of the afternoon on Boxing Day, God opened my eyes. I thank God that he still does that. And thank you for your prayers for us, and especially for my ability to do my work. We really can’t do this without your support, and we’re grateful that you’ve joined us in this work.

Merry Christmas!

Home Stretch

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written much about my progress through my degree program, but I hope it has been for good reason. I guess we all hope that we do what we do for good reason, but in any case, I hope a short update will begin the road to making amends.

I met with my advisor this week, and it sounds like I’m on track for graduating this year, as early as May 2018. That will involve finishing a complete draft of my dissertation by the end of 2017 (i.e., about two more weeks), in addition to a number of other deadlines to revise it according to comments from each of the three members of my committee, before defending it and turning in a final copy for posterity (Lord willing, in early May).

So, as I feel the push to finish the home stretch well, I realize I need your help more than ever. Please join us in praying specifically for the following:

  • Diligence to write, edit, and correct my work (especially with the boring/tedious stuff, like checking the clarity of what “this” refers to.…), that it would be clear
  • Clarity in analysis, that I would be writing what is accurate and true about these languages, and what they say about language more generally
  • Time management, as I try to balance the above with communicating more broadly about our work (e.g., a long overdue newsletter!), spending time with our family (e.g., Christmas!) and ministry in our local church
  • Financial support to make all of the above possible, without additional stress

That’s about it. We covet your prayers as we seek to do right by the various responsibilities we have. Thanks so much for being behind us in this!

Now I need to get back to my second day of Edit/Find… on the word “these”; apparently there are 178 of them left to check. :-)

Sick … Again

What a rush the last several weeks have been! I was sicker than I’ve been in a long time, and it took me another week or so to get back to 100%. I’m not sure everyone in the family was completely well when we had a record drop in temperature this weekend (we had 70+ to freezing in about four hours). I didn’t feel it at the time, but right now most of us are sniffly or congested, as we’re trying to prepare for the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior. So sad to not feel like singing!

Anyway, any spare time for prayer would be appreciated for our health, or for the DRC elections, or for those that are depressed, or that people would feel the Joy of the Lord, and be saved.

Last Day –Please Pray

So the Congolese Embassy in Washington DC, which has had our passports for the past six (6) weeks, has just closed for the day, and there is  no indication on USPS.com that they used my reply mail envelope to send our passports back to us (with or without visas inside of them).

While unlikely, it remains plausible that they will process our visas and send back our passports tomorrow, in which case we would get them Saturday, two days before we hope to travel. Given that the Embassy is closed on Saturday and Sunday, we are not expecting that they will process or mail our passports between the close of work tomorrow and the departure of our flight at 7:30am Monday morning.

So please pray for three things:

  1. That the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Washington DC would process our passports tomorrow, Friday June 23, 2016, and then mail them back to us in our Priority Mail Express return envelope, which would then return to us on Saturday.
  2. Wisdom in knowing when and if to cancel or reschedule our flights (costing maybe $4,600+ to keep a similar itinerary).
  3. That in all this, God’s glory would be evident in the DRC through, despite, and/or without our intervention.

Crunch Time

There are now three more mail deliveries before our trip should begin on Monday morning, and we still have no sight of our passports. The Embassy is not answering their phone, nor responding to Emails.  To develop our next alternate plan, I called the travel agent (which we are required to use by one of our funders), and found that there is a $300 charge to make any changes to these tickets, PER PERSON, in addition to any difference in ticket price. So if our passports do not arrive in the next couple days, we will be out at least $600.

Needless to say, your prayers would be appreciated. We know the One who has this in His hands, and we’re searching for His glory in this, but it’s a bit hard to see at this point. ;-(

Much in need of Grace,

Kent

Passports

After two days navigating passport application processes, all our paperwork is in! Please pray they arrive safely in good time to get the Visa process going for this summer.

BTW Kent’s Proposal Defense was successful & he is now “ABD” All but Dissertation!