Tychicus. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have his name growing up?! No one would ever pronounce it correctly, nor spell it right on any Starbucks cup. Tychicus (tik-i-kus) is one of those Bible characters who isn’t well known, who most people have never paid any attention to, and who doesn’t receive the accolades or the love. There aren’t any Bible studies about him, no Beth Moore or Priscilla Shirer books or videos. Tychicus is only mentioned a handful of times in the New Testament, but the ministry he provided was enormously important.
Tychicus’ ministry included:
This question really stuck in Billy’s head. The immediate answer is that we do – we tell our story back home. We tell it through newsletters and updates and emails. When we are physically back in Texas, we tell our story in person to whomever is interested and who will listen. But that wasn’t the intent of our friend’s question. His intent was, who shares in your work and shares it with others? In your physical absence, who takes your place and tells the story, face-to-face?
We had lots of discussion about this. Can someone else truly tell the story? Can they field the questions? Do they know the answers? Whose story is it to tell? Have we empowered people to do that work, to stand in our place and tell the story, to share news of how we are and what is going on in our lives and in the work?
After a few weeks of continued discussion and consideration, the answer tumbled off the page of my Bible. I was looking up a reference to something else, and, by chance, I happened upon (okay, I know God led me there) Paul’s reference to Tychicus in Colossians 4: 7-9
7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
That began my investigation into the person of Tychicus. Who is this guy? What did Paul trust him to do? Suddenly, the question we had been wrestling with was clear. We need Tychicus people in our lives!
But the answer was also already provided. It’s YOU! YOU are Tychicus! We have a team of people around us, a ministry team that does not live in Spain, but who serve Spain and other places around the globe by being Tychicus.
We are blessed to have so many Tychicus’ in our lives! Trusted friends, loyal servants, faithful ministers and unsung heroes. Thank you for being a special part of our ministry team! Like Tychicus, your ministry alongside us is enormously important.
2/1/2016 09:40:17 am
Laurie, this is beautiful. I love this. Thank you for putting this to words. I work with missions interns and this is the concept I try to teach them...I know these stories but you put them into such a wonderful biblical application. May I share this with the interns?
2/1/2016 12:56:18 pm
Of course you can share it! I'm honored. Thanks for your kind words and feedback. Blessings to you and to the interns you guide.
2/1/2016 01:21:27 pm
Just call me "Tic" for short!
2/1/2016 05:56:28 pm
Great blog entry. So thankful that that person asked the question so in your discovery you and we know that you are indeed surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. I share your story and work with others all the time and lift you in prayer weekly. it is my great joy to travel along with you on this journey. blessings,
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In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a soccer mom, a horsewoman, and the neighborhood hospitality queen. I did "Joanna Gaines farmhouse style" before Chip and JoJo were even a thing - we restored an 1884 Victorian farmhouse in small town Texas and did shiplap walls until I thought I'd go crazy. I taught at NASA, scuba dived with astronauts in training, and studied animals at Sea World for educational purposes. I've tried just about everything, because I have an insatiable need to know if I can do it! Never underestimate a Texas girl in cowboy boots!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers via teaching and training and care, and helping displaced people to navigate their new reality in Europe.
I'm passionate about fostering personal growth, growth in community, and growth in The Kingdom. Walking alongside others and helping them to use their unique design, their gifts and strengths and maximize their abilities to fulfill their God-given purpose - that's what makes my heart sing!