February 2013

February 6, 2013:
Dear Prayer Team,

A few weeks ago I announced that I was heading out on a trip to Kenya, Africa and I shared some prayer requests.  Thank you for praying about these things.  I returned last weekend and I am now physically and mentally back in the US Eastern time zone!  Here are some of my reflections and praises on the outcomes from the trip to Kenya.

Safety and good health in my travels:  Thank the Lord – both of these requests were answered!  I had no issues with sickness during the trip so I was able to focus all my energy on the reasons for being there.

Productive discussions and wisdom from the Lord:  Along with my two other co-workers that I traveled with, we had great meetings.  This trip was not as “exciting” as going to set up a new mission location or fix a major infrastructure problem, but the purpose of the meetings was just as important to the future of Bible translation in Africa.  The effective use of technology is critical to this work!  In many African locations where missionaries are serving, major technology challenges still exist:
  • lack of stable power
  • little or no Internet access for communications or data back-ups
  • few qualified people with strong Information Technology (IT) skills to provide support
  • very limited funding for improvements
So our planning meetings were key to identify solutions for these issues, gain leadership’s support, and prioritize the future work.

Good interactions during the meetings, considering moving to Africa:  It was great to meet many of the people with whom I had only exchanged email with in the past, and to get a better understanding of the changes which had taken place in our organization in Africa Area last year.  The main reason for my participation in these leadership meetings was to gauge whether there is a good fit for my particular skills with the work in Africa, as a follow-up step from my initial inquiry last summer.

Krista and I were specifically praying that if the Lord does NOT want us to pursue a future assignment in Africa, that he would close the door during this trip.  We have been considering this idea for over a year now, being on hold since last summer.  While we are open to the Lord’s leading, we don’t like hanging in limbo.

In my interactions with our mission’s leaders now, I didn't get any negative feedback or direction to not pursue this.  So the Lord did not close the door, and instead I received affirming encouragement to pursue this assignment in God’s timing.  What is God’s timing?  Only He knows!  With a bunch of major decisions to make, I feel like we probably won’t be moving to Africa until next year at the soonest.  The Lord could accelerate this but realistically we need time to process through the specifics for my assignment and Krista’s assignment too.  As with any big step of faith, there is a bit of fear but we will continue on until we feel that He has closed a door, or made our next steps clear.

There are still some changes underway in how our International organization relates to the field entities, so I’m right in the middle of that and the leaders need to work out those details.  I do have a good understanding of the role I would fill in Africa.  We need time to figure out whether we sell our home here, in this crummy market, or keep it and rent it out.  What would either of those options mean for our kids when they come “home” from college, when there is no home or someone else is living in it?  Although Nick and Amanda both encourage us in this step of faith, they are still our major concern.

As you can see there are some big decisions and we need the Lord to answer these questions!  Our next significant step is for Krista to join me on my next trip to Nairobi Kenya, which is planned for May.  Then she will be able to see that part of Africa for herself and get more comfortable with the idea of living there.  She will talk with some of the other women who live there to gain their insights, etc.

I didn’t share any pictures online during this trip.  The Internet access was pretty weak where we were located during the first week.  The site of our meetings for the second week had better Internet access but I was working long hours then.  I am starting to put together a newsletter and we will share some photos at that time.

As Krista and I journey down the road seeking God’s will for our future, we are thankful that you are here alongside us in prayer and we will share more specific requests as they arise.

Thankful for God’s leading,

Hank & Krista Scott
Wycliffe Bible Translators