Journey With Us

Yesterday, we received good news from distant lands.

Our VISA applications for an upcoming trip had been approved!!

I never knew how crazy and nerve-wracking the process of applying to visit another nation could be.

Follow the steps.

Read, re-read, re-re-read every single line of both the instructions and the applications.

Check, double-check, triple-check every page.

Make sure every single ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ is crossed.

Attach a credit card number.

Pray.

Overnight all the forms and your passport.

Pray again.

Wait.

Approved VISAs

Approved VISAs

After all that, they tell you it will take ten business days. Then, unexpectedly, you receive your applications back. Four days.

Now, it’s not always–or even often–like that. Most of the time it takes the ten business days–or longer.

I don’t know if the quick turn-around was God’s hand, a lack of VISA applications to this particular nation, plain old hard-working people who really want you to visit their nation, or some combination of the three, but I know it happened and I thank God for His hand in the process.

So, what now?

Following the Christmas Holiday, we will embark on a 3,000 mile tour of the southwest of the US. We’ll visit churches in Colorado and Texas, as well as friends (both new and old) and family in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Arkansas.

We return to Edmond on January 20.

Then, just 10 short days later, we will board a plane bound for a six-month stay in Central Asia. During our six-month stay, we will be primarily in two countries (we might jaunt over to a third country somewhere in the midst of that time) in our six-month (evenly divided largely due to VISA restrictions).

Our first three months will be a combination of further schooling and times of outreach. We will be attending a twelve-week school to help us further understand what life is like “on the field” full-time. This will aid us in working with front-line workers by helping us to understand the realities of “their world.”

In the second half of our trip (the half for which these particular VISAs were needed), we will be focusing on teaming up with some front-line workers who are helping the indigenous church (in both this country and others) to create wholly indigenous expressions of worship.

Throughout the six-months, we will talk with numerous believers (most of whom will be first-generation believers) and hear their stories of redemption. And in keeping with the cultural norms of Central Asia, we will drink copious amounts of tea and eat incredible amounts of Pide and Döner.

Upon our return home in July, we will hit the road again on an estimated 5,000 mile tour of the US telling stories of God’s great works in the nations!

Here’s where you come in.

Our work–taking the Gospel to the least reached–is done on a completely volunteer basis. We do not receive a salary for our work. Thus, we are completely dependent on the faithfulness of God–expressed through His people–to meet our living and travel expenses.

In other words, we need your help. We need you on this journey with us.

Our total expenses for the next six months are roughly $3,000 per month. This covers all of our travel expenses, living expenses (places to stay/food to eat), in-country transportation, insurance, VISAs, etc.

There’s a couple of ways that you can help. First, you could make a tax-deductible, one-time donation. If you’d like to do that, then click here to be taken to our “Partner With Us” page.

The second way is to become one of our ENGAGING THE SPHERES partners. You can get more information by following one of the below links:

Finally, above all, we appreciate your prayers for us as we go.

Thank you for prayerfully considering partnering with us on this journey! We are grateful for you!!

 

God’s Blessings in Unexpected Packages

Walking into full-time ministry with a load of student loan debt isn’t ideal, and we know that.  But, we also know that God has chosen us and has clearly led us into this ministry at this specific time.  So, we’ve been obedient and trusted God, since, after all, He is our Father, our Shepherd, our Light.

While Michael was spending time with Jesus in a 24-7 Prayer room one night during Lent, God told him that He would take care of one of our two student loans by Easter.  We made the last payment on that loan on Good Friday–God provided it all!

The balance of the second student loan was twice as much as the first.  We didn’t understand or know how or when God would provide for that loan, but we trusted Him.  Through a completely-out-of-our-hands circumstance, God has now provided a full one-time payment to pay off the second loan entirely.

In five months, God has provided all that was needed to pay off $55,000 in student loans!!  Our only remaining debt at all is our house, which–once it sells–will be completely paid off.  We will be debt-free!

We want to give God all the glory and honor and thanks and praise for being so faithful and sufficient as our God and Lord!  And the Bible commands us to tell, to declare, to proclaim what God has done!  So we acknowledge that this was all done for us by YHWH, and not by our own hand.  He is all we need!!

Financial Support

It is with great joy that I announce that donations to Led By The Word are now tax-deductible!!

BACKGROUND

One of the key reasons for our recent trip to Colorado was to meet with Get the Word Out!, an established mission organization whose mission it is to “awaken the Church to the power of the Word of God, so that each disciple of Jesus learns to hear God’s voice through His Word.”

Get the Word Out! has been an instrumental ministry throughout the path God has set us on.  Our recent trip into the interior of Mexico was with Get the Word Out!  Additionally, in that trip as well as throughout the past year, Get the Word Out! has discipled, mentored, supported and blessed us on numerous occasions.

We are excited to report that we have partnered with Get the Word Out! as a covering organization for us!  We will be able to process our donations through Get the Word Out! rather than establishing a separate non-profit organization.

The other huge benefit of this partnership is that it allows us to work under the covering of an established ministry and draw on their wisdom, knowledge and leadership.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

There are a couple of answers.

For us, it means that we have a partner organization that will serve as our Board of Directors and our covering organization.  It means that we do not have to go establish our own 501(c)(3).  Most importantly for us, it means that we are discipled, mentored and set up for success.

For you, it means that your donation is tax-deductible!  (That’s actually good news for both you and us!)

HOW WILL IT WORK?

When you want to partner with Led By the Word through financial support, the offering may be given on Get the Word Out!’s website.  Under the Donate tab of the Get the Word Out! site, there will be an option to support Michael and Stephanie Simants.  Enter the amount you desire to donate and select Michael and Stephanie Simants.  Then submit your payment information on the secure site and you will receive a receipt from us noting the amount you have given.

If you prefer to mail a check or money order, it may be sent to the address below and made payable to:

 

Get the Word Out!
PMB #321
1610 Pace St., Unit 900
Longmont, CO 80501

 

Due to IRS restrictions, our name cannot be written anywhere on the check.  In order to designate that you wish for your donation to support Led By the Word, a sticky note or a note on a separate paper accompanying the check or money order may indicate that the money is for support of Led By the Word or Michael and Stephanie Simants.