First… Ministry News
Some changes and redirected focus.
Historically, Obrero Fiel was an online library for all audiences searching for biblical resources for personal use or use in their own ministries/churches. But because of a shift in percentages, we are beginning to refine our resources to accommodate the changes.
According to The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 66 percent of all Christians are from the Global South as of 2020, up from 43 percent in 1970. The demographic center of the global church is shifting to the Global South. Building on the legacy of more than a century of church planting and disciple-making, especially in Latin America, Avant journeys with churches in the Global South to develop their capacity to impact the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In light of this, our focus is shifting more toward equipping those church leaders and missionaries to support this shift in the demographic center.
My role as their Website Specialist is to create and maintain an online space that allows our current Avant missionaries to encourage and train Latino church leaders to participate actively in our network of missionally developing churches (Red de iglesias misionales). This space also provides leaders with tools and ministry materials to accomplish the development plan they create for their church. Ultimately, with this online platform, the team can collaborate with local churches in their ministry to the unreached around the world by equipping churches and their missionaries for successful cross-cultural ministry among the least reached.
Without getting too technical in description, I plan and design the interface and content for users to be able to access the tools they’ll need for accomplishing their work. My work focuses on making sure resources are accessible and usable as they connect, facilitate and mobilize the church in the Global South toward missional health and proactive engagement in reaching the unreached globally.
The image with the new members shows where we’ve sent our most recent trainees in the program and where they’ve begun serving to reach the unreached as cross-cultural missionaries.
Scot and Jessica
I don’t even know how to begin this year-end update. I want to be merry and full of Christmas cheer, but I’m not. It has been a doozy of a year, and I’m missing my Daddy. He went to be with our Lord and Savior on July 29, 2022. My heart aches to hear his voice. My mind wanders to dark places wondering why we must endure such pain and loss. In March, I was so happy to move back to my hometown to be close to my family, and just four months later, he was gone. I’m not even finished unpacking boxes. And I’m not really motivated to do so.
But, there’s work to do! Jesus said to Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20).
We are all commanded to do this. Not just “official” missionaries. But my “official” ministry role is equipping those who teach and lead others to Christ. Indirectly, I’m able to reach a greater number of people through the work of those I help equip. I still try to do my personal work of the great commission in my home area of influence, but my focused work is in Avant’s Global Engagement online ministry that I outlined in the message above.
I am so honored that God has chosen to include me in his work of spreading the Gospel in a way I never imagined. One prayer I ask of you this coming year is for my mind to stay focused and for my heart to be comforted.
I haven’t been very active with updates (and even on social media) this year, but I will try to engage more going into the new year. I still haven’t posted photos of Christmas cookies with the grands or even our family Christmas gathering earlier this month. But I’ve been tagged in a few photos, so if you visit my personal Facebook page, you can see some of the fun we’ve been having. Plus there are lots of photos near the end of this post.
Most significantly, new life brings hope, and my newest granddaughter does not disappoint! Baby Lilly Murphy Tapp was born December 12, 2022. Just the bundle of joy our family needed. She was given my Daddy’s name in his honor and remembrance. God has impeccable timing, and He knows what we need. I’m truly thankful for His grace.
I’ve been having some periodic pain and numbness in my neck and arms, so my neurosurgeon wanted to get some updated MRIs and Xrays. Thankfully there is nothing concerning. It doesn’t discount that I’m still experiencing issues, but at least we know they aren’t anything that will cause permanent damage. I’m learning to manage it and I’m trying to be better about keeping up with my exercises and massage therapy.
My six-month checkup after removing the cancer on my nose was great! Nothing to report there. I just need to keep up six month intervals.
Everything is smooth sailing for Scot’s health right now! As for his work, it’s been a roller coaster! He’s still working from home, but every couple of months they announce that they will be returning to the studios on “this or that” date. So far … this hasn’t happened. So for now we enjoy the convenience of his presence at home and are glad he isn’t driving to Addison from Kaufman to work.
Since the move, we began attending Country Bible Church in Kaufman. We love being back home with our extended spiritual family, but we certainly miss Grace Bible Church in Dallas. I am still somewhat active with the women’s ministries and attend those when possible.
Grace’s women’s group finished up a study of the book of Acts in the spring. I served on the curriculum team that wrote that curriculum. In the fall we began a study on the life of David in the books of Samuel and selected Psalms. Over the summer, our team wrote the curriculum for this study as well. I also teach the lessons that I wrote for the corresponding sessions. It has been a challenging and rewarding experience, and I hope to continue with it.
In October, I took on the lead role of organizing Grace’s women’s retreat (planning actually began long before that). There were so many obstacles encountered as we planned, but God orchestrated it perfectly. He gave us exactly what we needed at the right time for us to accomplish a fun-packed weekend full of meaningful fellowship and worship with about 60 of our ladies.
We utilized three different venues (did I mention obstacles?) in Grapevine, TX. Because we had to change our original date, we weren’t able to use the speaker we had planned. So we formed a cohesive teaching team of five (including me) from the ranks of our own ladies. We had great feedback and I’m grateful for the entire retreat team!
Some of this is repeated in a previous update, but is worth a second mention! Also, be sure to scroll down for a photo “dump!”
Natalie graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M Corpus Christi! She also started her own business and is doing very well. Carl recently had extensive back surgery. He’s got a long recovery ahead of him, so prayers are appreciated.
Amanda’s family has grown as Lilly entered the world on December 12. Amanda now works for her previous school, Green Oaks Academy. She serves as the Director of ResLife and is able to do much of her work from home.
Joe is still with Aspyr in Austin. He was recently promoted to Senior Customer Service Analyst. It’s obvious they value his work ethic and skills.
Many thanks to you!
We thank you so much for your prayers and financial support! We couldn’t do it without you.
Gallery of Memories
Please consider Avant’s Global Engagement Team as you plan your year-end giving. Our team has more than doubled over the past two years and the ministry is somewhat new. We could use some financial help for the project. You can give online here.
Our insurance costs jumped this year and I’m still significantly under financed. Please consider joining my team or slightly raising your giving amount to help with the added expenses. Use Jessica Jenkins as the missionary name for online giving at this link.
Looking to 2023
We don’t have many firm dates for anything yet, but we know a few things that are in the works.
February: Country Bible Church and Grace Bible Church Missions Conferences.
TBD: I hope to make a trip to Mexico this year to reconnect with friends and visit team members.
Support: I’m still seriously under funded. Please consider how you might be able to partner with me or who you might share the opportunity with those who could.
Please consider allowing me to speak to your small group or organization about the work we are doing to train missionaries from the Global South to reach the unreached.