(written by Mary)
Dear friends and family,
It's hard to believe it is already mid December. I think I start half of our blog posts amazed at how much time as passed. Little Joya is over two months old! Can you believe it?
Here's what's been happening in our lives:
We finally got moving on fundraising, and by God's grace and provision we are a third of the way there for long term support. That means we have a little under $2,000 more of monthly support to raise.
Joya has been growing like a weed. Around Thanksgiving we were blessed with the opportunity of taking a roadtrip to speak with a couple Churches and introduce Joya to family and friends. She is a little champion when it comes to traveling!
We no longer have an exact departure date for our Romania training or first term in PNG. 2017 is a blank slate besides a planned fundraising/partnership building trip to Grants Pass, OR in January. So many times we have tried to project forward, set a date, and run with it. So many times we have been set back down again and given another piece of the foundation God is building before we leave.
This time around, I am at peace - which is a big deal for me (all of you know how impatient I can be). We are trying to be faithful to submit each step to God, follow through with the things He has placed in front of us, and trust Him to take us when and wherever He wants us to go.
That being said, my not so secret hope is that we will get to go early this spring!
We have been blessed and humbled in the process of fundraising; but I have not felt humiliated (the fear of which paralyzed me for a long while). We have received aid and advice from unlikely places, been surprised by generosity when we were most dispirited, and continued to feel the steady, affirming flow of God's movement sweeping us forward towards His work for us in Papua New Guinea. Right now, we are called to work, serve, and prepare faithfully. With your prayers and God's grace we will continue to do so.
Ben would like your prayers as he awaits news on his pending state EMT endorsement which is required for his employment with an ambulance service - this would give him continued education and practical application in the area of medical aid. He is also praying about pursuing training in computer coding as this would potentially give him a way to help support us remotely or at least when we are visiting in the states.
You're all probably familiar with the 'tent maker' model of missions - essentially, Ben hopes to be able to support our family as much as possible so that donated funds can go directly towards project needs such as printing literacy material, hosting skill training workshops, and supporting the men and women who give up there time to work with us on Bible translation and language training.
Please pray for wisdom and discernment as he strives to balance the desire to be our family's provider with humility and trust in God's provision and direction.
We are praising God for His goodness to us in this season of preparation. He continues to provide us with everything we need and to affirm us in pursuing this path to missions in PNG. Every time we share about what He is doing and what we hope to do in the field, I remember that His plans are so much bigger than our own, His vision so complete, and His love for the people of Papua New Guinea so much greater than ours can ever be. We are blessed and humbled that He has invited us to join the work!
We can never thank you enough for all of your love, prayers, and support. You are part of the work He is doing too! May He bless you in your own areas of ministry. May you be faithful and obedient in all that He sets before you. We are honored and ever amazed at the way God works in and through His people.
With love and immense joy during this season of celebrating our Savior,
Benjamin, Mary, and Joya Grimm