Graham and Ellie’s November News

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NOVEMBER 2018

 

Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.
(Psalm 46:10 NLT)

Dear Friends and Family,

Sometimes you just need a waterfall. We certainly did after Graham received news from SIL Australia’s accrediting partner organisation that, due to some federal pressures, they will no longer be able to accredit us after 2019. This was shocking news. The following week, Graham would have to work out how to disseminate this difficult news to his staff and the students. Graham and his team now are now tasked with finding a new accreditation partner that fits with SILA’s goals, can accommodate overseas students, and will allow Australian students access to educational funding. They need to do this quickly, too, so that we can remain accredited after 2019. Yep, we needed a waterfall.

What is it about waterfalls that is so nourishing to the soul? As we spent the weekend trekking through bushland that was still recovering from the Black Saturday fires of 2009, God’s goodness in the resilience of his creation strengthened us. We could hear the falls before we reached them. And as we stood before them, God reminded us of the grace he continues to pour out to us, his love that is constantly reaching out, and his sustaining power that nurtures and renews. Keppel Falls became a context where we really could be still and know that God is the Lord, that there is no other, and that he is worth it all.

The following week, as Graham processed this news with the SILA staff, God showed his goodness and faithfulness once again. God filled us anew with gratitude at the wonderful team he has blessed us with. Graham put out some butcher paper and post-it notes for the staff to express their thoughts and feelings about the news. One staff member wrote, ‘This hasn’t taken God by surprise.’ And another one wrote underneath it, ‘I find this comforting and encouraging.’ He is God. We know this. And we know him. What a privilege that we know him! And how we long for others to know him through his Word.

Those of the staff who have had anything to do with the accreditation process know what a tremendous amount of work lies ahead for us. But disappointment has been met with hope and determination. God has helped us before, and we can trust him to do so again. We stand united in the belief that God will provide, that he will lead us by his grace, that he will empower us to do whatever it takes to ensure that we can offer accredited training to those called to serve him, and that he will continue to use SILA to equip his people for the Bible translation movement.

In the midst of this news, there is still much to celebrate. The Papuan Malay (PM) team have just finished workshops for Bible story-telling, and they now have 25 Bible stories crafted that can be shared with their friends, neighbours and communities. The PM Bible translation continues. And we continue to rejoice in God’s work through the team members.

Here is a story we just heard from the PM team:

God Lowers the Branch

‘The Bible in our own language??! We’re ready…’

Sophie, a member of the Papuan Malay Bible translation team, was reflecting recently on all that she’s been able to accomplish this year. At the beginning of the year the PM team had a meeting and each person set goals for the year. Some of hers were to finish Genesis, and to do James and Titus. Later, writing a values comic for the government came into her plans too.

When Sophie set those goals she thought, ‘Wow this is way over my head, I don’t think I can do these hard and big things!’

One day recently, she saw a friend playing with a 3-year old boy. He was having fun jumping trying to reach a tree branch. He jumped to reach a couple, then chose a higher one and said, ‘That one! I want to jump and reach that one! Do you think I can?’

The friend playing with him said, ‘Just try, see if you can do it!’ He ran and jumped, and when he got close enough, she lowered the branch a little so he could reach it. He was pumped, not knowing what she had done!

Suddenly, Sophie realized this is like what God did for her this year. She set goals that were higher than what she thought she could do, then went for it, doing her best. And God helped her by making it possible, what she couldn’t have done on her own, he empowered her to do. We’re so glad we don’t do this task on our own and so grateful for all he has enabled us to do until now!

Ellie’s birthday afternoon tea

We praise God for helping the PM team continue to make good progress. We love this image of God lowering the branch for us. It is exactly what we need him to do for us too, especially regarding finding a new accreditation partner and the mountain-load of paperwork, changes in documents, and other transitions that represents for us. And in many ways, lowering the branch for us is what God has done as we’ve transitioned into a new place, new church, new community, and new roles. We thank God for his compassion and kindness!

This week is the end of the semester for the students, and we celebrate those students who are finishing and will soon be on their way to join a community group that needs access to God’s Word in their language. God’s love reaching out never ends, and his Word continues to be made known because of people like them, people like us, and people like you who know that he is God.

We give thanks to the Lord that Ellie’s asthma continues to be well controlled. It has been 11 weeks now. During our trip to the waterfall, she was walking up hills without having to stop to catch her breath. This is such an improvement in her quality of life and we give thanks to God for answering our many prayers for healing.

We are enjoying helping to set up a new community garden on the Wycliffe Australia property. This is a blessing to us as it will allow us to grow some of our own food and share it with others. This also creates another context for us to connect with our community. We love living in community, and we rejoice in the many ways God is allowing us to see growth all around us – not just in the garden, but also in people’s hearts, minds and lives as they walk by faith.

We also celebrate you. God uses your prayers to uphold us. God uses your friendship to encourage us. God uses your gifts to us to sustain us. We invite you to be still with us and know that he is God.

A few years ago, some of you may remember that God gave Ellie the opportunity to record some of her songs for Wycliffe Australia’s 60th anniversary prayer project. As a token of our appreciation, here is a link to a song that Ellie wrote called ‘Be Still’.

At the end of this letter, we will include the words to Ellie’s song, with some Scripture references.

When the producer for the recording heard this song for the first time, he described it as, ‘the stillness of a waterfall’. Jodi, who is playing the piano for this, did an incredible job with the arrangement. And we trust you can hear the journey to the waterfall in her playing.

Ellie wrote this song during an extremely trying and testing season.  During such times, the temptation to anxiety can be overwhelming, and following Jesus’ command – ‘do not worry’ – becomes more crucial than ever. God’s Word is so critical in these seasons. As we remember God’s words of assurance to us throughout the Scriptures, we draw strength from his presence with us and promises to us. God’s Spirit, through the Scriptures, moves us to confess our worry so that God can transform our anxiety into hope as we quiet our souls and deepen our trust in him. This is our prayer.

As Ellie was singing this for the recording, God gave her the image of a battlefield. The enemy approaches, and there are people wounded in battle lying in a valley. Suddenly, a glorious light approaches as Jesus arrives to fight the battle for us. And as Ellie’s eyes are on Jesus, the enemy’s weapon strikes her and she falls. Then Jesus is by her side, places her on a stretcher, and binds up her wounds. And then he goes to do the same for others.

We know the battle is real. But we also know that our God fights for us and that he has the victory. We also trust him to tend to us, to remind us of his presence and power, and to carry us in his arms. We trust that God will use these images – being still, a waterfall, lowering the branch, fighting the battle, tending our wounds – to minister to you and guide your prayers.

Love,
Graham and Ellie

Support Us Financially

We’re praising God for: 

  • the wonderful team God has given us to work with
  • his work in the Papuan Malay translation team, and that he ‘lowers a branch’ for us
  • the students who are now well trained for the Bible translation movement
  • 11 weeks of controlled asthma for Ellie.

We’re praying for:

  • wisdom for Graham and his team as they prayerfully seek out a new accreditation partner
  • Ellie’s wellness streak to keep going by God’s grace
  • continued progress in our studies
  • a deeper trust in the Lord

Give a Gift Today

The best gift that I have ever received from donating time and money to people like Graham and Ellie is new relationships. These relationships have changed my perspectives, challenged my beliefs, and given me a greater understanding of what it means to love others and be loved by others.
Jay, pastor

 

Electronic giving from anywhere in the world:
https://wycliffe.org.au/member/graham-ellie/ 
Or donate through any Wycliffe organisation worldwide—just include a note that it is for us, Acc.#281522

By cheque in the USA: Wycliffe Bible Translators P.O. Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862; note it is for us, Acc.#281522

Donate online through Wycliffe USA — copy and paste this info: Graham and Ellie Scott ID#281522 into the Give to the Ministry of My Wycliffe Missionary page.

For US-based ongoing automatic giving, you can set up a Bill Pay through your bank by providing Wycliffe’s name and address: 11221 John Wycliffe Blvd; Orlando, Fl 32862 – and put as a reference our ID #281522 Graham and Ellie Scott. Or call 1-800-992-5433 to speak to a Wycliffe representative.

For partnership information/inquiries:  Wycliffe Australia
70 Graham Rd, Kangaroo Ground, VIC 3097   info@wycliffe.org.au   (03) 9712 2777

Be Still my Soul
(Ellie Scott, 2013)

Be still my soul, wait in hope
Be still my soul, trust and know
He is God, he is God, he is God

Be still my soul, he whispers in the breeze
Be still my soul, his mercies never cease
He is God, he is God, he is God

Be still my soul, Love is drawing near
Be still my soul, he’ll wipe away all tears
He is God, he is God, he is God

Be still my soul, come lay your burdens down
Be still my soul, remember his great power
He is God, he is God, he is God

Be still my soul, he carries you in his arms
Be still my soul, he holds you close to his heart
He is God, he is God, he is God

Be still my soul, do not be afraid
Be still my soul, keep searching for his strength
He is God, he is God, he is God

Be still my soul, wait in hope
Be still my soul, trust and know
He is God, he is God, he is God

Scriptures reflected in this song include:

Deuteronomy 4:35; 5:15; 31:8; Joshua 1:9; 1 Kings 19:12-13;
Psalms 46:10; 62:5; 68:19;  91; 95:6-7; 105:4; 131; 147:5;
Isaiah 25:8; 40:1, 9, 11; 51:5; 55:6;
Lamentations 3:22; Nahum 1:7;
Matthew 11:28; John 14:1; Romans 8:23; James 4:8;
1 Peter 5:7; 1 John 5:20; Revelation 7:17; 21:4

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-XervEdOi0JGSX9uXheY62N5zEKxHvmK

 


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