Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winter Prayer Letter!

Our winter prayer letter is finally finished and heading out in the mail. If you would like to receive these prayer letters in the future, please email us at or with your email or mailing address. Click here to view our fall prayer letter online. 


Jon & Lindsay

Christmas Travels

Merry Belated Christmas!

This year we traveled up to Wisconsin and Minnesota to visit Lindsay's family for Christmas. The Lord provided safe travels up and were able to make great time (7 1/4 hrs). Lindsay's parents live in Sparta, WI (about 1/2 hr east of Lacrosse). We enjoyed catching up with her parents as we haven't seen them since last Christmas. We also were able to meet with the pastor of her parents church about getting an opportunity to share about going to AZ. He welcomed us back to share with the congregation sometime in the next couple of months! 

On Christmas Day, we visited Lindsay's grandparents (on her mom's side) for Christmas Lunch. We opened gifts and I (Jon) talked their ears off about Ireland. Hopefully I didn't bore them too much with all the pictures. :) Speaking of pictures....Here is a family photo from Christmas Day. 
On the way back home on Christmas, we dropped in to see Lindsay's grandmother (on her dad's side). She enjoyed seeing all of us again and also watching Amos react to her singing stuffed dog. 

We noticed a winter storm was brewing in Indiana so we took of early this morning from Wisconsin. After a brief stop at my Aunt's house in northwestern Indiana to check on the weather, we finally made it home after 9 1/2 hrs on the road! Ugh. Glad to be back home and sleeping our own bed tonight. We are grateful once again for God's provision and safety and for great times with our family. 

We hope that your Christmas was filled with special memories and fond moments with loved ones. Blessings to you all!

Jon & Lindsay 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jobs and Family Time

Tonight, we thought we'd update you on our jobs and time spent with family. First, jobs. Jon's job at Pioneer is going well. Harvest lasted till the end of October. Since then they have been packaging seeds. Jon has been doing a lot of fork truck driving. Pioneer has been a good employer. They gave us a turkey for Thanksgiving and have been very good about giving time off when we need it. 

Lindsay's job has been going well also. Recently, she's been sent out to a satellite location of the hospital for a few days each week. She's really enjoying the opportunity to work with kids and their families on a day to day basis. 

This Thanksgiving we were given a couple days off to visit family. We gathered at Jon's Aunt's house in Crown Point, Indiana. It was great to meet up with family from Ohio and around the area. This Christmas, we plan to go visit Lindsay's family up in Wisconsin. Please be praying for good traveling weather as we will have an 8-9 hour drive ahead of us. 

At the end of the month, on the 29th, we will also be welcoming Jon's brother Phillip and his wife, Esther, back from Bangladesh. They were married this summer in Northern Ireland and we will be having a 2nd wedding reception for them back here in the States. We look forward to celebrating with them. 

We hope you are able to enjoy the holiday season in the company of friends and family as well! 

Wishing you safe travels and many blessings in Christ,

-Jon and Lindsay

Monday, December 3, 2012


Long time no see...or read...

It has been a while since we have last posted. It isn't because we don't have much to say, we just aren't very good at making time to write new posts. So we apologize for that. 

We wanted to give you an update on our housing situation. After we left Morton, IL in June, we settled into a farm house that was way too big for us. But it was only a temporary stay. We were in the process of helping some friends of ours convert a garage into an apartment. It was finally finished in October and we were able to move in! Imagine moving all your stuff into a one car garage! We actually like it very much. It keeps us from forming a lot of clutter and it's quick to clean. The washer and dryer are pretty sweet too!  Here are some pictures. 

The orange wall is where the garage door is. We sealed it off and boxed it in. 

The checkered room is our bathroom. We have a full shower, toilet, and even a small vanity. The shower wall is actually linoleum. A pretty inexpensive and cool idea. 

You'll notice we don't have any appliances other than the fridge. We use a toaster oven and a two burner cook-top to make our meals with. We use our microwave too. 

We had an interesting first couple of nights at the apartment. Lindsay woke up in the middle of the night to a scratching sound. After looking around, she went back to bed. A few minutes later she heard it again. This time she located the sound coming from a box of nutri-grain bars. She quickly closed the box. Then she shook it and realized it was heavier than it should be. At this point she decided Jon needed to get up. After shaking the box, Jon agreed that there was something in the box that shouldn't be there. They agreed that they had a stow away mouse from the farm house. Jon took it outside and released it. The very next night, Lindsay woke up again to a scratching sound. We aren't sure whether we had two stow aways or the same mouse found its way back in. We set up some sticky traps and caught another one. We have been mouse free and able to sleep through the night since. 

That's all for now. We'll be posting more this week with some more updates about our jobs, fundraising, what's going on in AZ, and family time. 


Jon & Lindsay

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


James 4:1-3 

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

As I (Lindsay) sat at work a few days ago, a scene from a tv series I had recently watched came to mind. The scene went something like this...there were quite a few people stranded on an island as a result as a plane crash. A group of people was building a raft in hopes of sailing off the island. However, their high hopes were soon crushed when a man who was a high school science teacher approached them. He was concerned about when they were planning on leaving the island in the raft. The monsoon season was approaching. Soon the tides/currents, etc. would shift, causing them to sail off course into less heavily traveled areas, and therefore decreasing their chances of being rescued or spotted on the raft. The group, who was planning to sail out the following day, was quite upset that this man had said nothing to them until that day and asked, "Well, when should we have left?" The man's response was simple..."Yesterday."

This scene flashed back into my mind at work because as I sat in the office, it seemed that the only people who came in to see us that day had one thing in common-- impatience. As I searched for a way to describe what the overwhelming theme of the day was, this phrase came to mind, "Everybody wants everything yesterday." 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not claiming to be the queen of patience, but the situation did make me think quite a bit about today's culture and attitudes as well as the Scripture I had read that morning (posted above). I began to ponder the question, "What causes fights and quarrels among you?" James is puts it simply when he says in the later verses, "You desire but you do not have...You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight."

Today, we are often spoiled with instant answers and results. We don't know the answer to a question, so what do we do? We Google it...and (of course depending on how fast of an internet connection we have), we have the answer almost instantaneously. We want the fastest, latest soon as it comes out. And this attitude, whether we like it or not, permeates other areas of our life. Put in short, we simply don't like to wait. 

But let's take that a step further. How often does that transfer into our relationship with God? We ask, but we don't least not when we think we should, or not how we think God should respond. 

I understand that the above is not a new topic, however, I think there is a challenge to be taken from this other than just simply having more patience. The challenge is taking these "unanswered" desires captive as well as the frustration and anger that comes with them. The challenge is to not let these disappointments rule us or ruin our relationships, but use them as an opportunity to grow and mature in character. So, what causes fights and quarrels within you? What causes fights and quarrels among you and others? What causes fights and quarrels among you and God? 

I want to challenge you to search for the answers to these questions. Seek them out. Use them to grow and mature as a disciple. Reconcile your differences- whether they be grudges you hold within yourself, how you've treated someone else, or how you've treated God and your relationship with Him. Are you content with things not going your way yesterday? Are you content with not getting what you wanted today? Are you upset that God hasn't answered you or has answered you in a different way than you expected? How will you react? Will you let it ruin you from the inside out or will you let what you didn't receive yesterday help you grow today?


Jon & Lindsay

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Great News!

We received great news yesterday (Friday) that Lindsay has been hired for a temporary job! She will be working at a local hospital doing secretarial work. Praise the Lord for providing for us!!

May He bless you all with His goodness,

-Jon and Lindsay

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall Prayer Letter

Our fall prayer letter is finally finished and heading out in the mail. If you would like to receive these prayer letters in the future, please email us at or with your email or mailing address. Click here to view our fall prayer letter online. 


Jon & Lindsay

The Harvest Is Here

We are halfway through September and the harvest season has begun. My (Jon) job at Pioneer Seeds involves unloading dryer bins of corn so that they can be shelled and then sent to bulk storage. It's a very basic job, open up the dryer doors, pop a few boards off and then stare at corn cobs as they head down a belt towards the sheller. The other day, as I was staring at corn, I was reminded of an analogy in Scripture that Jesus used. "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matthew 9:37-38, NIV) Jesus wasn't referring to the wheat in the fields around him, instead he saw many people around him who were harassed, helpless, and desperate for someone to come along side of them and lead them like a shepherd. 

As a missionary, I struggle with this passage. If there are so many churches around us in the USA, why then do we still have so many people harassed, helpless, and desperate for a shepherd to lead them? Are we not doing our job or is still true today that the harvest continues to be plentiful but we still have too few workers? If the answer to this question is that we don't have enough, then our calling is clear, we must continue to pray for God to bring about the workers. Will you join me in praying for the missionaries around the world who work daily to bring in the Lord's harvest? Will you also join me in praying for the Lord to continue to touch the hearts of those who may be called to serve him as missionaries, pastors, evangelists, and prophets? 


Jon & Lindsay

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Prayer Letter and Our Visit to FMC Morton

Hello again!

Well, our prayer letter is finally written and out for design. WGM's graphic designers are working on helping us with spruce up the letter and create a header for it. The title we chose for the prayer letter is The Birkey Bulletin. Thank you to everyone who sent in their creative ideas for the title! As soon as we get the final design on the letters, we will be sure to get them in the mail.

Also, we were able to go back to Morton, Illinois and visit on the 4th and 5th of August. We had a wonderful time catching up with everyone! Dan and Doris King were kind enough to set up a pizza dinner with the youth Saturday night and we were blessed to be able to spend time talking and laughing with a majority of the youth group  and some of their parents that evening. We also had the opportunity to give the message Sunday morning. Some things we talked about were Native American history, the importance of children and youth ministry, how to get involved in our ministry in Arizona, and how to find your own mission field in your community. After the service, we presented a slide show and visited with the congregation. It was really exciting to share where God has been leading us and hear what He has been doing at FMC!

Some praises and prayer requests from the past couple weeks:

Praise! We were nervous about Jon's work schedule at the seeding company. It was looking like he would not be able to be available on the weekends due to having to work long weeks and long hours during harvest. However, we recently found out that he has been switched to a different department with better hours. This should free us up to travel on the weekends for speaking engagements.

Prayer Request: Please continue to be in prayer for Lindsay as she is still searching for temporary employment. Also, please pray that God will lead us to places where we will be able to speak and share about our ministry in Arizona. If you know of any places that may be interested in hosting us or letting us share, please let us know.

Some things we hope to be doing in the next few weeks:

1. Preparing our mailing list and sending out our prayer letters
2. Scheduling new speaking engagements to share about our ministry

Thanks for reading and be sure to come back soon for more updates!!


-Jon and Lindsay

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Continued Blessings

In the last month, we have truly seen how God is actively working in our lives. If you have been keeping up on our praise and prayer page, you would have seen that we both have been looking for employment while support raising. This is because in order for us to do full time support raising, we must be at least 50-60% fund raised. Until then, we have to find other means of financial support. God has provided an opportunity for Jon to work at Pioneer Seeds in Tipton, IN! We are thankful for that door opening up so soon. Please continue to pray for Lindsay as she is working on finding employment as well. 
Another huge praise we would like to share is we have a new ride! Our good friend Caleb has provided us a second car so that we can both have transportation. Thanks Caleb for helping us get this car running again and for your continued support! 

Finally, we are super excited for this coming weekend! We are heading back to Morton, IL to share with our good friends at First Mennonite Church. For those who are unfamiliar, Jon was the youth pastor at FMC up until the last of June. We can't wait to catch up with old friends and to share with them about where the Lord is leading us. 


Jon & Lindsay

Monday, July 23, 2012

Finished our CMA Workshop this week. There was lots of information to process, but we are very excited to begin the process of building our support network!

In the upcoming weeks we hope to:
-find and begin temporary employment
-organize, write, and send out our first prayer letter
-build our support network
-start booking up our calendar with speaking engagements to get the word out about the importance of children and youth ministry and how people can get involved with what God is doing on the American Indian Field in Arizona

We also have a new group on Facebook for our ministry. This Facebook group will announce when we have written a new blog, and other short snippets of new information. We hope to see you on there and that you will also continue to lift us up in prayer as we press onward in this journey.


Jon and Lindsay

Monday, July 16, 2012

Exciting Beginnings

We've fallen behind on writing new blog entries already, but that doesn't mean there haven't been exciting things going on! We've been busy! At the end of June, we left First Mennonite Church in Morton to begin our process of support raising. Before we could start on that though, we took a trip to Ireland to see Jon's brother Phillip's wedding. Last week, we were back home in Indiana and began getting settled in. This week marks the beginning of our first full week of training at WGM, called the CMS Workshop. CMS stands for Champion Migration Strategy. Basically, it's learning the process of building a support network and how to get people involved with our cause.  It's a lot of information all at once, but very helpful. We were also happily surprised to find a stack of prayer cards waiting for us there! We hope to post a picture of them and get them out soon. We hope to keep you up to date more often as we begin this process and seek to find ways to get people excited and involved in what God is doing on the American Indian Field in Arizona. Blessings, and more to come soon,

-Jon and Lindsay

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Prayer Card Photos

We are currently working on our prayer cards. We have narrowed our pictures down to four finalists. We've decided to put them on the blog and have everyone vote for the picture they like best. We took some of the pictures with white background so that they can be filled with color if needed. Please vote for your favorite in the comment section below. 

                                         Picture # 1
                                          Picture # 2
                                          Picture # 3

                                                       Picture # 4 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Few Pictures

Here a some pictures from our trip to SIMC (Southwest Indian Ministry Center)

Here is a group shot of some youth with the work team from Asbury University. 

Sunsets a beautiful in AZ! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Short & Sweet

Our experience in Arizona this week has been short, but sweet.  It was similar to eating a Hershey kiss. It provides a short, sweet taste but leaves you desiring more. None the less you are still glad you had the opportunity to eat it. 

We are very thankful for the opportunity to fly out to the Southwest Indian Ministries Center (SIMC) and to spend a week meeting the missionaries who are serving there. We are more than excited to watch how the camp is changing before our eyes. In the last year, they have built a new multipurpose facility and have started to build a new dorm that will house up to 100 campers a week! With the addition of these new facilities, SIMC will be able to open their facilities up to host camps, retreats, & events and to Native Americans throughout the year. We also had the opportunity to meet the mission staff who work at the center as well as some who work on the reservations. We feel blessed to have such a close knit and supportive group of friends here to welcome and encourage us as we begin our new journey! 

We were also able to get some much needed answers to questions we had. Our role with SIMC will be mainly dealing with children and youth ministry. We will help lead camps at the center in the summer, train Native youth and children leaders, connect with area non-native congregations helping them find ways to get involved, and lead work teams. These are just a few of the many ways that we can see ourselves plugging into the ministry. 

We have more to share but will pace ourselves for now. We ask that you keep us in prayer as we continue to make arrangements for our move back to Indiana as well as wrapping up our time here in Illinois. Please also be praying and considering how you may be able to join us in this new adventure. If you feel the Lord calling you to support us financially, there is a link to our donations page at the top of the page. If you can't support us financially, maybe you can assist us with other practical needs. 

Be sure to pay attention to the praise and prayer page as we will be updating it with requests and praises to answered prayer. Finally, we ask that you surround us in prayer as we are aware of the challenges we face ahead and know that with a "great cloud of witnesses" we will be able to break through any trials that lay ahead.


Jon & Lindsay

Monday, May 7, 2012


Today we "officially/unofficially" embark on a new journey. We will be heading to the Southwest Indian Ministries Center in Pheonix, AZ, for the first time this afternoon. I say "officially" because we were officially accepted as missionaries with WGM back in February. I say "unofficially" because we haven't started fundraising or training yet and will not be done here in Morton, IL until the end of June. This trip kind of feels like the next step in the journey but not as big as the step that comes in June. 

This week we will hopefully get some much needed answers about logistics and also ministry opportunities for us. We look forward to meeting the missionaries on the field as well as a team of college students doing a week long service trip to the center. In the next couple of weeks we hope to share some pictures of our time in AZ as well as update you on our future plans and fundraising goals. 

Jon & Lindsay