Batts Abroad November 2019

Never Before

November 2019



Early morning snuggles at the kitchen table.


"There is a time for everything and a season
for every activity under heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3:1

All the pictures, art, and instruments were off our living room walls and their holes were spackled over, covered in spray texture, and staring us in the face – stark white against our tan walls. Friends would be over soon on that Friday night for dinner, to share life, and to hear about Togo. Our living room was embarrassingly bare, the kitchen wasn’t clean yet, dinner wasn’t ready, and our kids were screaming like banshees.

You know, just a normal evening.

I was emptying potatoes of their innards and scooping them into our new mixer when a knock sounded at the door. Allen opened it, inviting friends in from the cold and into our crazy. As their kids shed coats and started running around with ours, I popped twice-baked potatoes into the oven and we all started chatting. Work, kids, church, crafts, dogs…

We laughed over dinner at how many potatoes were consumed and lamented over kids who randomly choose to be picky eaters.

We cleared the table and moved into our living room, sitting on the floor to share our hearts about Togo while kids ran around, sometimes reappearing randomly wearing a princess dress or toting a plastic cash register.

And at the end, after inviting them to partnership and before downing some amazing homemade eclairs, our friends said, “We’re excited! We’ve never done anything like this before!”

We haven’t either, friends.

As I think about that night and how encouraged Allen and I were when we went to bed hours later, I can’t help but laugh – isn’t the Christian faith all about doing things we’ve never done before? Yes, some of it is the daily discipline of Scripture reading, prayer, discipleship… but so much of it stepping out in faith when the Lord says, “Go!” even if we’ve never been there or done that before.

In this season, our packing list is posted. Inquiries have been submitted about shipping quotes. We’ve applied to language school. The next pieces in the “Go!” puzzle are being examined and (slowly) fitted in place. Sometimes, it feels like the next seasons are so far out of reach that we’ll never get there. And sometimes the next seasons seem all-too-soon.

We’ve never done this before, but praise God He sees all of eternity at once: He sees creation and Christ’s return simultaneously as He exists outside of time. He sees these puzzle pieces. He sees our uncertainty and excitement and joy at being involved in His redemption work around the world.

We’ve never done this before… thanks for doing it with us.





This month, we praise God for...

  • Friends who helped plow and shovel our driveway after a big snowfall...
  • Healing from croup and colds before the Holiday season...
  • Our Sunday School class (seriously - it has been such a blessing to get to teach again!!)...
  • His provision. Our God is so good, y'all.





In November, we...

  • Taught a kids' Sunday School class and shared at Hillside Baptist Church in Anchorage (and of course, made an Instagram story and took selfies)...
  • Hosted a fun little prayer time with our local partners (who are surprisingly competitive when it comes to West African trivia)...
  • Enjoyed a few days of snow-covered Christmas lights (and lots of cozy "nuggles" as Clara calls them)...
  • And watched a local middle school's production of "Frozen Jr." (the girls were super starstruck when they met Anna and Elsa!).




Coming Up

In early December, we will celebrate Ruth's 4th birthday before the big seasonal rush and Christmas. We are exploring shipping options and requesting quotes, completing house projects, and working towards attending Field Prep Seminar (FPS) in April 2020.


Pre-Field Update

We're currently camped out at 76% of our monthly need and are waiting for some partnership commitments to process through that should put us over 80%. God has also provided 82% of our Outfit & Passage (O&P) need. Thank you for your faithful support and giving.


Team Update

In mid-November, we received word that ABWE is creating a Togo Central Team! We will be joining this team rather than the Togo South team and are looking forward to engaging with them in the coming months. Several of our future teammates are in language school in France right now and others are currently engaging in prefield like we are.




Let's Stay Connected!



Thank you for partnering with our family prayerfully and financially!
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  July 2020  
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