2018 Year in Review

On New Year’s Eve we sat around the fondue pot dipping chunks of broccoli into gooey cheese and reminiscing over God’s goodness in 2018.  To be honest, the year had its challenges, but hindsight reveals how much of God’s goodness we would have missed out on
had we never received the challenges to begin with.
We started the year on an extended home mission assignment (HMA)… Meaning we were well behind in the monthly funding required to remain in the mission field and needed to visit our supporting churches and, Lord willing, make new contacts and gain monthly partners in order to keep serving in missions. We spent January and February doing just that, and in amongst the long days and prayer-filled nights, God blessed us with a train ride through the Rocky Mountains, times of sledding in the Canadian winter, and a birthday
spent on the Pacific coast with family. Extended HMAs can be difficult on family life with such a busy schedule and many meetings, so we are grateful for loved ones who prayed for and helped us take care of our children during those months. Our hearts were overflowing by the time we were returning home to Indiana and back to work.

True north strong and free.
As we drove home from HMA we encountered a blizzard, which was followed by a week of rain. All that precipitation resulted in severe flooding across the American Midwest. We were grateful that our house had been spared, but unfortunately one night we lost power
and the valiant sump pump that had been keeping us dry was choked of its power supply… resulting in water back up into our basement. It’s incredible, the damage that can be done by a mere few inches of water. We had only been home a week at this point. Our
Sunday school class showed up with coffee, food, crowbars, and work gloves. They had the place gutted in a jiffy.  The feeling of having brothers and sisters in Christ show up and help out in a time of need is like no other!

Before (the water) and after (the volunteer elbow grease).
When we were preparing to file our taxes in April, like all good guests of a country do, our tax preparer pointed out a major mistake in our previous (THREE!) years’ filings. We had previously hired professional accounting firms to prepare our taxes as we knew
little about filing in a new country and we (ironically!) wanted to ensure we did it correctly. This error — compounded over three years — resulted in a large amount owed.
Plus interest. Financially the news was crushing, but we wanted nothing more than to stand blameless before our God (because we will all stand before him one day and account for our actions in all things).  It has taken months, but we have rectified
the issue, and have been blown away with God’s provision of how to pay such a bill. I realize personal finances are taboo to include in a year-end letter, but I can’t help but praise God for such sovereignty over the situation.
It was at this point — right after the water damaged basement and debilitating IRS bill — that we found out we were expecting our (surprise!) third child. What a reminder that God’s plans are higher than our plans and His ways are better than our ways.  
In May we said goodbye to the family of six that was living with us for the previous eight months. They had succeeded in their goal of purchasing their first family home and we continue to rejoice with them as they now use their own home to minister to others.
Through the summer and fall we enjoyed many guests in our home: Family and friends that had been waiting for our guest rooms to become available.
Our responsibilities with SonSet Solutions, the mission we are on loan to from Reach Beyond, brought us all the way to Virginia on an intern-recruiting trip in the late fall. As a homeschooling family we couldn’t help but take a side trip for a day to Washington,
D.C. to take in the multiple free museums and monuments.

The Scatliffs go to Washington.
On the mission front, Tom made great progress on adding an audio bible to the solar powered, fixed-tuned SonSet® radio and refinements on the Equipment Power Protection (EPP) unit. The first EPP unit has been installed in Liberia; beta testing has commenced.
The SonSetLinkTM water monitor units he helped design and program were installed in over 141 locations (primarily in Africa) in 2018 and prove to be very beneficial to ministry partners. He looks forward to bringing a few of his main projects to
completion in 2019 and beginning some new ones.  
I continue to assist the field director in the Republic of Congo with the feeding program and garden initiative for Pioneer Christian Hospital. Our family is gearing up for a return to Congo this spring and look forward to helping hands-on for a few months
on the ground.
On a larger scale, SonSet Solutions as a whole assisted 195 ministries in 63 countries with consultation, equipment, and hands-on training during 2018. We are grateful to be part of such a group that has a passion for reaching the lost and using technology-based
solutions to advance the gospel.
We look forward in great anticipation of what the Lord has in store for us in 2019. We have learned that we can make our own plans, but God determines our steps. For we know His plans for us are greater than anything we can imagine (and I only need to look
at my precious third-born son to be reminded of that!).
Thank you for being part of our team.