As we have traveled around the country raising support, we have deliberately put Sora’s ministry front-and-center at every church we’ve visited. There are many reasons for that: midwives are rarer than teachers on the mission field; Sora’s calling preceded and in many ways generated Matt’s calling; and midwifery is the reason we’re going to Davao City, and not somewhere else; and Sora has already been to the Philippines and practiced midwifery at the birth center during her short-term trips in 2009 and 2010, so she has lots of stories that help churches here in the US understand the impact of midwifery in the developing world.
I, on the other hand, have not been to Faith Academy yet. So my testimony about its impact has to be second-hand. Since I’m about to join the faculty, I get emails that are sent to the school’s email list from parents of past students. Two such parents, translators with Wycliffe, gave me permission to share their message:
Dear FAM administrators, teachers and volunteers,
We thank the Lord for you. We are grateful for your love for God, missions and children, and your skills and training.
The existence of Faith Academy Mindanao made it possible for us to live in Davao and do our work ((New Testament translation for one of the SE Asian languages). Our son attended FAM for 9 years (1994-2003) and our daughter attended for 12 years (1994-2006). Now you are continuing to keep missions projects going for a whole new batch of families, as well as reaching an international business community.
May the Lord give you wisdom, creativity, ideas, physical strength, and joy in being here.
With much appreciation,
I have often said that one of the reasons we’re going as missionaries is to leverage our gifts in the service of Christ. Yes, Sora’s work as a midwife has been a blessing to many families here in Cincinnati, but it will be a blessing to many more in Davao and beyond. Yes, my work as a high school teacher and Bible teacher has been well-received here in Cincinnati. But it will be even more valuable in Davao.
And there is another way in which this multiplying effect will be at work – one that we have already seen during our deputation time. As we’ve visited churches (all over three REC dioceses and many ACNA parishes as well), it has struck me that as missionaries, we can be a blessing to many more churches here in the USA – churches with whom we would not have any contact or much relationship if we were not going abroad.