language acquisition

God's Heart for You


When Jack and Laura arrived in Central Asia, they were open to the unknown as they entered two years of language learning and ministry-team building. It all began as they awaited the arrival of their firstborn son.

They gained their bearings. In the early stages of their transition, new sights, sounds and smells became more familiar. Jack and Laura* began to recognize neighborhood faces on frequently-traveled streets that lead to and from home. This was their life, their new normal. Then, they suffered a miscarriage.

In the months that followed, Laura’s hope spiraled downward. “I felt like the only person I had here was [Jack]. My [language] wasn’t there yet. We didn’t know our team leaders well before we came.” She said she wondered in those moments if God even cared about her.

In her darkest hours, Jack spoke truth of the Lord’s promises and character to her. “He never thought less of me and we became closer through it,” she said.

Months later, the couple was ecstatic to learn they were pregnant with their daughter. She was born in October 2017 and they gave her a name which means, ‘life.’

Shortly after she was born, amidst the excitement and the praise for their new joy, Jack began to feel increasing loneliness. The thoughts and feelings which brought him lower came and went but he said the way he felt in their second year of living in this country was significantly worse than their first.

The ever-present reminder that Jack was not in a culture or language he knew, with few friends other than his family, was paired with emotional wounds from his childhood he did not realize would affect him. 

“It’s hard remembering you do have a purpose when the day is menial or tedious,” he said. There were moments he could emotionally engage and be mentally present but then other times he simply could not.

Then, in a conversation with a friend, the couple was reminded of something they were told many months before.

The Lord brought you here not just for Central Asians. He brought you here to draw your heart closer to Him as well.

The trials which bring growth and perseverance only continue and at times are more stressful when living in a completely different context. Hearing friends’ and family’s encouragement from the States filled the couple with hope. Wisdom and love shared from near and far helped Jack and Laura to press through severe struggles, doubts and bouts of loneliness.

Through The GO Fund’s Ropeholder Event, after conversing with friends about who the unreached are and about the unfinished task, participants will have the opportunity to learn ways they can specifically pray for partners like Jack and Laura. Then, they can record themselves as a group and send videos of encouragement to the field workers they prayed for. 

It’s an event that not only brings you closer to understanding God’s heart for the nations, but also his heart for those who have gone out to them.

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 1:4-8

Jack and Laura are now finished with their intensive language program and they continue to grow in their understanding of Central Asian culture. Jack has been working through parts of his past that need healing. Their family joyfully pursues ministry opportunities and have seen the Lord consistently bring people into their path who are seeking truth. They are also expecting the birth of their second child in November.

*Names changed for security

In the 11th Hour


Rebecca remembers every detail of the room she was in when they heard the news. She and her husband sat on a couch in a temporary living space they were sharing with other families also being trained by their missions agency. Their list of belongings was downsized and their lives were in transition. Then, they got the call.*

“You no longer need to worry about your student loan debt, you are GO Fund partners.”

It was as if the couple had been anxiously watching a timer count down the seconds up until this moment, and they could finally see what the Lord was doing for a long, uncertain season. One month later, they boarded their plane to leave the U.S. indefinitely.

Years prior, the two met when they were both studying for their Master’s Degrees in Wheaton, Illinois. Rebecca was earning hers with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language while her husband, James, was studying overseas ministry work.

They knew as they dated, when they were engaged and in their marriage that they were being led to move their lives to the unreached people groups of East Asia. Because of the heightened-security climate in the country they were being lead to, they were eager to use their degrees. “People will definitely ask, ’What are you doing here?’ And it would be a lot easier if we could say, ‘we’re teachers,’” Rebecca said. “You need a reason to be there.”

While confident their degrees would legitimize their visas in East Asia, they realized this bound them to several years of monthly payments. It is a burden that would wear down the limited finances they needed to thrive overseas. They knew it would be unwise to leave with the weight.

So, they asked, When? How will we be obedient?

The couple chipped away the total little by little, but the time and money it would take to completely rid themselves of the debt would take years. “People rallied behind us and gave a lot to pay it off,” Rebecca said. “We still had a lot and what we’d be making month to month overseas wouldn’t be a lot.”

Then, a friend told them about an organization that pays off the student loan debt of missionaries going to unreached people groups, The GO Fund. They did not want their hopes to climb only to be rejected but they still applied, trusting the Lord would care for their needs in his timing.

They simultaneously walked through an application process with their sending agency, and when they finished their last interview, one month away from being sent overseas, they were called and told they were going to be freed of their student loan debt.

“It was literally perfect timing. In the midst of our disappointments, God was working to make things work on his plan and timing,” James said.

One year after the family arrived in east Asia, the government implemented “Evaluation Criteria” for foreign workers. Any foreigners working in the country are now categorized by a points system. There are three categories – A, B, and C-level workers. You are more likely to be given a work visa status based on the category in which you are placed. The best way to gain points? Higher-level education.

“In hindsight, thinking about everything the Lord planned out for us to get to this place is just mind-blowing to us,” James said.

The couple are now in their second year of language acquisition and they welcomed their first child in July. Their next step is to seek university-level teaching positions in their city. They have already begun to respond to opportunities laid before them to share the gospel with neighbors.

Every conversation and interaction are embraced with the joy of knowing the Lord’s perfect timing provided how, where and when they were supposed to be.

*Names have been changed for security

Faithfulness in Singleness


It’s a question she continues to wrestle with as she strives for contentment in a phase of life that remains uncertain – “Will I still be single in the next few years?”

Living in her new African home with her team was merely a dream and prayer for Mary* a little more than a year ago. Now, two months after her arrival, she can look back at the long and exhausting journey that brought her to this point in her ministry. It took years of praying, seeking the Lord’s open doors, training, and waiting.

However, as her new normal begins to settle and daily routines slowly but surely become reality, a restlessness seeks to consume her thoughts in quiet moments.

While Mary hopes to be married, her first desire is to obey the Lord’s leading whenever he tells her to move. This meant that instead of waiting in the comfort of her own culture and language, she remains hopeful while wading through the difficulties of preparing for long-term ministry. “I think that’s something the Lord is teaching me to place in his hands. I’m prayerfully waiting on it,” Mary said. “It has remained consistently the thing that causes anxiety, worry, fear.”

The concern for what’s next and balancing our desires with seeking the Lord’s will has been the struggle of every age and every stage of life. It’s a human pain caused by anticipating something while trying to hold loosely the gifts that may never come – Abraham and Sarah waited for a child and didn’t expect it by the time the Lord blessed them with one (Genesis 18). Jacob waited seven years for Rachel, then worked another seven years to earn her (Genesis 29). Simeon was promised an introduction to the Lord’s Messiah before his death but waited several years before Mary and Joseph walked with baby Jesus into the temple (Luke 2).

While every desire and each persons’ ‘wait’ is different and to be considered from an individual perspective, there are a few things that hold true for everyone who understands what it means to hopefully wait on the Lord.

Your feelings are true, real and valid and the Lord wants to meet you there.

The Psalms overflow with lines of lament, confusion, mourning and questions for direction. We can resonate with brothers and sisters whose stories in scripture reveal similar hurts from patiently waiting.

“I do think the Lord has really met me,” Mary said. “I think in all of that, I have experienced his comfort and his grace. I think I’ve experienced extra measures of his grace through teammates, people from home, and locals.”

There are things you can do in this season you cannot if you get what you asked for.

Whether it be in ministry, your personal circumstances or any area of influence in your life, when the Lord says “yes” to what you have been asking for, things will change forever. Specifically in singleness and ministry, there are opportunities single men and women can take that are more difficult for those who are married. This is how these phases of life are intended and it is good but cherish the things that will change when that next phase comes.

There is purpose and intention in this waiting and it is never wasted.

While the Lord understands and empathizes with our hurts, desires and waiting, he is never surprised by our current position. However long or short it may be, the Lord is using the period of time his children sit in waiting to produce a trust, faithfulness and perseverance.

As Mary contemplates the ways in which God prepared her to be in this place and she peers into the near future when she will see him transform lives with the Gospel, she points to his faithfulness and provision.

“Above all, I am a beloved child of God. That’s what my identity is rooted in,” Mary said. “It’s a privilege and honor to serve with the lost here … Our Father is the one who provides and sustains. To cultivate faithfulness doesn’t come naturally to us as human beings. I think that’s something I’ve been encouraged in. Whatever that ends up looking like, I’m going to strive to cultivate faithfulness.”

*Name changed for security