it is amazing to reflect on the journey that brought us here, so that now we can truthfully say that we are missionaries to the people of French Polynesia. How utterly unsuspecting we were when our daughter Alex and I visited in July, 2016, and I thought, ‘I can be useful here.” This morning my reflection centers on the grace of God and the support of our kind and generous friends who have prayed, given, and supported us in a variety of ways and every step of the way. In May of 2020 we began to inform our family, friends, and church of our plans to serve God in this field. At the time we thought it would take 15-24 months to find a pastor for Front Range, organize our household, make initial inroads in building a support network, and apply for and receive our visas. Today it is 16 months from that announcement.
The past two months and change since we applied for our visas in Chicago caught us by surprise. We thought we might be in Tahiti as soon as July 8th, but the delta variant of COVID changed that. We remain grateful to our friends Wes and Carolynn, Nick and Theresa, and my sister Tami and her husband Doug. Although “couch-surfing” is not easy, I believe it is more challenging to be surfed by surprise guests. Humble thanks, y’all.
What lies ahead in Tahiti is confinement and curfew for another ten days. That will give us time to get established, visit a few friends, and most importantly begin to listen to them and to hear their needs. In our next newsletter we will report what we are hearing and what we think our focus will be in this initial phase of ministry. Our current list of possibilities include:
1. Acquisition of the Tahitian language.
2. A new translation of the Tahitian Bible.
3. Pastor training in Bible study methods.
4. College education.
5. GED-type education for those interested in moving on to college.
6. K-12 Christian education.
7. Bible conferences and evangelistic events.
8. Training in personal evangelism.
9. Children’s ministries, like training Sunday school teachers and child evangelism events.
10. General encouragement everywhere; Tahiti has been devastated by the delta variant.
Please pray for:
God’s wisdom in how to devote our time to fruitful ministries;
for the protection of our health;
for new contacts and opportunities;
for God to supply everything we need for our new ministries.
Mark & Rene’
Many of you have asked how to financially support us.
To support us in the field:
To support biblical and general education in Tahiti (which is a serious need):