Press Release: June 14, 2024

Friday Field Notes

Check out the latest updates from our missionaries!


Over the years we have been blessed to be able to serve in northern Ghana, southern Ghana, and Ethiopia. It is now time for us to serve in our passport country, the United States.

When we moved to Ethiopia in 2022, we knew that it would be for a short time, up to four years. After being here for only 5 months, Paul’s job changed from being Country Director for Ethiopia Programs to Director for Field Programs, responsible for LBT’s work internationally. It has meant much adjustment for our entire family as the workload has increased. For Paul, although he is physically present in Ethiopia, the demands for his time, energy, and attention come from many parts of the globe. Living and working in Ethiopia has given Paul a front row seat to many aspects of the work that LBT is involved in and a different perspective than our time in West Africa. But there has also been a cost in needing to have many late evening meetings due to time zone differences and Paul trying to have high quality interactions with colleagues throughout the organization. With these things in mind, we will move to the United States this summer to be near Lutheran Bible Translators international offices in Concordia, Missouri. Hannah’s graduation from high school provides good timing for us to transition as a family. Moving is never easy and international moves add their own layers of complexity, but we think this is the right decision and we are at peace with it.


Last year I was assigned to be in the US for 6 months to connect with donors.At the beginning of the 6 months, I attended an in-person training in Italy to begin a two-year program helping me become better qualified in my role supporting Bible translation projects. Once I got to the US, I visited 17 states (22 including states I drove through).

I visited many churches and small groups. Each visit represents a time when people decided to continue to show support to me, someone reached out to their church leaders on my behalf, or a church leader allowed a new person into their midst to share about Bible Translation in Sierra Leone. Many of these times I was also offered a safe and caring place to stay with home-cooked meals (making sure I ate some vegetables!), while others offered me time to myself to rest and recover from the road. Over the six months of travel, I was admittedly exhausted at times and was not a fan living out of suitcases. But I am grateful for the opportunity to visit friends across the country, to see people I had met during previous visits, and to meet some of you for the first time.

And even better than the big events, I was able to spend more normal days with my family, going for walks with the dogs, hiking, and eating great food!


A few months back, I was texting my host sister – from my time with the Peace Corps in Swaziland – Calisile Mkhombe.

To be frank, the conversation didn’t register much. Shortly after, I went back to the activity that consumed most of my days at that time: worrying about everything. You know, the typical “pop idolatry” of American life. It wasn’t until a few weeks later, after I’d downloaded our daily list of support gifts so I could write thank you notes, that I saw Calisile’s name smack-dab in the middle. The full import of her question finally registered to me. She had asked how to give because she wanted to support us, too. She’d donated 10 dollars or 110 Emalangeni or a half-day round-trip bus ride to town to find a bank that did international money transfers. “Hawu wena,” I thought, which was appropriate because I was feeling many emotions. First, there was irritation that she’d used what little extra money she made on us. Second, there was embarrassment; did she think I mentioned fundraising as a sneaky way of asking her to donate?

Finally, there were just tears. After all, it was just like sweet Cali, the girl who sends a portion of each paycheck back home to do something like this for her family.

From left to right: Mncedisi Mkhombe, Calisile Mkhombe, and
Rev. Tim Schulte. (2017)

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