Planting and watering

Two weeks ago, within hours of each other, two missionary families on two different continents emailed All Saints to let us know they arrived safely at their new homes.  If you didn’t get to meet these families All Saints supports when they visited us last year, allow me to introduce you to them:

God has safely carried Travis & Brooke Scott (and their two-month-old Sophia) almost 8,000 miles from St. Louis to Auckland, New Zealand to begin a church planting movement in central Auckland.  Travis, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, is also teaching a course at Grace Theological College in Auckland.  Check out Travis's blog and Brooke's blog.

God has also safely carried Tim & Cheri Hoke over 8,500 miles from San Antonio to Kampala, Uganda to join the faculty of African Bible University, equipping eager students from all over Africa to reach the thirsty souls in their midst.  The Hokes have called Faith Presbyterian Church (PCA) in San Antonio home for the past two decades, but have been called to spend their “mature ministry years” (as they say) in Uganda, using their gifts of teaching to reach many.  Please visit their website and blog.

Both families have just moved over three times the distance from L.A. to Manhattan to two very different places.

Not to say they have things easy, but the Hokes have arrived in Uganda, to join a flourishing bible college where things are already in full swing and Tim is already teaching five classes.  Also, they will soon be enjoying the produce of the land.  Tim writes: “I've planted okra, spinach, squash, and cucumbers and they've already begun to come up.  In about 50 days I'll be eating fresh produce from my own garden!”  The Lord has blessed the work of many hands in Kampala, Uganda, and God has called the Hokes to water this fertile place.

I can’t help but to think of Canaan as the Israelites entered the Promised Land: “On that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year” (Joshua 5:11-12).

Meanwhile, The Scotts have arrived in central Auckland, a post-Christian, postmodern society some might call spiritually desolate.  In many ways, Travis and Brooke are starting from square one.  Yet the same God who has called the Hokes to water hearts in Uganda has called the Scotts to plant roots in New Zealand – and He is sending people to preach the gospel to all nations across the globe.  As the Apostle Paul wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.  He who plants and he who waters are one… For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building (I Cor 3:6-9).

God has already been at work in New Zealand, and in Uganda.  And in this, the Scotts and the Hokes find their hope.  Please keep these two families in your prayers as they are used to minister to others.  And feel free to email them – your words of encouragement would mean a lot to them.  May we endeavor to support these missionaries on a personal level.