DeckerUpdate June 2016

SIM’s purpose statement has been recently updated, and it says in part, “…compelled by God’s great love and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we cross barriers to proclaim the crucified and risen Christ, expressing His love and compassion among those who live and die without Him.”

The barriers we cross include culture and language, oceans and deserts, distorted thinking, resistant hearts, and much more.  Crossing those barriers is not easy, and we don’t embark on such a journey lightly or unprepared.

Can you see what’s changed in the recently updated sign at the entrance of our SIM USA campus? Our office is no longer referred to as the SIM USA Sending Office, or SIM USA HQ. Not that those are totally inaccurate, but we believe that Global Mission Center is a more accurate description of what we’re all about!

SIM USA Global Mission Center

On this large campus of seven buildings and over 100 workers, we find, prepare, send and support workers going out into the world (currently about 800 of them), across barriers, that they might proclaim the crucified and risen Christ, expressing His love and compassion among those who would otherwise live and die without Him.

(Here are some stories that will give you a peek at what’s happening on the other side of those barriers.)

We can’t do any of that without partners like you, who give generously and pray fervently! Continue reading

April 2016

These fun pictures represent moments in April that fill me with gratitude for God’s goodness and love, and the beauty of His creation!

March 2016

IMG_1238ccRBlessed by the beauty of spring on the SIM Campus!

Grateful for new spring flower sights, fun kitten, and time with family!  We are thankful that Jacob and Katie have been near us for a while now, and appreciating the special times together while knowing they are searching for a job which may move them farther away!

DeckerUpdate: Ethiopia

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Ethiopia!

“This African country enjoys the rare distinction of never having been colonized. It is also the original home of the coffee tree, and today boasts some of the world’s finest quality coffees. Ethiopia’s rugged mountains and isolated river valleys make it one of the most breathtaking nations on the continent to visit. But even more beautiful than its landscapes are the people who call Ethiopia their home.” This quote comes from the SIM USA website, and you can read more about SIM’s work in Ethiopia here.

We’ve heard many stories over the years from friends and colleagues who have worked there, and Dave has gotten to know our SIM Ethiopia team very well over the past five years as he’s assisted them with financial matters.

So he’s pretty excited to be leaving tomorrow (March 3rd) for an almost three-week trip to Ethiopia. He’s part of a team of three who will do the financial audit for SIM Ethiopia, but he’s even more excited to spend time with those who serve there, hearing about their lives and ministries, and visiting ministry locations within the country. Continue reading

February 2016

One of the reasons I take photos is to practice gratitude. All that we have, all that we see, is created and gifted to us by our loving Heavenly Father. Taking a photo, and looking at it later, and reflecting and remembering draws me again and again to thank Him for all of these good gifts.

January 2016

January:

  • a few cold days
  • fun times with family members living near by
  • local excitement with the Charlotte Panthers making it into the Super Bowl
  • and lots of opportunity for ministry at the SIM office in both Dave’s and my areas of responsibility! (I didn’t manage to capture photos of those times!)
We love the times we get to see Char!

We were saddened while we rejoiced that this wonderful lady, Char Ransom, ended her life on this earth and is now with the LORD in glory. We love her and will miss those hugs and conversations together. She was a great example and a great encouragement to us.

We really miss being at Bethlehem during these times! We were thankful to be able to view her memorial service via livestream, and encouraged by the words Pastor John shared.  

2015: Thankful

As we look back and remember the year 2015, our hearts are full as we thank God. We have been blessed by the LORD’s  kindness in countless ways. We are so grateful for His Presence with us. In the light of Christmas, we are reminded again and again of Emmanuel – God with us. God the Son, from the grandeur of the heavens, born as a baby to dwell with us as humans, willingly entering into the pain and darkness of life on earth to shine His light into our lives.

We are thankful for the privilege of serving the Church across cultures with SIM:  Proclaiming Christ, Discipling the Nations, Loving our neighbor.  From our strategic base in the SIM USA office in Charlotte, our daily work supports and equips workers in countries throughout the world. And as you partner with us in prayer and financial support, your efforts reach around the world with the light of Christ.  Our  travels this past year to Bolivia, Germany, Canada, Thailand and Liberia have been undergirded by your prayer and support, and we are so thankful for your partnership.  We were able to visit with many of you on our Minnesota trip, and it was a joy to be able to share some of what God has been doing in our ministry and life.

We are thankful for good times with family and friends, and thankful for God’s presence through times that challenge us and help us recognize again and again our need for His wisdom, His courage, His strength.

Please continue to pray as this year closes, that we will be faithful and obedient to God’s leading in our lives. We look forward to 2016 with anticipation and hope in Him.

 

 

 

Autumn beauty and friendship

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One of the highlights of our time in Minnesota was a lovely open house hosted by our friends Karl and Gerrilyn and their family.  We were blessed by the beautiful autumn decor, and by the friends who came to spend time with us, and hear updates on our life and ministry. We are so thankful for the time that our friends gave to pray for us, spend time with us, and even gather around Dave’s phone to see photos of Joey’s send-off and our grandkids!

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Minnesota

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It’s been a long time since we’ve been in Minnesota– a little over two years! We enjoyed 10 days there at the end of October, spending time with family and friends who have prayed for us and supported us in life and ministry!

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And he’s off!

joey ship

We are privileged and thankful for Joey’s service as a military pilot. And we had a fun family road trip, with the whole family including Grandma Jane, to spend a couple of days with him before he deployed!

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Please pray with us for Joey’s safety during his time away.

Thailand

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SIM Finance and Projects Consultation
Every three years, SIM brings together finance leaders from its offices around the world for the purpose of learning together and discussing a wide range of finance-related topics face-to-face.  This was Dave’s seventh or eighth such meeting, and each has been a great blessing and a real highlight.

This year’s meeting was in Chiang Mai, Thailand in September, and this time it also included our SIM projects coordinators.  Projects and finance go hand-in-hand as we strive to meet needs around the world, while at the same time “taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man”, as Paul put it in 2 Cor. 8:21.  Accountability matters to us, and these meetings are an important opportunity to ensure that best practices are in place.

In an email from Chiang Mai, Dave commented,

“It’s a little weird to be feeling like one of the old-timers around here. My roommate is a 23-yr-old  South African who works at the Capetown office. He asked me if I was a treasurer in 1992, which I was. He was BORN in 1992. And the first day we did a mixer thing where we lined ourselves up in order of years of service with SIM. The first in line has served forty years, next was someone at 31, and I was about 4th or 5th in line. And it was a LONG line!

But apart from feeling older, I realize that with all these years of experience, I’ve become as much a contributor as a beneficiary in many of our sessions. It’s nice to feel that I have something to offer. I like being here.”

We are thankful to be part of SIM’s work around the world, and thankful for those who partner with us in this work!

Namrud has worked in Finance for SIM Ethiopia for many years, Martin is brand-new to SIM Kenya Finance, and Mike has been with SIM USA since we were located in New Jersey-- three decades ago!

Namrud has worked in Finance for SIM Ethiopia for many years, Martin is brand-new to SIM Kenya Finance, and Mike has been with SIM USA since we were located in New Jersey– three decades ago!

Daniel is a Nigerian who joined SIM through our new West Africa Office, and is now sent to Burkina Faso where he serves that team as Projects Coordinator.

Daniel is a Nigerian who joined SIM through our new West Africa Office, and is now sent to Burkina Faso where he serves that team as Projects Coordinator.

From/to Australia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Kenya, UK, USA... and that's not including Dave!

From/to Australia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Kenya, UK, USA… and that’s not including Dave!