Lauren’s 2014-2015 Reading List

School is starting up, and while we’re not in school anymore, we still both like to continue our “education”. One of the ways we do that is through reading and listening to books. We’ve been recommended a lot of great non-fiction books lately and thought we both write posts of books on our reading list this next semester.

What books are on your reading list? We’d love to know! Comment below!

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  1. Good News for Weary Women: Escaping the Bondage of To-Do Lists, Steps, and Bad Advice, by Elyse Fitzpatrick
  2. Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, by Gloria Furman
  3. Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds, by Jen Wilkin
  4. From Good to Grace: Letting Go of the Goodness Gospel, by Christine Hoover
  5. Everyone’s a Theologian, by R. C. Sproul
  6. Tipping Our Kings, by Jack Crabtree
  7. Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me, by Kevin DeYoung
  8. Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God, by Bruce Ware
  9. One Bible Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal?, by Dave Brunn
  10. Stories of Gospel Advance in the World’s Difficult Places, by Tim Keesee
  11. Canopy of Darkness, by Jonathan Kopf
  12. Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation, by Elisabeth Pisani
  13. The Moody Bible Commentary
  14. New Testament Commentary Survey, by D. A. Carson
  15. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, by Craig S. Keener
  16. Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible, by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays

Off the Grid, Weekend 2

We are done with our second weekend of Off the Grid. Leo slept over at Mark’s parent’s house for both nights, which we so greatly appreciated! The youth groups and families arrived on Friday night. We showed them their houses and had a campfire. The next morning we had a pancake breakfast (half went to our house and half went to Wes & Tenley’s house).



After breakfast there were three sessions and a coffee break before lunchtime. After lunch we took them to the Dobu village for a case study and then they had free time until supper.


Part of Lauren’s responsibilities were to help wash dishes after all the meals. We had running water, but the hot water was heated up in the wood stove.


Sunday morning we had a time of worship and communion (or “breaking of the yams”). Yams and water are what many tribal believers in Papua New Guinea use for their communion. There were two more sessions before lunch on Sunday.


Want to see what some of the participants thought of Off the Grid? Watch the video below that a youth group from the previous weekend made. It’s neat to see how they were impacted by Off the Grid!

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Thanks for praying for us! Mark wasn’t sick, Leo slept well at his grandparent’s, and Lauren had a much more relaxing weekend not having to chase Leo around. We enjoyed our time getting to know some of the individuals and pray that it has challenged their thinking about church, discipleship, and tribal missions.

Lauren’s Journey into Tribal Missions

When I was in junior high, I was involved in Girls in Action (G.A.s). Every summer our church would take a group to a Baptist camp in Alto Frio, Texas. We would hear stories from missionaries around the world, and they’d give a “call” to missions and ministry at the end of the week. When I returned home one summer, when I was about 9 years old, I remember telling my mom that I wanted to be a missionary.


My family moved to California right before I entered 9th grade, and the youth group I joined went to Tijuana, Mexico every spring break to work with churches there. God used that trip not only to show me the importance of His Word and other believers, but to remind me that there is so much need in the world for people to share the gospel and disciple fellow believers.




In January of 2006, I went to Turkey with a group from my church to help at a conference for national missionaries in the NAMEstan area. That was the trip that opened my eyes to how many people there were in the world, especially when flying over dense urban areas in Istanbul and surrounding areas and realizing that 99.8% were Muslims; that they most likely did not have a relationship with our Lord! This knowledge burdened my heart once again, and I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life telling people about the Good News!



196240_1003926664249_1512_nThat summer when I was 15 years old, I went to Cameroon, Africa. Orginally to build an airstrip, the government wouldn’t let us because it was so close to the Nigerian border, so we ended up working with a Bible school and summer camp and working on a foundation for a building. It was the first time being in a culture so drastically different from my own, and I definitely felt unprepared to enter their culture and even communicate with them about God.





In 2007, I went to the Amazon jungles of Peru to people we traveled for days by riverboat to meet. That’s when I realized that there were people in remote locations who not only needed to hear about Christ, but needed to be discipled as well and there were so few working with them to see them to a maturity.


Also during high school, I had taken the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. One of the sessions was taught by Brad Buser, a representative with New Tribes Mission (NTM) at the time. He introduced me to missions to unreached people groups in remote locations, and shared about Interface – a six-week college level missions course in Papua New Guinea.

I applied for the Interface trip and was planning to take the course the summer I graduated from high school in 2008. A few months before summer began, I looked on the NTM website and saw that they had an affordable 2-year Bible school whose motto was “Where Bible and missions are one”. I knew that I wanted to be in missions, but had no idea what I wanted to major in, so I decided that instead of going on Interface, I would work for the summer and attend the Bible school for at least a semester.

Me and my roommates

Me and my roommates at NTBI

My first semester at New Tribes Bible Institute (NTBI) rocked my world. Between the foundational Bible classes, learning more about tribal missions, oh, and meeting Mark, I knew this was where I wanted to be. I had gone into school with a huge passion for urban Arab countries, and ironically had told God that I did NOT want to go live in a remote tribe. After listening to stories from our teachers – most of them former tribal church planters – and hearing testimonies from tribal works, God had changed my heart and I felt called to go to unreached peoples with NTM. I surrendered to Him my plans, and it’s so cool that He is now leading us to a country that not only has over 200 unreached people groups, but also the world’s largest Muslim population.

So that, in a nutshell, is my journey into missions, and how God lead me to serve with New Tribes Mission. Missions is a passion of mine, as I’m sure you might have noticed. Mark and I are so excited to have people who are just as passionate about missions as we are, partnering with us to take the gospel to an unreached people group!

I want to encourage children and teens, that they are not too young to be involved in missions! Whether it is going on short-term mission trips, raising funds for Bible translation, writing encouraging letters, or praying, there is so much that young people can do!

My life verse when I was in high school:

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

1 Timothy 4:12

Fight the Flu with Peppermint!

Peppermint Essential Oil for Stomachache Headache and Body Ache

Mark came down with the flu this past Sunday, and spent most of his time in bed sleeping. Then came the body aches, fever, chills, and stomach pains. I had just purchased some essential oils on Amazon while we were in the States, and this was the first time I was able to try them for the flu. I was a tad sceptical at first, but now I am loving Plant Therapy’s peppermint essential oil. I’m not an all-out all-natural person, mainly because of cost, but this oil was affordable and way healthier (and cheaper) than taking Tylenol or NyQuil in my opinion!

I used a mixture of peppermint EO  (1-2 drops) and coconut oil (1 tsp – 1 Tbsp) for when Mark had headaches, body aches, stomachaches, and to reduce fever and he definitely noticed a difference! He said that the peppermint worked us as great as the Tylenol, and that after I put the oil on his stomach he was finally able to fall asleep.

Did you know that peppermint EO has the same effect as 1000mg of Tylenol? It has also been proven to inhibit strains of Staphylococcus, E. Coli, Salmonella, and Helicobacter pylori (Imai et al., 2001).

Peppermint oil is not recommended for kids under 6 years of age or for nursing moms. (High menthol content in an essential oil, as found in Japanese peppermint and Peppermint, can slow breathing in very young children. Mint is also known to decrease milk production). However, many people do use diluted peppermint oil on their children’s feet for fevers. Also, contact an aromatherapist before using while pregnant.

Other uses for peppermint essential oils:

  • Mix with 1 tsp of coconut/olive oil and rub on wrists and abdomen for motion sickness
  • Mix with lavender oil and put on bug bites to alleviate pain and swelling
  • Use in home-made hand sanitizer
  • Use in homemade insect repellant
  • Use to repel ants, mice, and spiders
  • Inhale for mental clarity and energy boost
  • Rub EO on joints to relieve arthritis pain

I’m looking forward to using my other essential oils from Plant Therapy, and will share any that I have found super beneficial to our family!

Disclaimers: I did not receive monetary compensation from Plant Therapy for my review, I just did research and really like their oils! I am also not a doctor. Products and techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have any questions regarding these or other oils – please contact a certified aromatherapists at

Off the Grid, Weekend 1

Here are some photos from our time at Off the Grid this past weekend. We enjoyed our time getting to know the youth groups from London and Pickering area, and hearing challenging stories from the missionary speakers.




Our home for two weekends:


We had half the group over for breakfast both mornings.


Three days and two nights of sessions, campfires, and fellowship.


Be praying for us this coming weekend, as Mark came down with the flu on Sunday. Hoping he will feel better soon! Leo also had a rough time this past weekend, and we’re hoping that this next weekend will go smoother!