However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.Acts 20:24
Thank you so much for your faithfulness. You are the partners that enable us to do what the Lord has called us to do. You are a vital part of our ministry and we could not be more thankful to share this journey with you.
The work in Mexico is going strong. People are getting saved, discipled, and baptized. Several of the couples from Mexico that we have worked with over the years are getting married in June, which is a huge step in a culture where most people live together and don’t get married.
We have some other big news that we want to share with you!
We are about to have a change of location — but not a change of purpose.
Five years ago, while we were engaged, the Lord gave the two of us a very specific directive. He told us to go to Tanzania, Africa, to start a children’s home and plant a church.
We want to be the earthly mother and father to orphaned and/or abused children and care for their physical and spiritual needs as we introduce them to their Heavenly Father. We also want to plant a local church or churches.
This is not something we have taken lightly. It burns in our hearts. We have discussed this from the beginning with our leadership and we have all prayed and discussed what it will look like.
The training and work we have done in Mexico has been priceless for moving us in the direction of this calling. We know how to live in a culture very different than our own, how to plant churches, how to lead people to Jesus and disciple them, how to pray for the sick, and how to be persistent through good times, and during tough times.
We will be the first Mountain Gateway missionaries to move to Africa and know the journey ahead won’t be easy, but we are willing to do what it takes to be as prepared as possible.
Our next step is to move to Tennessee, where Jeff will attend an online Bible college to deepen his roots in the Word of God. He also wants to volunteer at a church/ministry. Mary Beth will work as a nurse, hopefully with children, to develop skills that will help her take care of our future Tanzanian children. We believe that these steps will help prepare us for our future in Africa.
We are estimating that we will be in Tennessee between two and four years. Once we are ready to move to Africa, we will work for a minimum of one year under another missionary who is currently running a successful children’s home. Mountain Gateway has several contacts and we want to learn from those who are successful so we can be as prepared as possible.
If you continue to give during our interim preparation in the United States, Mountain Gateway will track and ensure that all charitable donations are set aside and held to be used for our ministry purposes. When we move to Africa there will be many startup expenses and your continued faithfulness will allow us to begin this next phase of our destiny on a positive financial footing.
In the unlikely event that something unforeseen prevents us from continuing in our purpose as missionaries, Mountain Gateway will return any unused designated funds back to you, or utilize the funds at your direction.
Our leadership at Mountain Gateway is walking through this process with us and we are taking intentional steps for the success of both our family and our ministry.
Please pray for us. As you can imagine, this is an emotional transition. We are thrilled to be near our Tennessee family, but our hearts are also entwined with our Mexican family of believers and it is hard to say good-bye. Without them we wouldn’t be at this point in our lives.
These last years in Mexico have served to advance us toward what God has constantly spoken in our hearts since we were in language school. We knew that one day we would begin a multistep transition to another continent to serve the Kingdom of God, and that time has come!
We are grateful for your support and prayers and that we can share this dream that has been growing in our hearts for years.
One day, those who have been saved and those yet to be saved, will come up to you in Heaven and thank you for enabling us to introduce them to King Jesus!
May Jesus bring big blessings to you and your family as you go on this journey with us.
Jeff, Mary Beth, Tybee Joy, and Isaiah
During this time in the United States, we will be involved in an intentional plan to set us up for long term success in Africa.
We would like to ask you prayerfully consider continuing your monthly support. Mountain Gateway is in agreement and fully supports us.