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The Wilds are far from being an island. We live on one, but we don’t function like one.
We have an amazing support base. First of all, we have our home church, Rocky Bayou Baptist Church. For me, when I think of this church, I think of family. There are so many women at that church that I love. The women who taught me in Sunday School growing up, the women who suffered through lock-ins for youth group and took us to summer camp, the women who opened their homes and cooked for all of us college-age kids and taught us from God’s Word. These women held retreats and challenged me to live for Christ. They surrounded me and loved me and challenged me to be a loving wife when Mike and I got engaged. They were just as excited as we were when every little Wild boy came into the world. They bought us onesies, made us quilts, and bounced those little boys when they cried in the nursery. They have families of their own, kids that I babysat and now are all grown up. Rocky Bayou Baptist Church is a special place, and even those who have moved away always come back to visit. This is our family’s root system. Almost all, if not all, of our individual supporters stem from relationships at our home church. These are the people who love us, encourage us, and sent us out to the mission field. All I have to do is just think for a moment, and dozens upon dozens of faces pop up in my thoughts. People who said, “We want to be a part of what you are doing,” and who have faithfully stood by us year after year. They have prayed earnestly for us when things were hard, given sacrificially month after month, and rejoiced with us in good times.
Next, in our host country we have a whole troop of people who stay busy with logistical support details. These behind-the-scenes jobs are hard, tedious jobs. I could list them off and you might not think twice about them. Accounting, for example, entails keeping track of dozens of accounts, flight bills, bank transfers, and making all the numbers add up, all the while living in a place where electricity is not guaranteed and the Internet is fickle. We have people who buy supplies for all of our interior works, and this job includes driving—driving on very crowded roads that takes a lot of concentration to stay alive. These support workers are buying groceries not just for a week or two for one family, but they are buying groceries for multiple families for months. We don’t have Wal-Mart or Costco. We do have decent size stores, but the stores here aren’t used to bulk buying, so their carts are mini-size. This means you will most likely fill several carts and be the object of many people’s stares in the process. We do buy supplies for ourselves when we are out on a break, and it is just exhausting, so it is hard for me to imagine the grace that one would need to do it day after day for many other interior teams! We also have people who are in leadership roles, people who maintain organization relationships, people who arrange our permission to be working here, people who keep contingency issues managed, and the list just keeps going. All these jobs have challenges and are difficult. But the people who do these jobs just keep on serving so that families like ours can minister to people out in the jungle.
Outside of our organization and home church, we also work closely with three individual mission aviation programs. They are the ones who take us into the village and bring in our supplies and make emergency medical flights. How selfless are these men and their wives. They spend hours upon hours flying in some of the harshest conditions. Our mountains are known for quickly developing squalls and heavy afternoon winds.
We also have a medical team on our island that serves the whole expat community. They are always just a phone call or email away when there is an emergency or a medical mystery that we can’t diagnose.
In the village, we also have our coworkers, a family we met and trained with more than 15 years ago. All these years we have worked side by side for the sake of seeing our tribal friends understand the gospel and grow in Christ. And now we have fellow believers living in the tribe who are working just as hard to see the rest of their language group hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and see churches established and reach maturity.
We are so thankful for everyone who makes up our team. Every one of them works together for the sake of the goal. Every individual is needed and is a part of God’s work; not one role is more important than the other. This is a beautiful picture of the body of Christ.
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