God Is Up To Something.

The last message we left you with was that our trip to Papua New Guinea was delayed by at least a few weeks. Now it looks like it might, it fact, be delayed by months!

Everything seemed so “lined up” in mid-December. The plans were laid out, we were ready to go, Kudjip was ready for us to arrive, the funds were in place, and we had our plane tickets.

This exaggerated relief map of PNG and Papua (Indonesia) really emphasizes the difficult terrain of the island nation.
(Photo credit: qantas.com)

And then, a little blip on the work visa. We were about to apply for one type of work visa and had to change to another type of work visa. It meant some hurried paperwork and maybe a road trip to the PNG embassy in Washington, DC.

The blip grew. The new work visas usually take 6-8 weeks to process. We only had days until our flights departed. But we had hope that God could move it through quickly if He wanted to. The blip grew again. The PNG work visa office closed early for Christmas, and the work visa application couldn’t even get filed until the office reopened on Jan 9th. That was going to be a long wait. We canceled our flights. We sent you a newsletter update.

We wondered what God was up to. He seemed to open the door, then close it right back up again.

Then, January 6th, we received some surprising news. We have a new baby on board! Yes, we are pregnant.

This was a joy and a surprise and a shock. It was also a source of great trepidation; the grief of losing our last son, Samuel, at 15 weeks, is still heavy on our hearts.

Because of the loss of Samuel, our health care providers have Candice on a new regimen of medical interventions. We also scheduled an early ultrasound to make sure everything was alright.

According to the ultrasound though, everything wasn’t alright. The doctors pointed out a few things and came up with a medically accurate, but harsh, two-word summary: “Threatened Miscarriage.”

The heartbreak.

The Lord can do whatever He pleases. His will is good and perfect, and He uses all things for our good and His glory. But this is also a sin-broken world where things don’t go as He designed them, and sometimes we have to just live with the consequences of sin in the world. God will use them, but we still have to live with them.

So we waited for the hard things to run their course. Two weeks later, we went for a second ultrasound. We went to a clinic about an hour and a half away that specializes in complicated pregnancies—but more importantly, it is a faith-based clinic that loves little lives. We thought, at least, they’d be able to share bad news more gracefully.

That ultrasound came back clean. Clean! To paraphrase the medical staff, “I see nothing concerning here, everything looks as I’d expect.”

So here we are. The little one is about 11 weeks along and as best as we can tell at this point he or she is doing well.

Praise the Lord for His mercy!

These boys are pretty excited!
With all this in mind, we have had to postpone PNG for a while as Candice is not in a position to travel. We intend to head there for the same January-February timeframe, but in 2024 instead of 2023. All of the finances for the trip are squirreled away safely in a special account so we can go when the door opens.

Please pray for this little one, and our hearts, too. As we move through this pregnancy we find ourselves still bracing for the little one to go home to heaven earlier than we’d like.

But we’re trusting the Lord that His plan is good, whether it’s the same as our hopes and dreams or not. But Lord, in your mercy, please protect this little life.

Maybe this is why He allowed the trip to be postponed or maybe there is something else yet that we don’t know about. Either way, I can say confidently that God is up to something. He always is.

Thank you for praying with us.
In Christ,
Tom and Candice

Tom and Candice Scatliff
Home phone: 574-575-8735
Email: candice.and.tom@gmail.com
Web: www.candiceandtom.com
or missiongo.org/scatliff
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