The Blessings of God

During the recent transition from Montana to Florida, we saw God’s blessings in many ways. We braved flooded highways, mechanical problems, stormy weather and the pressure of a time schedule, yet found wonderful people across the country willing to help. In South Dakota we needed to replace an axle. After limping into Sioux Falls late one Sunday evening, we faced the prospect of finding a good mechanic that could fit us in on short notice. The good folks at Graham Tires got us in, fixed the axle and had us back on the road before 10:00. Great customer care and good service, at a very reasonable cost.
All through Missouri and Arkansas we were either running just ahead or behind the storms that generated the deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma. We stopped early a couple times to allow the weather to pass and praised God for the earlier delays that kept us out of the storms. Leaving Memphis, we ran into torrential rains that forced us to stop for the night in Mississippi instead of making it to Alabama like we had planned for the night. The next day, we continued our journey and had suffered a blow out on the trailer we were pulling. Had we undergone this the night before instead of stopping it would have been very dangerous. A kind gentleman stopped to help us change the tire even though he was on his way to the hospital to see his wife and the new baby they had that was born the night before. How grateful we were for his help and the blessing of meeting him.
After a day’s delay finding new trailer tires we continued our journey. Because of leaving late, we could not make it into Jacksonville on schedule. We stopped for the night chafing at yet another delay. How foolish we were. Continuing the next day, we had just left the interstate when a tire blew on our vehicle. This was unexpected, as they were brand new and we had not run over anything on the road. We found out later it was a defective tire. After 3 hours we managed, with the help of a tow truck operator, to get the tire off and a spare on. We limped back to the nearest town for a new tire and then headed to Jacksonville, arriving about four in the afternoon.
Now we were really frustrated with it being late on a Friday Memorial Day weekend. We had missed meeting with our Realtor due to arriving three days later than scheduled and the holiday. I was really not looking forward to spending extended time in a hotel after a long, exhausting trip. On the way into town, we had seen a sign advertising a home for rent. We called the number, met with the owners (who had advertised just hours earlier) and moved in the next day. Only God could work out a place to stay within 24 hours of arriving in a city. While temporary, we are grateful to have a place to stay that is convenient and time to look for a permanent space for Ta Ethne to grow, as well as for our family to live. God has shown us His timing, His blessings and taught us a valuable lesson of trusting in Him.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.

Celebrating Starting Over

Recently, followers of Ta Ethne have read posts of our impending relocation. While details are still being worked out, the opportunity we have to expand our ministry is something to be celebrated. Our partners know of the tremendous changes that have already taken place in the last 10 months. When we founded this ministry in 1995 under the name Discernment Ministries it quickly flourished as we made audio bible studies and personal investigative bible studies available worldwide. In 2004 we attempted an ambitious expansion that unfortunately failed – the launching of the short lived Montana Institute of Theology. While we had overseas students who enrolled and took classes over the internet, local classes never developed. We had the classroom space donated, qualified teachers volunteered (many of them experts in their field) but whether the timing was wrong or for other reasons only God knows the venture failed.
In 2005 we turned our attention to training church leaders overseas, primarily in SE Asia, and the response was overwhelming. To this day we have more requests to come and hold training seminars than we can financially do. God has blessed us tremendously in developing long term relationships flourish and churches started across the globe that we have had a part (albeit small) in.
In 2010 we began writing books to complement our bible studies, and dedicated ourselves to using any proceeds to fund overseas trips. To make sure we didn’t get prideful over money, we also promised to give away two books free for every one we sold. As God has blessed, we have given away over 2,500 books to Christians all across the world via e-books. Each month we place a resource free on Kindle for people to download as well.
In 2012 we re-launched under the name Ta Ethne to reflect our growing involvement in the world, among all peoples. Our ministry has followers from each inhabited continent and many in countries where Christianity is oppressed and afflicted. Almost 100 countries are represented among our correspondence. Truly we are reaching across the globe and that is due to the power of God.
Now, in 2013, we are relocating to the eastern US, where we will be closer to international airports, which will reduce costs for trips and allow us to speak to more churches. While Montana has been very conducive to allowing us the solitude to work on projects, it is quite a bit isolated in other regards. Many churches and people have requested training seminars but the travel costs have been prohibitive. With a relocation, we can be better stewards and reach even more people.
We are celebrating this time, even though it is stressful and busy. To see how God has grown the ministry over the years is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Only He could have opened the doors for us. Just since Easter, we have ministered to leaders from Peru to Korea, Angola to Latvia. How wonderful to see God bless us and direct us.
About the one failure, the short lived Bible institute? It isn’t completely a failure. It may be in a short while that it becomes a web institute to be accessible to even more people than we could ever have dreamed. God takes our mistakes, teaches us lessons and directs us in His will. What a gracious and merciful God we serve. Celebrate with us as we plan for even greater things in His service.