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A New Year Update From the Nutters

A Year in Review

Wow, what a year it's been. It's held so much we can hardly believe it has only taken place in a single year. Here are some High(and Low)lights:

Jan-Feb: We spoke at a few churches, Sam taught Jess to drive a standard, we packed up all of our things to ship to PNG, and we traveled to North Carolina to complete a 5 week Intercultural Communications Course. March: We were able to visit Jess' dad in Georgia, we traveled back to Texas, started going to the gym regularly, visited friends and toured the State Capitol in Austin, got our necessary vaccinations and bloodwork, all while beginning to build our Wycliffe ministry partnership team. April: We met consistently with partners and potential partners, spent Easter with our family, and Jess got to take her sister's prom and senior photos. May: We hosted a community moving sale and sold the majority of our things, continued meeting with partners, and completed a lot of paperwork for visas and work permits. At the end of the month someone wrecked into our car and made a claim it was our fault, so we spent most of June sorting out insurance and borrowing vehicles. June: Celebrated Jess' youngest sister's graduation from High School and we found out that Jess' role in PNG had been eliminated. Thanks to generous friends and partners we attended the Weekend to Remember, a marriage conference in Sugarland, and we were gifted a short vacation in Guatemala (where we were able to see a friend and fellow missionary). July: Soaked in as much time as we could with dear friends and family all over Texas, Jess mourned the severance of a valued friendship, we had a last hurrah with our best friends camping on the river in San Marcos where Sam lost his wedding ring, and we bought our first home (in PNG). August: We received our visas and work permits, said many goodbyes, moved to Papua New Guinea (PNG), and celebrated our first anniversary. September: We attended the Goroka Show for Jess' job, said more hard goodbyes, celebrated both of our birthdays, and temporarily adopted our friend's cat. October: We joined the "pony club", deepened our community, and Jess began to volunteer in the Scripture Use department. November: We took an eventful road trip to the coast to stock up on more affordable groceries and spend time with friends. While there we were able to boat to a nearby beach, hike through villages to a waterfall, and then humorously got stranded on the boat on our way back. Jess started a new job in the Aviation Department which she loves. We also hosted our first Thanksgiving away from home with dear friends. December: We went to work parties, celebrated with friends and the community during a center-wide break, and we experienced our first Christmas in our own home.

A video to share

In December 2018 Jess decided she wanted to capture a few moments of every day in 2019. "What started out as a plan to get me to carry and use my camera more often ended as a treasure of memories from a meaningful year." This video is one she's been working on for...well, a year. It is comprised of moments, highlights, and by no means encompasses all that this year has held and cannot convey the growth, grace, and resilience that has developed in us and our marriage. "While I didn't remember to video every day and I ended up using my phone more than my camera, I'm so thankful for this compilation that will allow us to look back on 2019 with gratitude." Feel free to watch it here:

What's Next?

This month we begin our language and culture field training that will last until early April. Our training will include leaving our home and living in a village for an entire month. Village living was Sam's favorite part of all the training he did the first time he moved to the field. We are excited (and maybe a little nervous). This also means we may lack in our communication during these next three months. We ask for your prayers during this time.


Health: Jess struggled with a recurring infection most of October and November, while it has finally been resolved and she is feeling herself again, we ask that you pray this infection does not return during the stress and conditions of our upcoming training. The village is a place where many are exposed to new and different health concerns due to location and sanitary differences. We hope you will pray with us that we remain healthy during the duration of our training. Deep learning: We will be learning about ourselves, the history and culture of Papua New Guinea, and  more of the language as well. We will be presented with lots of new information and given opportunities to practice it. We ask you to pray with us that we will absorb and retain this information in a way that will positively impact our ministry and relationships in this country. Meaningful relationships: During our stay in the village, not only will we be immersed in a new community, we will have a local host family who will teach us and look out for us during this time. We pray we are able to build meaningful relationships with those we get to do life with during this time in training. Finally, we ask for continued prayers over our financial situation. Even though we raised enough to be released to the field, we are still a little short of our set ministry budget and beginning this month we are expecting an increase in some of our financial obligations. While these circumstances have increased opportunity for faith in God's provision, we pray you consider partnering with us financially, increase your current giving, or pray with us that God expands our partnership team.

Thank you to all of you who have remained faithful friends and partners as we have journeyed through the highs and lows of this past year. We love and appreciate you deeply. Happy New Year, The Nutters


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