July 2019
New family photos for Clara’s 2nd birthday!

Matthew 11:28-30
28 Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and my burden is light. 


As a mama of three littles, this passage is so promising: rest! Sweet, glorious physical and soul rest! A nap! And no heavy burdens!

As I read this passage over and over this month, I kept expecting the Lord to whisper to my heart about how much I deserve a good rest (or at least a morning sleeping in). And yet, on my 57th time reading these verses, do you want to know what He really spoke to my heart?

I am gentle.

I don’t think about that much. I reflect on Jesus’ goodness and power and healing... but on His gentleness? Not really.

My grandfather passed into eternity this month after a 6-month  battle with pancreatic cancer. Our van broke down on the side of the highway 40 miles from home before being diagnosed with a failed transmission. My work was busy and stressful and so were Allen’s classes. 

Things didn't feel gentle. Instead, it felt like things were being thrown at us from all sides and we had to catch them while balancing on a tightrope and eating a banana. 

And yet, we are told by Christ Himself that He is gentle. That means everything He does is gentle. That means these things are passing into our lives through the gentle hands of Christ. 

The gentle hands that hung on a tree and bore our sins are spread wide, welcoming us into His presence. The gentle hands that healed sinners are allowing things into our lives that make us look more like Him and less like the world. The gentle hands that broke bread at the last supper are breaking down idols and images of self in our lives. And the gentle hands that formed the world in Genesis 1:1 are holding our lives together now.

Batts Abroad Website
We recorded a July Newsletter video! The three and a half minute video shows a real glimpse of our life (complete with Ruth serving us pretend coffee). You can watch it here!
This month, we praise God for...
  • A generous anonymous gift to our O&P that paid for the rest of our language school. Thank you, friend!!
  • How God has graciously provided for our van’s transmission to be fixed and for us to attend Melissa’s grandpa’s memorial service. 
  • Very specific answers to prayer for Allen’s schooling needs.
  • New partners! It is seriously so fun to discover who God has to join our team. 
In July, we...
  • ... celebrated our sweet Clara Mae turning two years old;
  • ... took new family photos (We try to take new photos every time one of our children has a birthday. It ends up being every 6 months or so.);
  • ... spent another sunny and hot weekend at our friend's cabin on a lake where we played in their club house, adventured in the woods, watched fish in the water, relaxed, ate good food, and enjoyed the sunshine; and
  • ... enjoyed a good visit with Melissa’s brother, Jeff, who was in town for work!
Coming Up

We are heading to Oregon the first part of August for Melissa’s grandpa’s memorial service. Allen will take finals shortly after our return and register for his next semester of schooling (just 3 more to go!). And we are continuing in our Prefield assignments and partnership development. Busy summer!
Pre-Field Update

We are unofficially at 70% of our monthly need! We set an audacious goal to be at 70% by the end of the month, and on July 30, we had enough verbal commitments to make that goal. Thank You, God. God has also provided 58% of our Outfit & Passage (O&P) need, which covers all of language school in France plus half a vehicle in Togo.
Team Update

We mentioned in our site visit blog posts that the kitchen in the Kpalimé Village of Light School for the Blind burned down several months ago. It is being rebuilt this summer! Tresses were going up this week and it should be fully operational in the coming months. You can read more about our team here!
Thank you for partnering with our family prayerfully and financially!
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Batts Abroad · PO Box 307 · Beatty, OR 97621 · USA

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