July 2013

July 5, 2013:
Dear Friends,

Here is a brief update on our ministry plans.  Thank you for praying for us!  About five weeks ago Krista and I returned from our trip to Nairobi, Kenya and we are now caught up again with our life and our roles here in the USA.

Toward the end of our time in Kenya, Krista didn’t have an opportunity to update the online blog which she had been writing, but I posted an update the day that we began our trip home.  In case you didn’t see it, I will share an important excerpt here, in order to better communicate our plans.

“If you have seen Krista's Facebook posts or other notes, you will know that we are feeling now like this is not the time to come here to live [in Kenya, that is].  We are still seeking the Lord's guidance in this important decision and we appreciate your prayers!  While there is certainly a need in East Africa for qualified IT people with my skill set, we also have identified some important issues and concerns which we don't see an immediate resolution to, which would prevent us from moving here.  Getting Krista's perspective on these things has been really helpful and I appreciate and respect her opinion.  Over the years, she and I have always been together in unity as we look to the Lord for His direction, and we are now sensing that He may be saying, "Not Yet" as far as coming here or elsewhere overseas.

On one hand that is discouraging, because we have both been looking forward to the possibility to serve the Lord closer to the "front lines", but we also know that God's timing is perfect.  We recognize that my role in serving the fields from a central office in the USA, basically as the Director of Technology R&D for SIL's global operations has a strategic significance.  I would need to leave that role to serve in Africa.  Therefore remaining in the USA has a positive side that I would continue in my current role, helping oversee the development of solutions that impact Bible translation and language development around the world.

We will continue to seek the Lord's will in this matter and try to stay sensitive to His leading!  I may be able to have an increased focus on involvement in Africa Area IT work even from the USA, and that is something that I need to investigate further, in discussions with our leaders.”

I wrote that five weeks ago and it is still correct.  So to recap this info, we now plan to continue serving in our current roles here in the USA with a global impact, for a couple more years.  A few people have asked for more details about our reasons for this decision, since we were not very specific on our blog.  Basically we don’t feel that our children are ready for us to abandon them and move to the other side of the world.  Technically they are adults now, but they still need us here.  After much prayer we feel that it is best for our family to wait until both kids have completed college and have begun careers of their own.  They are not ready yet to be fully independent, and our role as parents – including being locally accessible, is still important.  In fact Krista and I have always felt that our MOST IMPORTANT mission is to raise our children in a Godly manner and to launch them into the world to follow God’s will.  That still trumps our “jobs” as Wycliffe missionaries, even today.  So if we need to do that from North Carolina, AND we can still be contributing in significant ways to the work of Bible translation from here in the USA, that is great!

Now that we have had a month to think and pray more about this, we have a peace that it is in fact God’s will for us at this time.  There were other things that stood out when we visited Kenya:
  • Poor communications ability (limited phone and Internet)
  • Concerns about good medical care for Krista
  • Very dangerous heavy traffic (which would affect Krista more than me since she would need to drive to do the shopping)
  • An ever-present concern about personal safety.
None of those things on its own would be enough to prevent us from moving there though.  Thousands of other missionaries trust God to help them overcome these issues in third-world countries, and we are no different.  So those concerns would mainly be annoyances and with the Lord’s strength, we know we could handle them.  On top of those concerns though, the need to continue to provide parental support for our young-adult children is the major factor which made us realize it is not yet time to make this move.

Since we have returned to NC, I have begun working as part of the core team on a major new technology project for our family of organizations.  This project was ramping up prior to our trip, but I refrained from getting involved then because I thought we would be moving to Africa.  But now that we are back home for a while, I can sink my teeth into this project, which is what I really love doing!  I won’t go into the details of the project in this update, as it is already long enough, but I will save that for another time.

Thank you again for your part in helping provide God’s Word to the millions who still need it, and for your interest in our ministry!

Hank & Krista Scott
Wycliffe Bible Translators