Batts Abroad January 2019

Waiting, Sneezing, and a Bundle of Joy!
January 2019



Big sisters meeting little brother for the first time!


Psalm 84:5
Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

When Allen asked me earlier today, “How would you characterize this month?”, I told him, “Well, the first part was all about waiting... but the second part has been about learning to live in the hard.”

We waited a million years (well, 41 weeks and 1 day) for Hudson’s arrival, only to welcome him home to a house full of snotty noses and contagious coughs. We fully recognize that this is not the best environment for a newborn, but you can’t really kick your 3-year-old and 18-month-old out of the house, so instead, I spent days sequestered off from our girls, trying to boost Hudson’s immunity and protect my own health.

Meanwhile, our midwives noticed a few things at Hudson’s birth that needed to be addressed by other providers as soon as possible. So our sweet little boy had a doctors appointment every day for the first 6 days of his life. As we bundled him in his car seat time and time again, I began to feel more and more alone, helpless, and anxious. Added onto the normal post-partum hormones and fatigue, it was not cute.

But it’s how we continue on in our pilgrimage that matters, not necessarily where that path turns every day.

Psalm 84:5-7 speak to this and have been a source of hope the last few days.

For context, Psalm 84:6 mentions the “Valley of Baca” which is widely seen by Bible scholars as a place of weeping (check), an unpleasant or inconvenient place (check), and/or a place of suffering or calamity (check). We we have been in that valley.

Some other highlights for us:

First of all, we are on pilgrimage (vs 5). We don’t camp out in the Valley of Baca; we keep walking through it. We weep, but we walk. We are inconvenienced, but we walk. We suffer, but we walk. Just because it is hard, that doesn’t mean we stop.

Second, blessings come as we pass through (vs 6). This desert land suddenly flows with springs and is overcome by pools of water. A meal from sweet friends who just drop it off and run, without even coming inside our home. An extra nap after a night of long feedings. A baby boy slowly gaining weight again. When we faithfully walk, we see God and His faithfulness matching us (exceeding us!) step by step.

And finally, we are granted more and more strength (vs 7). During these crazy days and sleepless nights, it was easy to try and find strength and hope in a cup of coffee, that extra nap, a hot shower... But my true strength and hope always came from the moments I spent reading my Bible, remembering Truth, praying with my family, and worshipping God. God is the True source of all good things. May we ever turn to Him.

Phew. That’s our hearts right now. Coughing, but walking. Barren, but full. Strength upon strength and grace upon grace.

Happy new year, friends. We pray 2019 makes us more like Christ as we seek to serve Him wherever He places us. And we pray there are Kleenex enough for each path of the pilgrimage.



Answered Prayers

This month, we praise God for:

  • The safe arrival of our son, Hudson James, on January 25, 2019. January 25th was Allen’s moms birthday (she went to be with the Lord in 2016), so this was an extra special day to welcome our little guy!
  • Melissa’s mom, Patti, who flew up in mid-January to help when Hudson came. It has been such a blessing having her here, especially when RSV hit our family (including Patti) with a vengeance.
  • The friends and family who have rallied behind us with their prayers, cookies and meals, encouraging texts, and more.





In January, we...

  • ...Snuck away to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary at Alyeska, a ski resort south of where we live. We did not ski, but we did enjoy a delicious dinner, sleeping in, and a refreshing time as a couple.
  • ... Had lots of pajama dance parties.
  • ... Fought through lots of sickness, including ear infections, colds, and RSV.
  • ... And found ourselves wrapped around Hudson’s tiny, perfect fingers.




Coming Up

We scheduled a partner get together for early February... and then the plague hit our house. We have now decided to reschedule it for March. We are so sorry for any inconvenience, but want to ensure our family is healthy before inviting you into our home again!


Pre-Field Update

Due to increases in ABWE’s health insurance, our monthly support needs have increased slightly. Currently, we are at 58% of our monthly need and 27% of our Outfit & Passage (O&P) need! Our goal is to be at 75% of our monthly need by early May. This would require an additional $1,115 in support commitments, or 22 people giving $50 per month.


Team Update

In May 2019, we plan to travel to Togo for a brief site visit to meet the Togo South team. Recently, the ministry team in Kara has discovered some exciting things about how churches in the region are caring for orphans and vulnerable children. We will share more about that soon!




Rather than a video update this month, check out some of our recent social media posts through the links below!



Thank you for partnering with our family prayerfully and financially!
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   September 2019