Eric and Staci Update

Hi friends! I hope this email finds you doing well. Wow! How things have changed! Know that Staci and I are praying for you in these challenging days. This report is a bit longer than I normally send. I try to keep our updates short because I know that everyone is busy. Saying that, it has been a very busy first quarter of 2020 and I wanted to share more than I normally do because we value your prayers. The things we are currently working should have a significant impact on the Kingdom as God continues to work through Beautiful Feet for His glory! Thank you for understanding and for taking the time to read and pray.

We first began working through how to respond to COVID-19 in late January. We have people living and serving in one of the first countries impacted by this outbreak. They do not live near the epicenter, but, they do live in the country. Given this, we began having conversations about how to respond. For the most part, everyone stayed in place and rode everything out. We had one couple evacuate because they had some medical procedures scheduled in February in a neighboring country. Their concern was that if they did not get out soon they would miss those procedures so we decided they should evacuate. That was the correct decision. Our folks in that first area are now beginning to see things return to the old normal. Since that beginning for us in late January we have been meeting the crisis as it spread across the globe. Beautiful Feet has people living and working on five of the world’s seven continents. Most everyone has decided to stay in country as they felt it could hurt their testimony if they left. All of our decisions were covered by much prayer and we believe we followed the Holy Spirit’s lead.

Here in Oklahoma, we are under a Shelter in Place order. Our campus is located in the country, east of Oklahoma City. We are already fairly isolated so this order was not too difficult for us to follow. We changed our flow of traffic here on campus, started meeting together over video chat, and are limiting our trips to the grocery store and pharmacy and other trips that fall within the order. We have a few folks here on campus that fall in the higher risk category so we are all doing everything we can out of consideration for others. Other than some postponed meetings and retreats, we are operating in a way that is meeting the needs of our staff, both locally and globally.

Changes at Beautiful Feet
I completed the research for my doctorate last summer. My research uncovered several areas in our approach to training missionaries where we need to make some changes. I inherited a missionary training program that had never been evaluated. We have always done a good job (in my opinion), but, the research revealed some areas where we could improve. For example, I learned that we were “front-loading” much of our training during our two-month training boot camp. Much of what we were training covers issues faced in a missionary’s second term (their second 2-3 years as missionaries). What I learned is that our initial training needed to be shorter and focused more on first term issues. I also learned that we needed to develop a strategy for coaching/mentoring for the sake of ongoing training after the first term. Another area of change I learned we needed to make was to host annual gatherings for our missionaries. This is an approach that most agencies utilize as a way to develop missionary care, edification, and continuing education. I share all of this because these items, and more, have been occupying our time over the first three months of 2020. I am meeting several times per week (currently via video chat) with various members of our home staff to discuss and develop these changes. It has been a very fruitful first quarter; one that we are certain will positively impact Beautiful Feet for many years.

Fuller Seminary
I am in year three of four of my doctoral program. This year focuses on my change plan. Much of what I am doing this term is covered in the paragraphs above as we work to orchestrate the changes identified in my research. I have three major assignments this term. First, I needed to read some 25-30 sources (books and articles) on topics germane to my study. I began this last October and turned in my paper yesterday. I read 37 books and articles totaling 8,370 pages and wrote up an annotated reading log where I identified the thesis of each work and how I might use it in my dissertation. My next major assignment is a 20+ page paper due on April 17. This paper is an analysis of the leadership context of Beautiful Feet. The final piece is a 30+ page paper with a rough draft due in mid-May and the final paper due in mid-June. This paper discusses the change plan for my project. Each of these papers will be chapters in my dissertation. Once these three assignments are concluded I will begin work on year four. I will attend my last week-long intensive in Belfast, Ireland in late September and a rough draft of my dissertation is due in mid-December. My final dissertation will be due in March of 2021 and by the end of May, I will have hopefully defended my dissertation and been awarded a Doctorate of Intercultural Studies. I am nearing the end of this amazing season in my life. It has been and continues to be a significant amount of work. The beautiful thing about it is that it will lead to changes here at Beautiful Feet that will benefit the Kingdom for many years to come. Thank you for praying for me these days!

Staci and I have been working hard to get our monthly support to 100%. We are currently only $225 per month short. We need a few more donors to sign up for monthly gifts so we can reach that goal. Would you pray about joining us in this way? Maybe $25, $50, $100 or whatever per month is something you can do? We are so very close. I had plans to travel during this first quarter to meet face to face with folks to get us up to this level. Of course, the current situation does not allow me to travel. If God leads you to give toward our ministry you can give online at the link below or mail a check to the address below. To give online you can go here and give to 0275 – Eric & Staci Guthrie under the Individual Support drop-down menu. If you want to mail a check please make it out to Beautiful Feet, listing 0275 – Eric & Staci Guthrie on the memo line and mail the check to the address below.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our March 2020 Update. We would love to hear from you. How can we be praying for you? How has COVID-19 impacted you? What are you hearing from God these days? We love and appreciate you!

Until ALL Have Heard,

Eric and Staci