“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” James 1:17
Some of these photos might look familiar to you – they are from 2019, when Hutton spent the summer on Nias. Just a little walk down memory lane, and a look at the kids when they were much younger! Now Hutton and his grandfather, Steve, are going to be spending two months together on Nias, beginning May 6th.
You might remember our plans for 2020 included Bible education and church leadership classes which, of course, were put on hold. We are excited to announce that airline tickets have been purchased and plans are underway to conduct these classes this summer! Steve and Hutton will spend time with our staff, talking and evaluating their needs and the needs of area church members. Our two local preachers will be included in planning and teaching, as well as having the chance to be students themselves – a rare opportunity that we hope will encourage and strengthen them in their roles. Steve and Hutton will also utilize their time teaching some of the Bible classes attended by the dormitory and children’s home students. In every way possible, they will be present to teach and encourage in multiple settings and to all age groups. As they navigate the needs of the community, we will be able to assess what will be most helpful as we strive to serve the church on Nias. Remembering that many villagers have limited reading skills, we aim to help them grow and strengthen their Bible knowledge, and in that process grow and strengthen our relationships with them. This is an exciting time. We know that our presence on Nias is something beyond our own ability to have planned and understand. It is a story that has been more than 50 years in the making. And while the world is full of stories of division and dissent, let us be thankful for and focused on what God is doing in the midst of everything we cannot explain. Please pray with us for the safety and success of our travel plans, and for the relationships and the souls that will be impacted by efforts made in His name.
Because many on Nias, especially in the villages, have very meager wages, we will do everything possible to encourage attendance, hopefully removing any obstacles so that anyone who wants to learn more about the Bible will be able to do so. We will provide transportation, lodging, and food for all attendees. Throughout the summer, there will be various opportunities to gather and study together, some in a more formal, classroom format, and some informal Bible study groups.
Hutton is the son of Scott and Tracey, grandson of Steve and Jean. He visited Nias for the first time with his parents and older brother, Tanner, in 2016, after graduating from high school. He attended Lipscomb University with a plan to major in engineering. Not long into that endeavor, and with a love for words and language, he changed his major to English. He spent the summer of 2019 on Nias, and expanded his language skills dramatically by learning enough Bahasa Indonesian to effectively communicate with the kids, staff, and locals. After graduating from Lipscomb in May 2020, Hutton continued his studies at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, AL. He will graduate in May 2024 with a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in missions. He is excited to return to Nias with his grandfather to help teach and encourage, as well as to reunite with everyone there.
All of our administrative costs and travel expenses are covered by designated gifts. Your donation fully benefits the staff, students, and church members in Indonesia. If you are interested in donating to the general fund, that includes many things like food, school tuition, clothing, school supplies, utility costs, etc. If you would like to donate to a specific area, that is also welcomed. Feel free to put the area you want to support in the memo line on your check.
We thank you for your support. Your involvement means so much to so many. We are looking forward to sharing photos and stories of the activities this summer