Story by Verna Stutzman

 Get out of the boat

 Cedar Hill, TX
Dec. 28, 2000

 This month we celebrate the 17th anniversary of our leaving secure and stable secular jobs to follow God into the ‘wild’ world of missions. 17 years = 204 months of ‘not having a clue what our monthly income will be’. Did we ever go to bed hungry? Did our house or car ever get repossessed because we couldn’t make the payments? Did we ever go without medical attention because we couldn’t afford medical care or medicine? The answer is “NO”. God faithfully took care of us month by month.

So what has my Heavenly Father taught me with this kind of lifestyle?

1) He has taught me that He is trustworthy. I can depend on Him to take care of me. Guess what? He even took care of us when I worried.

2) He has taught me to be content and patient. While some people rush out to buy an item the minute they desire it, I can patiently want something for a long long time. There is no internal pressure that I must have it immediately.

3) He has taught me to be thankful. I can be very thankful for very trivial things. It’s true that there were times when we did without certain things – like living without a phone or car; eating a lot of rice and tinned fish instead of fresh meat; rewrapping used items instead of buying new toys for Christmas presents, etc.. But those experiences just made it easier to be thankful for nice things when we had them.

Would I do it all over again? Most definitely, “YES”. When God bids us to step out of the boat to follow Him, we’re in for a challenging and exciting time; not necessarily an easy time. But it’s worth the ride! So step out of your boat!

PS Dec. 26, 1983 was the day we first left for Papua New Guinea 17 years ago.

PSS On Jan 2, 2001 I leave for Papua New Guinea again. This will be my second trip over there since we left PNG in 1995. Please pray for safety for my travels and grace to help Bible translators with their linguistic computing needs.

PSS Submissions for the grandma – grandpa naming contest are as follows: Robert – grandpa, papa, popie, pawpaw, pepa, pepaw, papah, G-dad, granddad, granddaddy Stutzman, daddy Bob. Verna – mure, grandmother, grandmother Stutzman, grandma, grandma Stutzman, mama, mawmaw, mimi, mema, memaw, nana, G-mom, honey. Since I won’t announce the winners until the end of February, there is still time to get your vote in or change your vote if you’d like. We can do as many ‘recounts’ as we want!

PSSS I pray you had a wonderful Christmas!