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 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.
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