A Fellow's Journey from Washington to Wycliffe - page 3

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From the Fall 2012 issue of Knowing & Doing:  


A Fellow's Journey from Washington to Wycliffe

by Jeanne Thum
C.S. Lewis Institute Fellow


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Lessons Learned?

  People ask me what I’ve learned spiritually since arriving in Papua New Guinea. I have a hard time answering. It’s not facts about God or me. It’s more of a strengthening inside, a deepening trust and commitment to God. I’ve had so many new opportunities and challenges. For four months it seemed I was bringing up hard truths to people every other day. I learned that I don’t have to know exactly what to say or do. I just need to move forward, trusting God to walk with me.
  God was listening to me when I was wandering in the desert trying to get into an inner-city ministry. I see God’s hand, holding me back, as a kind hand. He knew that I am much happier in large organizations. He knew my heart for Bible translation. I am very grateful to Him for leading me here. He knew that my skills were needed here, and I could have a big impact. Although my social world has definitely shrunk living in a small town in one of the remotest places on earth, I have come alive professionally.
  Before going to Papua New Guinea, I spent two years in the CSLI Fellows Program going deeper with Christ and getting to know a great group of women. They supported me through the application and leaving process. They have prayed, given toward my financial support, emailed, and regularly sent care packages. Behind me, as cheerleaders, I feel I have a peer group of professional women who are sincerely seeking God. That makes a big difference.
  I have seen God be faithful to me as I’ve taken many risks. I still get scared at times. I can be an Israelite, doubting God after all the evidence of His care. I’ve learned more in the past five years about how much I need people to support me in order to survive. Sometimes I’d rather just be independent. But I know that would be a much less fulfilling and God-honoring life. So I keep walking in faith, eager to see what surprise is around the next corner. 


Jeanne Thum has been serving as Chief Financial Officer in Papua New Guinea with Wycliffe Bible Translators since 2007.  Before that, she spent twenty years in the Washington, DC area serving in a variety of finance and administrative roles in international organizations.  She was a C.S. Lewis Fellow from 2005-2007 and her group continues to meet regularly.  She looks forward to joining them in the fall as she is home on furlough.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE:  Knowing & Doing is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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