Greetings in the Lord! We hope and pray you are well. In the last month, we have been in the Caribbean region and have had an opportunity to see the devastating effects of the 2017 hurricane’s Irma and Maria. Many of these islands are just now beginning to recover, while others like Dominica and Puerto Rico will struggle to fully recover for many years. In addition to our current journeys, we are also about to release a new Travel the Road episode, as well as embark on Gospel Expeditions to Africa. We want to thank you for your prayers and support and ask you to continue in every way. We know and believe the Lord will accomplish great things as the Word of God is preached! Partner with us as we reach the most distant peoples on earth and together we can bring the Gospel to all mankind.
This month, as we reflect on 20-years in ministry we will finish part two of our Q&A. It has been such a blessing to reflect on the past years and we are so thankful for the overwhelming response to our last Q&A newsletter. We were deeply touched by all the emails and messages we received telling how Travel the Road has made an impact in so many lives. Thank you for sharing your kind words and testimonies!
Q&A Part Two:
Can you tell us one of the most memorable ministry opportunities you had in your travels? Well, one of the most impactful testimonies that always comes to mind is the divine meeting with the Reindeer tribe. Most people are familiar with the episode and it is one of the most viewed ones that we’ve done. The short form of the testimony is that we were on a remote expedition in northern Mongolia during the middle of the winter. It was sub-zero temperatures and we were on horseback with our guide and translator Undra. Undra was a believer we met in Ulaanbaatar (capital city of Mongolia) at a church and her family lived near the reindeer tribe region and people. She was really excited to take us to her homeland and she was a fantastic interpreter as well. So, the three of us, along with a local guide, took a horseback journey out into the wilderness to visit the reindeer tribe. After a long journey, we came upon a lone tepee, but nobody was home. It felt odd to just make ourselves at home in the tepee, but in the winter, and faced with the exposure it’s normal to enter domiciles even if the owner isn’t home. Later that night, as we were all tucked in, we heard someone approaching and then a man and a young boy entered the tent. They were shocked to see us, but not because we were in their tent, but more so because we were foreigners and visiting them in the middle of the winter. As we talked with the man he told us he had taken his son to worship the mountains and the land this very day and this is why the two of them were returning so late. He also told us his son wouldn’t worship the mountains or land because he believed in Jesus...when we heard this we were astonished! We thought, how did this child know about Jesus? The father then explained that a couple of summers earlier, when they were near the lake, some missionaries had come to the area and showed the Jesus film and also gave pictorial books about the story of Jesus. His son read the picture book all the time and would always tell his father, “You can believe in the mountains and land, but I believe Jesus will come again.” Now, here is where the divine meeting and appointment of God comes in… the father, took his son up to the mountain to worship the land, but the boy kept saying the same thing… that he believed in Jesus. The father, in his frustration, said, “If you show me this Jesus today, I will believe.” Then the two of them walked back to their tepee and found us, two foreign missionaries in their tent, who had come to tell them about Jesus. The father was shocked and without words. He knew right then and there Jesus is real and that God had answered him! He prayed and received the Lord that night. When his wife and the rest of the household arrived the next day they received Jesus also. It was a powerful moment and one that shows how God works in amazing ways.
Who does the filming of the episodes? This is a question we get a lot….and the answer is: It’s just the two of us. There is no camera crew. By doing the filming ourselves we never have to disrupt the flow of our travel, nor are we intrusive when sharing the Gospel. This is real and authentic and gives us a unique opportunity to document some really fantastic scenes.
You’ve been to a lot of war zones, what leads you to these dangerous places? Well, since our focus is to bring the Gospel to areas where the name of Jesus has never been heard or where there is no active work being done, this makes going to and working in war zones important. We’ve been in some rough places — Somalia, South Sudan, Darfur Sudan during the genocide, DR Congo, Afghanistan during the war, Pakistan, Colombia and Peru for anti-narcotics missions, and a lots more. The testimony we carry is that in each of these dangerous places God has protected us and given us an opportunity to share the good news.
How do you feel missions is portrayed by the modern day church? You know, one of the things that always confused us is the constant theme or perception in the church that being a missionary is devotion to a life of suffering. Even some missionaries living abroad seem to exclusively focus on the suffering of their situation. For us, we love what we do. We love to share the Gospel and the freedom of a simple life. Sure, times can get tough and you can experience some harsh conditions, but this only makes you stronger. Our belief is that if you are miserable and always feeling like you are suffering, that will reflect on your willingness to do the task at hand. But if you are on a mission with a willing and cheerful heart, enjoying new experiences and loving what you do, that, in contrast, will make you much more effective. This is one of the things that we try to show on Travel the Road….We document the rough situations, but in the end, we ultimately show our love for the life of missions because we see the hand of God at work and it is the calling of our lives.
What are the strangest foods you’ve eaten? Yeah, we’ve eaten our fair share of interesting meals. We’ve eaten dog, rat, bat, cat, beetles, locust, grubs, horse, camel, whale, snake, donkey, yak, durian fruit, and much more. But the one meal that was really rough and always comes to mind was on our first mission in China. We were in the southern Yunnan region and hitching rides from village to village when we stopped for lunch. The place we found was just a little hut that was the local restaurant. We couldn’t communicate too well so we just motioned the de facto international sign for food, which is air spooning food into the mouth. That was greeted with affirmative nods, so we sat down and they brought us out a bowl that had some interesting objects in it. First, there was a cow's eyeball with the stringy muscles still attached and stretched out. Second, a cold chicken’s foot that looked really gnarly. And last, but not least, there was a pig’s tail that was stained brown on the underside...all served on a bed of normal white rice...gulp. It was hard to keep down.
What does the future hold for Travel the Road? More of the same! We are still young and full of life. The Gospel Expeditions ahead will be even more fantastic and we know that many will come to know Christ Jesus. You only get one pass at life and we want to live it fully to the Lord. The best is yet to come!
Thank you so much for the all the prayers and support! As we’ve traveled and ministered for 20-years we’ve seen the Lord work in amazing ways, but Travel the Road wouldn’t be possible without your faithful support. Your prayers continue to open doors of ministry overseas and protect our lives, while your support in finances enables us to undertake new Gospel Expeditions and produce new episodes. Currently, we are on the road and continuing to reach the unreached. We need your support more than ever as we prepare for missions in West Africa and Eastern Europe. Your partnership makes a difference! If Travel the Road has blessed you then please consider supporting the work at hand through a one-time gift or monthly support. Together we can reach the ends of the earth with the Gospel! Peace be with you.
Tim and Will