Miles Apart, Closer Than Ever

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Friends like David and Lori Vaught help us to remember and affirm the real truth behind our work. This world can tell you a lot of discouraging lies. However, David and Lori took the time to remind us of our true desire: to grow relationships in Christ here, there, and everywhere! Our life choices are not about distancing ourselves, asking for money to support our adventurous life, or pleading for prayers against danger. No, we want you, the real you, the raw you partnering together on Gods mission! Lori and David tell below about the joy they have received over the past two years walking alongside us in ministry, but the joy is reciprocal. We have loved watching Him work in their marriage too: finding a great church family, re-committing there lives to Christ through baptism, Lori’s amazing work as an oncology nurse, her commitment to raising awareness/funding for Leukemia and Lymphoma, talking deeply together about the power of bedside prayer, and now getting to celebrate with them as they become parents! This is what it’s all about! Our work does not separate us, it UNIFIES us!

David and Lori write….

The first time I remember hearing Katie speak about Egbe was in the summer of 2013 right before David and I got married. Katie and Nick had recently returned from a short-term mission trip where they served at Egbe Hospital, and this trip was all Katie would talk about! I knew then that this would not be the first and only time Katie would serve on mission in Egbe.

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Lori and I devising great plans at an early age!

In December 2013, Katie Gretchen and I got together as we usually do during the holidays to celebrate another year of friendship. It was during this meal shared together that I remember Katie fully explaining to us how that short-term trip to Egbe really impacted her, and how her and Nick were very likely going to be spending two years there on mission work. Wow! I was so excited and shocked at the same time! Is this really Katie I’m talking to?? My lifelong friend who loves sports, shopping, routines and schedules, and not to mention staying close to home and family (the girl hates packing a suitcase!), was going to travel halfway across the world and live there for 2 years? I was so happy to hear how God was working in and through her during this phase of her life. The next 6 months were a whirlwind of fundraising, spending quality time together, and supporting Nick and Katie as they made the big move to Nigeria. My favorite part of the prepping (of course) was giving them their shots! 

After they left for Nigeria, communication and staying connected to Nick and Katie was surprisingly very easy. Katie had a cell phone that could text over to us at any time (when she had service), and we were able to follow their blog to stay updated on all the new things they were doing in Egbe. We could even FaceTime! Katie settled into a role of teaching the missionary kids and Nick very easily found lots of work to do at Egbe Hospital. They were settling into their lives over there, and over here we continued the support and counted down the days until their return.

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Lori, Gretchen and Katie a divine friendship!

It was in December 2015, again at our annual Christmas get together when Katie and Nick were visiting the states for their “last break” before the 2-year mission work was over, that I had the opportunity to learn about Blessing. A teenage orphan who desperately needed a home, and hearing how Nick and Katie so freely opened up their home to welcome her in. The stories were funny: Blessing being excited about having her own towel, and sleeping with all the lights on because she wasn’t used to electricity. But the heart behind telling the funny stories was undoubtedly moving. Katie loved this girl, and she and Nick were devoted to fostering her in their home. Nigeria was really changing my friend, and God was behind it all!

My local pastor has often said that we send people out on mission work, not only to reach unreached people groups, but also to change the hearts of the people out on the mission. And for every person that we send out on mission, it takes an entire team of people to support them.

Over the past few months, David and I have learned that this 2-year mission trip for Nick and Katie is hardly ever going to be “over.” It isn’t even a trip to say the least. It has become a new way of life. No longer living for our own selfish desires, no longer working multiple jobs to have a larger house or new car. But living in the Lord daily, being obedient to His mission for our lives, giving to those in need, opening our home to Jesus, or to Blessing, Miracle and Testimony. This is what God calls us all to do, wherever we may live and whatever we may do. David and I have been extremely blessed by being a part of Nick and Katie’s Support Team. Watching them grow in their faith has without a doubt encouraged us to grow in our own. We are motivated and blessed by God’s work through Nick and Katie. We are excited for the next phase of work that God is doing through Nick and Katie, and we will willingly continue to serve on The Riddle’s Support Team.

Lets grow together!  If you are interested in being on our team in whatever capacity God may be calling you please e-mail us nick.riddle@sim.org or katie.riddle@sim.org

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17

3 thoughts on “Miles Apart, Closer Than Ever

  1. Such a heart warming testimony for 2 of the greatest folks I know. Love them both. Many thanks for sharing your hearts and your friends!!!

  2. I am so proud of the adults you have all become. You all are a blessing to your parents. We love you all and thank God for you everyday!!

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