When COVID-19 hit, one of the most common questions people asked us was, “How is this impacting your call to the mission field and your timeline to get there?” Our response was that it hadn’t impacted it too much because we have a lot of things we‘re working on and there‘s still a lot of work to be done before we go to the Czech Republic.
Here’s an update on what the last couple of months have looked like for us, as well as an idea of what‘s ahead…
One of the blessings we found in the midst of being on lockdown during the pandemic was that we were able to get a head start on some of our pre-field training, as well as preparation for our online Missionary Orientation that‘s getting ready to begin later this month.
We’ve had some great video calls with several different leaders from our missions agency (TEAM, team.org), including our Appointee Mentor. Our mentor served on the mission field in Czech for 8 years and will be walking with us through this season of transition. We feel so blessed with the people that God has placed in our path to give us insight and wisdom through this process.
We’ve also had some great video calls with our fellow TEAM Czech Republic missionaries and leadership. We had planned to do a vision trip back in April, but since that wasn’t able to happen, due to the virus, it’s been great getting to know some of our teammates (virtually) that we‘ll be serving with. They’ve been so helpful and encouraging, and have given us a better understanding of what life and ministry in the Czech Republic looks like.
We’ve also been working on some assignments and recommendations that we’ve been given. Some of those things include…
- Books we’re reading
- Virtual missions training
- Online Bible training courses
- Czech language learning using Duolingo
We have a strong sense of urgency about the call that God has placed on our lives to go to the Czech Republic, and He has continued to stir a passion in our hearts for the Czech people. As we’ve gotten a better understanding of what our training is going to look like and what will need to happen prior to our departure, our projected timeline has come more into focus…
- THIS SUMMER: Missionary Orientation and transitioning out of our staff role at our church
- THIS FALL: Full-time missionary prep and support raising
- END OF 2020: Praying to be fully funded
- FIRST QUARTER 2021: On the mission field in the Czech Republic
While the first part of next year may seem like a long time from now, it’s actually a pretty ambitious goal to reach our mission field. However, we believe this is the goal that God has put in our hearts and with His provision and guidance, it’s 100% possible. A Scripture that has resonated in our hearts during this season of preparation for the mission field is Psalm 127:1…
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”Psalm 127:1 (ESV)
We’re covering this whole process in prayer and we know that attempting to do this without God’s help would be utterly foolish. So often in life, we want be in control and in the driver’s seat, and sometimes we even deceive ourselves into thinking that we are in control. How foolish we are to doubt the sovereignty of God and to think that we could possibly know better than Him. Praise the Lord that He is in control and that we can trust in and rely on Him!
One of the other most common questions people ask us is, “Are you raising your own support?” The simple answer to that is, “yes,” but to us it’s much more than just raising financial support. While some missionaries go to the mission field fully-funded through a missions agency, around 80% of missionaries around the world today are required to raise their support to cover their living and ministry expenses.
While it might seem strange to you, we believe that God purposed in our hearts to go to the mission field by raising our support. Why?
- With God’s help and guidance, our desire is to build a team consisting of our sending church, friends, family, and other churches and individuals that are an active and vital part of this missionary journey with us through prayer, financial, spiritual, and emotional support.
- We want to have a personal connection with the individuals and churches who are a part of our support team. Our desire is for our mission work in the Czech Republic to be greater than what God does in and through our family and the lives of those we impact in Czech, but also in the lives of those back home that are a part of sending and supporting us.
- God calls some people to leave their home, sell their possessions, and go overseas as missionaries. He calls others to be a part of His global mission through giving to and praying for missionaries. Neither calling is greater than the other because they are both needed.
“Some give by going, others go by giving. Without both, there are no missions.”St. Therese of Lisieux
We won’t officially begin building our support team until later this summer, but it will be one of our primary focuses heading into the fall. We’re sharing this with you now so that you would begin to pray if God would lead you to be a part of our support team. We‘ll share more in the days ahead about what that looks like and the different ways you can be a part of our team!
- Pray for our online training and orientation that begins later this month and will continue through the summer, as well as our language learning and other training we’re currently doing.
- Pray for us and for our church as we enter into a season of transition this summer with Steven’s staff role. He will be working with and helping train his successor throughout the summer, as we prepare to step into full-time missionary preparations and support raising this fall.
- Pray for Steven’s Grannie Mary Lou and for Kelli’s uncle Roger as they are both dealing with health problems and need God’s healing.
- Pray for our daughters, Kaci and Selah, as they are trying to process all of the upcoming changes (transitioning from public school to homeschooling this fall, all of the traveling we’ll be doing, moving our pet dog in with a family member, purging/packing their belongings, etc…).
- Pray for God to stir the hearts of people who hear our story and vision to partner with us as we begin building our support team in the near future.
Thank you for your prayers for our family as we continue on this journey! If you haven’t already, be sure to hit the SUBSCRIBE button below to follow our blog and join our Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/shaddoxmissions!