IMB missionaries, Scott and Dana Belmore, have worked as a North American Missionaries specializing in campus ministry at the University of Alaska Anchorage. During this time, Scott has served alongside Brother Eddie on missions projects in Alaska. On June 11, 2022, Scott, Dana, and their family plan to embark on a new missionary journey to the United Kingdom where they will seek to reach students and share the Gospel with them.
As part of our church's efforts to support the Belmores and the mission of spreading the Gospel, we are hosting a Starbucks gift card fundraiser. Scott and his family plan to use these gift cards in their Campus Ministry to meet with students and share about Jesus.
We pray that God would work through Scott and his family so that His will would be fulfilled. Over the next couple of weeks, we ask that you would please consider purchasing $10 Starbucks gift cards and dropping them off at our church office.
"Pools are acceptable at 105 degrees when I'm dying of heatstroke. But hear me. Visions of my body submerged in the ocean, a lake, pond, or river totally freaks me out. Something lives under the water, people. Wretched, scary, slimy things. I imagine filmy, beady eyes casing out my pasty white legs as they patiently bide their time before attacking my ankles. Savages.
Don't get me started on whales.
My fear of deep water began in 1995 when my then-boyfriend (not Scott) thought it a good idea to share his love of fishing with me. It was me, him, his trusty aluminum flat bottom boat, and the Atchafalaya Basin. Hours into the ride out to his favorite fishing spot, I finally realized, WHAT AM I DOING. After dodging countless half-sunken cypress trees, he casually mentioned the other fun things we'd need to avoid on this supposed romantic water date. Alligators. Snakes. Underwater trees. Those hidden dangers could rip his old boat to shreds and leave us stranded overnight, and cell phones were tiny black bags that lived in your vehicle. Good times it was not. (I wasn't always a sissy. Back in the day, I used to love me a good canoe down the Whisky Chitto River, and I do love kayaking in Alaska. But only certain waters. Ha.)
Long story short, the boat sprung a leak in the middle of nowhere, and I married another man. Thus, the history of yet another fear.
Besides giving you yet another reason to think I'm nuts, why do I share this story? Because the unexpected makes me sweat, and sorry, not sorry, but don't plan on inviting me for long rides on small boats in large bodies of water. My answer is no. But in all seriousness, I'm a planner, a scheduler, a lover of solid ground, and all things 0.5 mechanical pencils and paper calendars. You know this. I've said it a gazillion times.
How funny that the past month has been nothing but unexpected. But! They've been unexpectedly AWESOME. (Insert two cheesy thumbs-up and a big high-five. I shy from using too many exclamation points.) So far, we love every second of Field Personnel Orientation. Our Quad-mates rock. (Quad 26 for life, baby.) Our four fearless leaders are supreme. The sessions are amazing. We love it ALL. FPO worship. The lake. The cows. Our friendly, neighborhood donkey. The bluebirds, swallows, and Canada geese. Uncle Scott. Group chats. Fishing. Game nights. Target and Cook Out ice cream runs. Long walks. TO SERVE SOUTHERN BAPTISTS. Caterpillars. Grandparent training. Good morning, Sunshine! Nightly volleyball games. "Guys, we'll just have to evangelize the aliens before they eat us." (My fave quote thus far.) Google Translate. It's a BOY! Three Circles. Stinkbugs. Sand fleas. Buster the Bus. Rabies tags. Spanish only, Eunice! Inside jokes. Nicknames. Pranks. Tattoos. Commiserating over vaccinations, shotty WiFi, seasonal allergies, the stomach bug, and fish for dinner again?!
It's hard to believe we are halfway through our seven weeks of training. June 11 is coming fast, and it's going to be hard to say goodbye to every single one of our new friends. I could share many, many things about our time here, but we will all walk away with the following truths imprinted on our hearts and minds:
Abide in Christ. Pray continuously. Share the Gospel daily. Disciple believers.
I wish I could write out all the incredible, humbling lessons the Lord continues to teach each of us. A few FPO leadership quotes have hit me hard: Discipleship is a painful investment of time. Conviction does not equal obedience. Some of my best ideas have been ruined by reading Scripture. Don't separate the task from the spiritual. Build bridges out of barriers. God is far more concerned with giving me opportunities to become more like Christ than for me to do great things for Him. We cannot live in daily victory unless we spend consistent time in the Word. Unrecognized overconfidence, prayerlessness, and emotional and physical fatigue are a recipe for spiritual disaster.
But our high point so far? Ruthie shared the Gospel with three different women in the Richmond area.
Watching our girl wrestle and grow in Christ throughout this process has been both humbling and encouraging. Along with a quadmate, she's walked three adult women and all of our FPO kids through the Three Circles Gospel presentation. In addition to finalizing her academic studies, she's researching and preparing a presentation on her new culture. All while killing it on the sand volleyball court and loving on all of the FPO littles. Our hearts are full.
This is why we do what we do. Is it hard? Yes. We battle lies about our identity daily. Push past fear and anxiety, struggle with homesickness, concerns about future living spaces, visas, and leaving Andrew and family behind. But if we have learned anything during our time here on the farm, this is not about us, and we can do nothing on our own. Our experience, strengths, gifts, past failures, and successes are rubbish compared to the cross. We are who we are because of Jesus. We obey, go, serve, love, and trust because of Jesus. After all, any old bush will do. (Jarrett Stephens, our IMB Appointment Service)
Your constant prayers and encouragement are a gift, friends. We are down to five weeks left in America, and we have two BIG PRAYERS for you. Pray our visas come through soon. Pray for a new home in the Ruislip Manor/Eastcote area near our Team Leaders.
Love you, guys. Thank you, THANK YOU for joining us on our next adventure. I guarantee it'll be chock full of the unexpected. (Just zero swims in our London waterways.)"
How can you pray?
- Pray our visas are finalized without any hiccups. We overnighted our passports to the UKVI in NYC yesterday.
- Pray for housing in the Ruislip/Eastcote area. We are confident God is our provider.
- Continue to pray for FPO.
- Pray for Ruthie as she processes and grows during this time. PRAY for close community in our new London neighborhood.
- Continue to pray for Scott's mama during this season of grief.
- Pray for Andrew. He starts finals soon.
- Pray for our family as they continue to prepare for our June departure.
- Pray for REST.