We’ve got some really exciting news about Andrew and Diana. If you saw their update yesterday about Alaska, you know they teased a big announcement. I’m letting you know now because it effects us as a church! (Make sure you read all the way to end for the surprise!)
For those of us who have been walking with them for years now as they have worked and sacrificed to serve in the area of missions, this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen God do.
Many of you have met Randy Turner and Jacob Ketchens from To Every Tribe. They are the team who work with the agency’s 734 partner churches and sending churches. There’s a lot behind the scenes to have a healthy missionary agency. Randy’s team are the ones who meet with potential missionaries, and when people decide to join To Every Tribe, their team guides them and their church leadership through the process of joining To Every Tribe, the process of raising funds, and of transitioning from their lives to becoming full time missionaries. Having just gone through that, I can tell you it’s a lot of work and they do such a good job. They take such good care of their people.
Because of how they’re growing, they really needed help and so they’ve asked Andrew to actually jump from training to immediately start working on their team full time. Most of their new trainees are young, like in their early twenties, and so when Andrew came with a couple decades of experience streamlining organizations and teams, he basically was exactly what they needed, when they needed it. In the last couple weeks, there have been conversations with the Begins, To Every Tribe, and us about this and we all think this is a perfect fit for everyone right now!
This jump straight into a specific role in To Every Tribe means a few things.
1. Andrew is actually starting this new role next Monday! So we need to be praying for him as he jumps into it. It was a huge answer to prayer for both the Begins and for To Every Tribe that he could do this.
2. I think it’s going to be really cool for our church. We were thinking that we were going to hear updates about a specific people group in a specific place, but now actually, we’re going to get the opportunity to see the bigger picture of the whole missonary organization! We’re going to get to hear and pray for numerous new missionaries starting out in their service for the kingdom. Andrew will be regularly updating us on all the different things God is doing through To Every Tribe.
3. At this moment, the role is a temporary one, but To Every Tribe, the Begins, and myself are all praying that it becomes a permanent one. They will still have to fund raise their support to be able to do this role, and so we need to pray that the supporters they have now agree that what they’re doing for missions is as vital as we know it is, and that they can continue to raise funds to serve the mission field in this way.
4. And the most exciting update for us… this team is actually a remote team spread around the Southeast in different churches and so the Begins will be able to do this full time work right here in Spring Hill, at Grace Fellowship!
This will be such a huge blessing to their family as they have the support of their church family. We know they’ve have a hard last year, with transitioning and with Diana’s father passing away, so we’re going to get the chance to love them and fellowship with them in person. AND, we will have a much closer connection with To Every Tribe since Andrew will actually be here with us, and that may provide some really cool opportunities in the future.
I know that’s a lot, but honestly, this is really exciting. I talked with Andrew and Diana, and their heads are spinning a little bit, but are blown away by the opportunity they have to start serving with To Every Tribe this way. Andrew referred to Acts 16 when we talked, where Luke says that Paul had come to Mysia, and attempted to go to Bythynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. And instead of going where they thought they were going, God led Paul and his guys to Macedonia instead. Andrew said they thought they were going on the field right now, but instead God has led them to a different opportunity to serve the Kingdom and the mission of proclaiming the Gospel, and it’s one that serves their family perfectly, and provides exactly what To Every Tribe needs too.
So, the Begins will be moving up here on August the 28th! Andrew’s actually scheduled to preach one of the Sundays while I’m gone, and we can’t wait to become a part of what God is doing!