Merry Christmas! We are excited to share our first periodic newsletter after God called our family to the Knysna, South Africa earlier this year! As we look back over the last several months, we stand in awe of God’s miracles.
Since God’s call on our lives around Easter time this year, it has been a whirlwind of praying, planning, budgeting, reading and researching. We learned how to create our own website, researched visa requirements, secured a service agency to function as our “home office” for tax purposes, held meetings locally in Tallahassee, and simply learned how to present the vision for Knysna. The Lord has provided us a close prayer team that has come alongside our family and have been praying diligently over this process. Through all these initial phases, we were still of course heavily involved in our home church (First Baptist Tallahassee, FL), Terrah had maintained her responsibilities as Children’s Choir coordinator at church, and Caleb was still working full-time. It became apparent rather quickly that support-raising was going to be extremely slow and scattered while working full-time. So we committed to simply pray for a miracle, that God would provide us a way, in His timing and plan, to hit the roads and begin serious support-raising. After a couple months, He did just that! We are still amazed and humbled at how God has worked in the lives of His people to respond to the vision for Knysna!
So now it has been a little over a month since God providentially provided for us to fund-raise full-time. Since mid-November we have put about 3,500 miles on our trusty Jeep Grand Cherokee (affectionately named Lupo) on various trips across the southeast to and from our home and church in Tallahassee. As we have met with old friends, made so many new ones, spent precious time with family, and even taken the occasional break to see some of the glories of God’s creation (or simply let the kids run around!), we have seen God’s hand move in each meeting and as every miles passes. He has gone before, beside, and behind us all the way. We have had 20 meetings in a little over a month, both with individuals and groups, and God has blessed us with 18% of our monthly operating budget already! Praise the Lord!
Each day, it is more and more clear that our call is God-ordained. And because of what we know of our Almighty God, we proceed with boldness and confidence in His call. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” 1 Thessalonians 5:24.
In this Christmas season, as we are squeezing in various shopping trips to buy gifts for family and friends amid all our travels, we are reminded of so many individuals who have already given gifts for the work in Knysna. It is truly humbling to watch the generosity of God’s people! We are also reminded in this season of gift-giving, that no financial gift could ever compare to the gift of Jesus Christ. How unfathomable the generosity and graciousness of our God! That the Creator of the universe, who not only spoke the heavens and earth into existence but also holds it all together (Colossians 1:17) and calls each of the countless billions of stars by name (Isaiah 40:26), the One with all authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18), should choose to humble Himself, come as a little baby to dwell on earth with us, to become homeless so that all mankind can finally be truly at home, is at once incomprehensible and yet indispensable. For without this astounding truth, this overwhelming generosity and graciousness, restoration into a right relationship with God Almighty through the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross would not be possible.
Our hearts long to be in Knysna already, to begin the work God has called us to. Yet we also know that in everything there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1), so we rejoice to go through the support-raising process. The Lord is continually refining and strengthening our faith and knowledge of Him. So many people have been such an encouragement over the past months. We’ve heard stories of missionaries pursuing their call in foreign fields, of whole communities coming to Christ in some of the most unexpected countries, of God’s working in individual families to adopt precious children, and of His miraculous provision when circumstances are dire. We are excited to be called of God in this amazing time and to have stories of our own to share! God is always at work, in every generation, in ways we cannot possibly fathom. “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” Habbakuk 1:5.
Below are some specific ways you can be praying for our family at this time. Be sure to check out our website (mellos4knysna.com) or our Facebook page (facebook.com/mellos4knysna) for details about the work the Lord has called us to and how you can get involved. We look forward to sharing in our next newsletter all that the Lord is continuing to do. Merry Christmas!
- Safety traveling – Just in January, we have meetings lined up in North and South Carolina, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and of course back home in Tallahassee!
- Committed, monthly support – God has blessed us with much success after only a month, pray for His continual provision! Click the “support” button above to learn how you can be involved.
- Levi and Chloe – Traveling continually, being in a new place most nights, and meeting so many new people is taxing one our 3- and 1-year-old. They are outstanding children and we have found that God gives the exact measure of grace necessary for each situation.