Fresh off the press: September newsletter


Yes, summer has come to a close. We memorialized it by watching the Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball team play (and lose) one of the last games of their inaugural season. On to autumn!

Reader Feedback

“[Missions Catalyst] has done more than any of the other stuff that comes to my inbox in helping me and my family find our purpose in God’s never ending story of salvation,” wrote one of Marti’s readers, Debbie: “You have SO changed the focus of our family’s ministry from local to global!”

Read how that’s playing out Debbie’s life, intercede for Marti’s writing projects and speaking engagements, get the latest on Chris’s journey in chaplaincy, and find out why there’s never been a better time to ask for a copy of Through Her Eyes (at least if you’re interested in the lives of missionary women). All that, plus some reading recommendations, can be found in our September Newsletter (see either no-frills edition for printout or fancier version to read on-screen).

I did include a subtle “ask” in this one… yeah, the Pioneers account has gone into the red, and soon my boss is going to ask me to take a salary cut. Am praying that the Holy Spirit will inspire someone to make a gift that could prevent that!

Responding to the Refugee Crisis

We Welcome Refugees

During recent meetings in Orlando I (Marti) spent time with a Pioneers worker who is stepping into a new role coordinating ministry efforts serving refugees in Europe. As a missiological opportunity, she believes, the current flood of refugees is as significant for this generation as the fall of Communism was for those of us coming of age in the early 1990’s (can you believe it’s been 25 years?) When the long-closed doors for ministry in the Soviet Union opened up, I was among those who walked through them, sent by the ministry with which I served. So was Janet.

» Read what Janet says about the refugee crisis and get the latest on what’s up with us in the July 2016 Prayer Letter.

Check it out…

Looking for some light summer reading? (ha!) CIU’s School of Intercultural Studies Published this on on their website:

Cultural Training for 21st Century Mission

What does it take to equip Christian cross-cultural workers—missionaries—to go out into other cultures ready to learn, build meaningful relationships, and be effective in ministries central to the evangelical understanding of mission, such as evangelism, discipleship, and the planting and development of viable, contextualized churches? With today’s pressures and priorities, what are the minimum standards or best practices? The significance of these questions may be clear to the aspiring missionaries, their supporters, and the organizations that send them, as their purpose and ministry are on the line. Answering these questions, however, is more difficult due to factors such as a diversifying mission force, the rising cost of training, and the demand for shorter mission commitments.

How, through pre-field or on-the-job training, can Western Christian missionaries be equipped as skilled cultural learners? More specifically, how might missionary trainers equip today’s and tomorrow’s missionaries to conduct cultural studies that can help them intentionally learn as much as they can for their own sake and the sake of others?

CIU graduate student Marti Wade explores these questions through her recently completed MA thesis (Intercultural Studies). Through synthesizing the recent literature as well as analyzing interviews from cultural trainers from 10 different mission organizations, she helps us move forward on this critical question.

Read Marti’s complete MA thesis HERE.


In which Marti reports she has finished her thesis and Chris has two interviews scheduled.

I let the whole newsletter-writing thing get away from me these last couple months. With five other publications to keep rolling, talks to deliver, and two graduate classes to keep up with, I have felt “all out” of words. Now, though, with a major project wrapping up, I finally feel as if I have a chance to breathe. Besides, I want to make sure our friends and supporters get a heads-up on next steps we’re pursuing while they are still in process.

Read our April Newsletter. I also seized the chance to post a couple of longer pieces about these topics on my personal blog, Telling Secrets. Take a look:

Jumping into January

I did get out a January newsletter! It was a little rushed. January came in with a rush, after all. But you can take a look. Or see the somewhat more graceful version with more pictures which we sent out over email.

I have been toying with the idea of sending simpler but more frequent updates. I’m not at all sure that people want to hear from me every week or two. Yet for those who do, it would no doubt be encouraging to hear things like this: that the outcomes of the situations I asked for prayer for suggest that some of you really prayed, and that God honored your prayers.

  • The Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills workshop was fantastic. And not as painful and tear-inducing as I feared… just very practical, and simultaneously, very foundational. I’m glad I went.
  • The emails I sent out about my thesis were received remarkably well. In fact, most of the ones I sent that Sunday night (!) got Monday responses… from busy mission executives. God’s grace for sure!

Thanks for praying, people. I really appreciate it.


As 2015 Comes to a Close

We skipped the end-of-the-year newsletter this year in favor of Christmas cards and lots of Facebook updates. We’ll send another newsletter after the holidays wrap up!

Maybe, though, you were expecting an invitation to make a year-end gift. Don’t let our silence on this topic keep you from doing that…  Your prayers and gifts really do make a difference, and year-end donations really help us through slim months that are bound to come!

South Carolina through the Storm


The big rainstorm that came through South Carolina at the beginning of October and dumped 1-2 feet of rain in just a few days did not hurt us directly, but did cut us off from the world for several weeks. Chris works six miles away as the crow flies. With road closures, the drive was taking him an hour and a half and required him to camp out at the hospital on his shift nights. We were so happy when the road opened up! Thanks for praying for us and our neighbors.

» Read more about how we weathered the floods and some tentative observations about local culture.

You might also check out latest newsletter. It includes updates about Marti’s researcher and writing projects and a closer look at Chris’s work as a hospital chaplain.