When things don’t go as planned.

It has been a very interesting summer around here!

We are facing a serious challenge to our ministry right now, but more on that in a bit. First I want to share a few wonderful things from this summer.

We had a blast serving at Walnut Hill in Wisconsin
for a week in June.

Back in June, we were invited to be the missionaries-in-residence at a Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Walnut Hill Bible Church in Wisconsin. Folks, this was the first VBS either Candice or I have ever attended, and it was so much fun! We talked to the kids about water pumps, solar media centers, radio, and so much more… but most importantly, how to harness all things to spread the Gospel.
If you remember, I (Tom) was able to travel to the Darien Gap of Panama, back in April. The rural church there was built by the local families. It was built with love, but not with the best materials. The roof has rusted through, leaving a good number of sizeable holes which rain and water come through. These young followers of Christ at the VBS in Wisconsin raised over $2000 to give that church in Panama a new roof! What a joy to see our young brothers and sisters sharing with the ones so far away.
I’ve also been busy with pulpit supply this summer, having the chance to preach a total of five Sundays between four different churches, including our home church in Indiana. It’s a joy to share the Word, and what we see the Lord doing in our lives.
But the icing on the cake this summer came August 21, as our oldest son, Jonathan, decided to be baptized. What a beautiful thing to see; what a beautiful thing to choose!

Jonathan making a public declaration of faith in Jesus.
At work, we’ve made some really good progress on some technology. I had an engineering intern for 10 weeks, and we were able to develop a technique that allows us to reprogram the stations on our SonSet radios. These radios are “fixed-tuned”, meaning that they are pre-tuned to Christian stations in the area, and you can’t change the stations. Well, that’s great, unless the Christian station changes frequencies, or you want to add or remove a partner station. Now, pastors and ministry leaders can selectively change the channels on the radio, using their cell phone and a small piece of electronics. This will be very useful for our partners in the field.
We’ve also been working on some new techniques for our water monitoring units. They currently run 10-20 years on one set of batteries, but can only measure a small amount of things and send a small amount of data to ensure the batteries will last. We can now use solar panels and rechargeable (LiFePO4) batteries to support much richer data collection, and a few new communication options, like 3G/LTE cellular.
So what’s the serious challenge to our ministry right now, you ask?
To work for MissionGO as Canadians on the US side of the border and to collaborate in-house with SonSet Solutions, we need work visas. These are valid for 3‑year periods, and we’ve been blessed 3 times (so far) during the course of our ministry here to receive those visas. Our current work visas expire on October 4, so it is time to renew.
To that end, we went to the Canada-US border on Thursday (September 8), to renew our work visas, but this time our request was denied!
Denied. Uggh.
Without work visas, we will have to find a new location to do ministry.
We do love the ministry we get to do here, and we had plans to be here for a while yet. But the Bible is clear:
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.” (James 4:13-14a ESV)

We don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
And God’s plans are always better than our plans — we know that and we’ve seen it time and time again.
And God knows what He’s doing. This didn’t surprise Him one bit.
Now, this isn’t set in stone, yet. The border agent presented the opportunity to add some supporting documents, modify our submission a bit, and reapply. We will travel back to the border crossing and reapply, Lord willing, on September 20. And this time, Lord willing, we will be granted the work visas.
But we want God’s will done here, not ours.
Please pray with us that, in His mercy, He leaves open the door to the ministry we’ve been thrilled to do. And that if He has something better in mind, that He will keep the door shut tight. Nothing can stand against our God and His will — not us, not the border, and we certainly don’t want to even try. Pray, too, for peace in our hearts that we’re in the only hands that are strong enough to carry us.

In Christ,


Tom and Candice Scatliff
Home phone: 574-575-8735
Email: candice.and.tom@gmail.com
Web: www.candiceandtom.com
or missiongo.org/scatliff
MissionGO Canada
PO Box 1210
St. Catharines, ON L2R 7A7
MissionGO USA
PO Box 2010
Buffalo, NY 14231-2010

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