March 2020

Isaiah 66:9 says, "'Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?' says the Lord. 'Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?' says your God."

I have long, drawn out, painful back labors. For our three kids, I labored a total of 83.5 hours. (That's almost three and a half days, in case you didn't do that math.) At times, I remember thinking, "This is never going to end. This child will never come out." And yet, Isaiah 66:9 is true - God does not close a woman's womb when the time to deliver is at hand. After long and arduous labors, a baby was always placed on my chest.

Let's put that concept in our pockets and switch gears. 

We were first appointed to Togo in March 2018, so we've been serving in prefield minsitry for two years now. And while that initial appointment feels like forever ago, it also feels like just a blink (which they warn you about, but no one ever believes). We're so close to being fully funded (less than $1,000 per month to go!)...and yet, at times, it feels like the end will never come. 

As Allen and I were talking about this the other day, he reminded me that giving birth is always the most difficult during transition - that time frame where labor is about to end so that the pushing can begin. By then, a mama's body and mind is exhausted, her stamina has been expended, and she just wants a nap or coffee or both.

We feel like we're entering that time of transition. Our time of laboring in prefield (completing ABWE courses and assignments, seeking the Lord's will in partnership, working fulltime, finishing school, etc.) is drawing to a close and we're entering that time of the final push before we leave for language school and the mission field (packing our container, selling our house, continuing to connect with people and churches, leaving my job, wrapping up Allen's last courses). 

The trouble is, we never know how long transition or pushing will last. And now, with all the things happening in our world with the COVID-19 pandemic, that time frame may end up being longer than we'd anticipated or hoped. 

Yet, we know that God has not brought us to this point of delivery just to close up our proverbial wombs. We know that He will give delivery. Our hope is in Him, not a timeline we prayerfully considered and established. Our hope is in Him, not an extra vitamin C tablet or elderberry. Our hope is in Him, not our house selling quickly because we cleaned the carpets and repainted the walls. Our hope is in Christ alone.

Thanks for walking (and laboring and pushing) alongside us the last few years. What a blessing knowing that together, we are seeking to make the Lord known in West Africa. Together, we are fulfilling the Great Commission. 

PS - We share praises and prayer requests every Tuesday on our website (!

PPS - We also have a video version of our newsletter! Watch it here. 

Batts Abroad Website
In March, we...
  • Played in the snow and built lots of snowmen...
  • Started packing our new, beautiful shipping container...
  • Ordered a lot of supplies off of Amazon...
  • Enjoyed some nice spring sunshine...
  • Created a "new normal" working from home with some sweet little coworkers..
  • And shared with Christ Community Church in Anchorage, AK (thank you for having us!).
Coming Up

In light of everything that has happened lately, our final training was transitioned to an online format. Pray for us as we participate in Field Prep Seminar, March 30-April 8. Allen's graduation from Wayland Baptist University was scheduled for April 17, and though the ceremony was cancelled, we are celebrating him this spring as he wraps up his degree.
Pre-Field Update

We are at 86% of our monthly support and 95% of our Outfit & Passage need. We've been purchasing our needed supplies and God is continuing to provide one-time and ongoing partners for our team. We are praying that several more churches join in the work God is doing in West Africa.
Team Update

Teammates in Kara are navigating the COVID-19 outbreak. The Togolese government closed borders and is preventing large group gatherings, to include church services. For more information about how the pandemic is affecting life in Togo, watch this quick video update we shared in late-March. 
Let's Stay Connected!
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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