Two summers ago, I sat at my dining room table with three other women. We met every Sunday night for about a year, discussing life, the Bible, our struggles, whatever had happened that week. I remember my sister-in-law, Stephanie, sharing the call her and her husband felt led to: Bible translation with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Looking back now, it feels like that was a lifetime ago.
This week, we, along with so many others, send them off as they travel to Vancouver to begin their journey in Bible translation, which will eventually lead them to Tanzania, Africa.
When I married Evan in 2011, I didn’t know his sisters well. I didn’t know anyone all that well. I knew the grandkids on just his dad’s side far outnumbered the whole of my family. I wasn’t fully aware of the blessing that was about to take place, like a field of flowers right before they bloom.
I’ve found myself in tears almost everyday the past week, just at small thoughts and memories of my sister- and brother-in-law and their kids. We have spent every Tuesday night for the last five years sharing dinner. Watching our kids play together. Laughing. Welcoming baby after baby after baby. (After baby.) We’ve babysat for each other. We’ve cooked meals for each other. We’ve loved each other hard in the simplest ways.
The tears come easy, but the love comes easier. We love them deep, and we love with open hands. We send them off with a gentle nudge knowing the words, “Yes! Go!” grind fear to nothing. We thank God over and over and over for obedience and open ears, because this goodbye wouldn’t be possible without it. We praise Him for our tears because it means we are blessed. We give them to God because they were His in the first place.
I never thought I would be this lucky, to have a family like this. To love people, to have anchors, to be surrounded with open hands who all believe the same: God is good, and He will be glorified.
We love you, Jesse and Stephanie! God is evident in every detail of your journey, and watching you go is sweeter than it could ever be bitter. Steph, I’ll never forget the days when we talked about this on those Sunday nights. He is faithful, isn’t He? And just think, this is just the beginning!
If you would like to support Jesse & Stephanie in their journey, please visit their website, The Workman Word, to learn more. If anything, pray with us!