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Just when we thought we were finding a groove on deputation, life changed completely. And though deputation during a pandemic doesn’t look anything like normal deputation, we are learning that we can still trust God to see us through it.
That’s because even in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, God is still on the throne. This didn’t catch Him by surprise. And He still loves us and will work everything out for our good.
So, we are trying to make the most of this time. To use it to prepare for when we can once again hit the road, and hopefully even make progress before then. Here’s a quick peek at five specific ways we are handling deputation during the pandemic.
1. Updating Our Prayer Card
We’ve had a new family picture we wanted to use on our prayer card for a few months. But, the new image is vertical in orientation and the old one was horizontal. So, we couldn’t just swap them out.
The front of our prayer card needed a whole new facelift. So, as soon as BMM announced their new logo, we decided the time had arrived. Bryan did a great job using Photoshop to create a new prayer card front. Here’s a peek:
The back is very similar to our old style, but much less cluttered now. We really like how these look. And now we’re just waiting on them to arrive from the printer.
We’re so thankful that we will have these updated prayer cards to use for our next church presentation, whenever the stay-at-home orders get lifted and we can hit the road.
2. Remodeling the Slide of Our Travel Trailer
We are so thankful for our travel trailer, and looking forward to using it on the road. But, there were a couple of things we wanted to update when we had time. Well, with the stay-at-home orders in place, we had some time. So we got started.
We have a really large slide out on the trailer, which really increases our living space when it’s out. But, when it was in, the bathroom door couldn’t open. It hit the dinette. The back bunkroom was also blocked.
Since we know we will occasionally stay overnight in rest stops (where we are allowed to do so), being able to access everything with the slide in was essential. That way we don’t have to open it up and block an additional parking space.
So, Bryan drew up designs, and we completed an inexpensive remodel that made the slide perfect for our family. Here’s what we did:
- Took the hide-a-bed style couch out
- Disassembled the dinette and used the pieces to create an L-shaped sitting area with the table turned the other way
- Built a custom twin-size bed with storage underneath that will serve as a couch during the day
As we made the changes, we paid close attention to the weight, to ensure we didn’t go over the limit. We read how-to posts and watched lots of YouTube videos to see best practices for RV remodels.
Now, you can reach the bathroom and bunkroom with the slide in. And when the slide is out, there’s room in the living room to set up Tyler’s playpen without blocking anything.
It’s incredible! And since we weren’t using the couch as a bed before, we still have the same amount of sleeping space. (The dinette no longer makes down, though someone could sleep on the bench portion if necessary in the future.)There is also more storage, under the new bed.
Here are a few pictures of the work in progress:
We’re definitely excited by this new space! We already stayed for a few days in the trailer at the beginning of the pandemic to get a better sense of what it was like. Now we’re planning on doing it again soon, in the remodeled space.
3. Creating Videos
We haven’t yet done many videos for our ministry. But, that is changing.
During this pandemic, we are recording some videos. Bryan recorded a short introduction and update video recently. He’s also been working hard putting together a video presentation of the missionary presentation we typically do in churches.
We had a little extra time available for Bryan to learn how to use new video editing software. It’s been exciting to watch the videos take place.
4. Contacting Churches for Virtual Deputation Meetings
Have you ever heard of virtual deputation?
Neither had we.
But, as our scheduled meetings began getting canceled for the COVID-19 crisis, we knew we had to start thinking outside the box. So we spent time in prayer, and this is what the Lord brought to mind.
As mentioned above, Bryan has been working hard to get our presentation in video format. Now, we can send that to pastors who are interested in learning more about our ministry during this time. They can even send it out to their congregation (if desired) to help spread the word about Missionary Acres.
With churches across the country embracing social distancing and virtual church, we thought this would be a good solution for the short term.
So, if you’d like to schedule a virtual deputation meeting, let us know! We can send you the video and you can share it with others.
Bryan is also working on recording a couple of sermons, so he’ll have a full-day worth of preaching and presenting ready for you.
5. Spending Time in Prayer
The need for more help at Missionary Acres is great. The folks there need reinforcements, and our hearts long to be there right now. It’s hard to not be in the place where God has directed.
Especially when we worry that this pandemic has slowed our progress and we will be on the road even longer now. The kids are confused at the changes in life. They aren’t all old enough to understand what is happening, so this has been tough for them.
So, when we start to worry and fret, we take time to go to the Lord in prayer. We remind ourselves that He is still in control and that He knows exactly when we will be at full support and able to move to the Acres.
Using part of this time to grow closer to God has been a good thing.We will never make it to Missionary Acres without relying on Him!
Also, we were able to join in a virtual prayer meeting with the dear folks at the Acres recently. Technology can bring us together, no matter how far apart we are! It was such a blessing to be able to see them on the screen and hear their prayer requests. Now we can better pray for them.
We also know they are faithfully praying for our deputation journey, and we are so thankful for that.
Deputation During a Pandemic Is Different
Right now, there are a lot of unknowns. We don’t know when the governor of Washington will lift the stay-at-home order so we can resume our deputation ministry. We don’t know if churches will jump right back into meetings, or if we will have several across the summer that will be cancelled.
Our spring hasn’t looked anything like what we planned. But, we have so much to be thankful for. That includes:
- Our support level hasn’t dropped.
- We were home with a natural break in meetings when this pandemic began.
- We’ve only had to cancel two meetings so far.
- The folks at the Acres are all staying healthy (they’re all in the high-risk group).
- We learned a lot about staying in a travel trailer while we were still at home in case we forgot something really important.
- We’ve been able to use the time wisely to accomplish much for our ministry and our home (like cutting firewood).
- We’re all staying healthy.
- Owen is in a really good place medically. His seizures are under control and his balance is back!
- We’re trying new ways to connect with churches.
- We’re learning more and more to trust God.
When you take time to count your blessings, it gives you such a better perspective. Even in the midst of a pandemic.
So lean on God and trust in His plans. They will work out for our good, no matter what happens.
And, if you’d like to have a virtual deputation visit to learn all about our ministry to Missionary Acres, please contact us. We’d love to tell you more about the amazing respected heroes of the faith who call Missionary Acres home.