2012 Winter Spring Update

Greetings from Mike and Kathy,
Josh Mills, 2005
See the photo to the right? Remember this guy? If not, rewind to 2005. Josh Mills arrived at the JAARS Center in 2005 and worked in the Auto Shop with Mike for six months. He was at that tender age where young men seek what is to possibly be their life-long career. Josh was earnestly seeking the Lord and asking the question—should I use my mechanical aptitude for Bible translation or should I seek secular employment. Josh had not yet attended any kind of mechanical training but had great aptitude. Plus, he had a servant’s heart and learning attitude.
In the meantime, he completed his schooling, took a job, and began paying off school loans. Josh still sought the Lord’s leading regarding using his mechanic skills at the JAARS Center. Josh then began the arduous task of applying for membership in SIL, the parent organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators and JAARS. He had a sending church. He had an experienced person to help him navigate raising prayer and financial partners. However, Josh had too much school debt to be confirmed as a member.So Josh worked. And he worked. And one day, he became debt-free. And very soon thereafter he became a member.Then Josh had to raise financial support.  So while he worked he continued with much effort and prayer to raise the needed support to serve at JAARS. He also completed SIL’s six-week Intercultural Communications Class, or ICC. All SIL members have to complete this pre-field training class before beginning their assignment.One day Josh called again. He was at 100% financial support. He packed up everything, said his goodbye’s, and arrived at JAARS on March 30th.Josh also made the sacrifice to become Automotive Service Excellence Certified, ASE, which carries a huge stamp of approval not just for our missionaries here but for the governments of the countries SIL works in.On  April 2, this year, Josh began to work at the JAARS Auto Shop full-time.
Josh at ICC, January 2012
Why do I tell you his story? Because Josh is a fine example of rare sacrifice to pursue the Lord’s calling to missions. It’s been seven years. Did you catch that? SEVEN years! He worked diligently. He prayed diligently. And he stayed focused to reach his destination.  And now he’s here. Each day required several small steps toward reaching the goal.
 
What have you been diligently praying toward, working toward? We encourage you to keep praying and serving the Lord. He will bring to pass what He has called you to.
 
 Other Happenings
 
January
Pastors in developing countries have a great need of transportation for evangelism and to minister to their congregants, sometimes even to escape danger. “With Open Eyes” meets this need with motorbikes. Phil Heinecke and John Pepper returned from a Land Transportation trip to Kenya. John is the LT Director and Phil is our newest mechanic. JAARS Land Transportation is providing training in maintenance and repair. There are great opportunities for our help there.

February
Mike talks with Will Austen from the “Institute for Affordable Transportation”. He will ship two BUV’s here for testing and evaluation. After this, they will be hauled to Samaritan’s Purse Headquarters in Boone, NC. (See the following link for a review of the BUV.) http://mike-kathysmith.blogspot.com/2011/03/iat-overview.html Also, there is talk of possible involvement in building a BUV micro-factory overseas.
March
First JAARS Day of the year
Mike speaks to one of many visitors that day
One of the four-wheel drive vehicles used for rides
Airfield prepares for aerial demonstration
Mike was on the rugged trails doing four-wheel drive rides and Kathy was registering, greeting, and directing the public at the Information table.
Kathy in the cold hangar, bundled up at the Information Table. You can see the Land Transportation
display in the background.
 
 BRRR—the wind was cold but the fellowship warm. Our staff at JAARS Day had many meaningful conversations and made lots of contacts all for the sake of Bible translation. There was a 5K race with 82 runners participating, and we were able to tie this into the 10K race in Nairobi that promoted awareness of the Bibleless. We had over 500 visitors. Food service served 445 people, 75 rode in the 4-wheel-drive vehicle, and the helicopter sold out of rides.
We will stop with March for now. There are many other events taking place here and for that we’ve added a Facebook page to give brief, weekly updates.
With summer now upon us Mike is involved in a world-wide detailed survey of the mechanic needs of every Wycliffe entity. We will update you in the next post. It is a big task but is already underway and we are finding out how big the need is. The Lord has continued to provide staff not only for the automotive needs at JAARS but world-wide. We just completed a Technical Evaluation on another mechanic. He and his family are beginning their assignment in Papua New Guinea next month.
This year got away from us very quickly and we are already working on our next update, which will include highlights from April and May. We encourage you to visit our Facebook page, where we give brief weekly highlights. Click on the following link and then click the “Like” box. Mike & Kathy Smith: This Week at JAARS
As ever, we thank all our prayer and financial supporters for your faithfulness these many years—now going on nine!
Blessings,
Mike and Kathy
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