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School is out, and summer has now begun! It’s a season filled with family, fun and new adventures. Kate and Mack want to be a part of all your adventures, from family trips to VBS and outings with friends. And we want to see all of the fun they’ve had with you!

On June 28 we’re launching a Travel Kate photo contest on social media. Sounds like fun, right? Your kids can print, cut and color their Travel Kate and take her along to all the fun places you go. (Wondering who Kate is? Click here to meet her!)

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Just snap some cute or creative pictures of Travel Kate (with or without your kids in the picture) and share on social media using the hashtag #KateandMack. Don’t forget to tag Wycliffe USA in the photo! Each week a winner will receive a free A-Z Map from our shop, and at the end of the seven-week contest there will be one grand prize winner too. (Stay tuned! We’ll announce the grand prize at a later date.)

We hope you join in on the fun this summer by sharing your Travel Kate photos and following along to see all the places Kate goes!

Let’s recap the details:

What: Travel Kate photo contest!
When: June 28-Aug. 15
Where: Everywhere your family spends time together this summer (the more unique the location, the better!)
How: Post your photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #KateandMack and tag Wycliffe USA.

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Contest Rules:

  • Posts must be public, include #KateandMack and tag Wycliffe USA in order to participate.
  • Your family doesn’t have to be included in the photo, but Travel Kate does!
  • All photos submitted may be shared publicly by Wycliffe USA’s various social media accounts. By participating, you give Wycliffe USA permission to share your photo entries publicly.
  • There is no cap on the number of photos you can submit or the number of times you can win, so keep posting throughout the contest!

 Click here to print your Travel Kate and get started!

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Kate and Mack just finished a long trip around the world, learning how 12 countries celebrate Christmas. Some countries celebrate it much like we do in the U.S., but some celebrate it quite differently. Kate and Mack are here to help your kids and families learn about the diversity in Christmas traditions!

We’re so excited about these lessons, and we wanted to give you a sneak peak of the fun your family can have over the next few weeks.

Want to sign up? Visit wycliffe.org/12-days-of-christmas! And if you love the lessons and want to keep traveling with Kate and Mack, you can stay connected with all their travels at wycliffe.org/a-z. They’re having adventures you won’t want to miss!

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By Chris Winkler and Matt Petersen

How to Pray for a Foreign Country

Wycliffe missionaries Chris and Christie Winkler, along with their three children, recently returned to the U.S. after serving in the country of Nigeria for half a decade. During that time they made their home in Jos, a diverse city that in recent years has been a target of terrorism and social unrest.

Moving to Jos brought both challenges and joys for the Winklers. Here Chris shares some things they learned about prayer and perspective.

Wycliffe: Chris, how did your friends and family respond when you first told them God was calling you to Nigeria?

Chris: When we moved to Nigeria a little more than five years ago, it was much to the dismay of our friends and family, because as we all know, when we see things in the news about Nigeria, and Africa in general, it’s usually not things that we’re very comfortable with here in the States.

Not all of our extended family agreed with the call for us to go. They were praying for us not to go because of what they were seeing in the media. And it really impacted us to have people that we loved and cared about not on the same page as us.

Wycliffe: What was your perception of Nigeria before you moved there?

Chris: Before we felt the call to go to Nigeria, I think we lumped it in with all of the other countries in Africa that have issues. We were largely ill-informed, as were a lot of our friends and family. Many people before we left called Africa a country. But Nigeria is just one country on the very large continent of Africa.

Wycliffe: Did you pray regularly for Nigeria before God called you there?

Chris: Not really knowing people there, we didn’t know how to pray. So I would say that we really didn’t pray very much for Africa before we felt the call to move there.

Wycliffe: How did your view of Nigeria change once you were there?

Chris: Right after we decided to go to Nigeria, issues there started showing up everywhere in the news and on social media. But when we moved there, those place names in the media stories had become our home. When we saw the city of Jos mentioned in the news, it was our home. There were villages where we had friends living. Death tolls and casualty statistics were friends of friends and family of friends. Some were colleagues in the Bible translation movement.

Wycliffe: How did that affect your prayers for Nigeria?

Chris: Once we got there, instead of just relying on the news, our sources were emails and phone calls to friends — people who knew what was going on. And in some cases our source for our prayer partners — our friends and family back home — was us.

Some of our family and friends were still not convinced that this was where God wanted us. They were, at that point, praying for us to come home. But there were some prayer warriors who had read the news differently. They had never read news from Africa before, but when we went, they started reading it and engaging with it, posting on Facebook and encouraging friends and family to pray about these things that they were now learning.  The media was informing their prayers for a place (and people) that they now cared about.

Wycliffe: How did the news influence the fears that your family and friends had about you being in Nigeria?

Chris: As we all know, the media doesn’t always report the whole picture. Sometimes they can’t and sometimes they don’t for whatever reason. We would tell our prayer partners “Well, this is what the news said, but this is what really happened. Yes, it said that happened in Jos, the city where we are living, but it really happened a long ways away; Jos was just the nearest large city.”

So to have that firsthand perspective was really helpful for a lot of our prayer partners.

Wycliffe: How did people’s own experiences affect their prayers for you?

Chris: I think it’s really helpful for us to keep in mind that there are different perspectives on everything. When we had a rash of car bombings in Jos in 2012, it was very scary for a lot of our prayer partners who didn’t really know how to pray. But we also have friends from Northern Ireland who grew up with car bombs as a way of life, and they were able to shape that differently. Their prayers were different, because they had different lenses on.

Wycliffe: Any suggestions for ways we can pray more effectively for the world?

Chris: The source of where you’re getting your information for prayer matters a lot. If you know someone somewhere, and you really want to be praying for that country, ask them over the phone or maybe via email how to pray. Facebook can also be a helpful tool for connecting.  Having a real, personal connection is a helpful way to engage effectively in prayer.

Build relationships that deepen your engagement with a place, so that you wind up like we were after we went to Nigeria — making informed prayers, knowing what the full story is, reading the news and knowing that there are things going on there that you can be praying for.

Wycliffe: Any final thoughts for us on prayer?

Chris: God may not have called you to pray for every place in the world and everything in the world, but take what he has called you to pray for and dig deep.

Wycliffe: Thanks, Chris!

Click here for more prayer tips and resources.

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We’d like to give you a sneak peek of the Wycliffe calendar — check out these beautiful scenes and imagine yourself there. Each month has a different image and verse specifically chosen to help you visualize the beauty and truths of the Bible.

 

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For over 30 years Wycliffe USA has created a calendar for the upcoming year, and for the last six years we’ve created a special theme for the calendar. This year’s calendar gives a glimpse of cultures and communities around the world. The theme is best summarized in the closing paragraph of our intro: “Our God is the God of all cultures and communities, and he is calling each of us to himself. And just as he promises, we will one day join together singing his praises for all eternity.”

This is a great way to be reminded of God’s heart for his people, and you can easily share this reminder with your friends and family. Purchase yours today!

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Kate & Mack are here3We’re so excited to share with you that as of this week, Wycliffe’s newest publication, “Around the World with Kate and Mack: A Look at Languages from A to Z” is available for purchase at shop.wycliffe.org. It’s definitely something you’ll want to add to your children’s bookshelves as they learn about the beauty of God’s creation and the diversity of his people!

Kate & Mack are here2In this book you and your family will be able to travel with Kate and Mack as they visit kids from all over the globe. You’ll meet Anna, Felipe, Kitella, Moses, Isabelle and others, learning more about their languages, cultures and a variety of fun facts that are unique to their countries. You’ll also learn about geography, maps and so much more!

And because we don’t want you to miss out on meeting Kate and Mack, we’re giving you a couple of sneak peeks from the book itself. But the fun doesn’t have to end with just the book. You can download interactive lessons and activities for your kids by visiting wycliffe.org/a-z right now! And don’t forget to sign up so we can notify you Kate & Mack are herewhen new activities are available.

In these activities your kids will help solve mazes, decode secret messages, learn what their name might be if they lived in Ghana (hint: people are often named after the day of the week they were born on!), and more. So what are you waiting for? Come travel with Kate and Mack today!

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It’s always exciting to see that moment when something clicks with kids about the importance of Bible translation. So when Wycliffe received a letter from nine-year-old Alena about “From Akebu to Zapotec,” a book that talks about Bibleless people groups from around the world, we couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Alena addressed the author, artist and researcher of the book, writing, “Thank you for writing the book, From Akebu to Zapotec. My family has had your book for several years. I enjoy reading it. My name is Alena. I am nine years old. I love to draw people. My mom thinks I am very gifted. Here are some pictures that I drew. I am tall. I have greenish-brown eyes, olive skin and brown hair. My dreams are to be an artist, a missionary and a mom. Can I join you in illustrating the next book of Bibleless peoples? If not soon, maybe one day.”

What an encouragement it was to hear from Alena and receive the beautiful pictures she sent us. But perhaps the most exciting part was the timing of Alena’s letter. Little did she know that when we received her letter, we were in the final stages of creating an updated version of the book. In this edition, kids will travel with Kate, a Wycliffe missionary kid, and her best friend, Mack. Alena played a special role for us by reading through the new book and letting us know what she thought.

“I love the book and all of the people in it,” Alena wrote. “I especially like the way the illustrator was able to put his drawings over real pictures. Kate and Mack are so cute! I learned a lot about different languages and countries by reading this book. I hope everyone in these countries gets the Bible in their heart language. Melissa and Ben are both very talented. I would not change a thing. I love the last picture that shows everyone and their place in the world. I can’t wait to have a copy of it!”

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“Around the World with Kate & Mack: A Look at Languages from A to Z” shows today’s kids how God is working all over the globe. They’ll meet kids from other countries, learn about their language and culture, and find out if they have any of the Bible in their own language.

So keep your eyes open for the book, which becomes available in October. You won’t want to miss out!

 

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By Melissa Chesnut

Prayer is an important part of our relationship with God. We need it daily—to hear from Him, and to talk to Him.

Yet all too often, it’s easy to forget just how important it is to stop and talk to God. We get caught up in the daily happenings of life, and prayer can easily be something we perform out of habit—at mealtime and bedtime, and when that crazy driver cuts us off and we need an extra measure of patience.

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But prayer should be so much more than that!

On November 11, Wycliffe staff from around the world are setting aside a day to pray, specifically on behalf of the nations of the world. This has been a tradition for Wycliffe since 1933, but we’ll tell you more about that later. Tune in on Monday for more information about this special day, and consider joining us virtually from wherever you are in the world! Stop and take a moment to pray for the people around the world who are still waiting to know that God speaks their language. 

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