More from Shack, and Ways to Support Her During her Home Leave

Dear Hope friends,

Shack in the Field.png

It's official! I just bought my tickets to the US for my upcoming home leave. In some ways it's hard to believe I've already been overseas for 4.5 years, but I'm also feeling that this chance to take some rest and reconnect with friends and family is timely. 

My current plan is to spend May 2019 - January 2020 in the US.  I'll be spending a good portion of that time resting, reflecting, and getting reacquainted with my homeland. I'll also spend some time teaching a linguistics course and doing other small service projects for my organization.

Here is my tentative schedule:

May: Joseph, Oregon (R&R!)

June-July: North Dakota (TAing for Survey course)

Aug-Oct: Oregon + travels

Oct - Nov: Travels

Nov-Jan: LA + travels

I'm hoping to spend 6-8 weeks in Oregon, and I am looking forward to getting to spend time with many of you! 

Here are a few ways that you can support me during my home leave:

  • Help and encourage me as I blunder through reverse culture adjustment!

  • Encourage me to rest :)

  • THIS NEED ALREADY MET! - Help me procure a vehicle that I can use in Oregon and potentially drive down to Los Angeles. (that could mean lending me a car or helping me find and buy a car that I would then sell before heading back overseas)

  • THIS NEED ALREADY MET! - Help me find a place to stay. I'll need a home while I'm in Oregon, and the more stable the better. I'd be happy to rent a space or earn my keep through washing lots of dishes!

  • THIS NEED ALREADY MET! - Let me use your address! I'm trying to keep my Oregon resident status, and the last address I was using is no longer viable. Would anyone be willing to field my mail?

You might be wondering, "Are you planning to return to South Asia after your home leave?" That's a great question! I love my job and my community here, and this place has become a home to me. During my time in the US, I'll take time to reflect, pray, and consult with others about the best path forward.

These last months before my home leave are quite busy, and I'm feeling stressed about fitting in all the work I need to get done! Please pray for my working abilities, and that I would have a healthy balance of rest and enjoying my friends here before I go.


Message from Shack - Upcoming Time in the States

I’ve been living in South Asia for over four years now, and time sure has flown! It’s been a privilege and a joy to learn a new language and culture, work with friends from South Asia and around the world, travel to remote areas of the country, grow in my understanding of linguistics and research, and see the real impact of my team’s efforts.

 I’m a member of a local branch of an organization that works with Wycliffe Bible Translators to do Bible translation and language development. My job is language assessment (also known as survey), a branch of linguistic field research. 

It might be hard to imagine exactly what I do, as linguistics is not a common profession. A few times per year I travel to remote areas of the country to gather information about minority languages spoken there. The rest of the time I live in the capital city. I work from an office analyzing data, writing reports, connecting with the national university, and helping my colleagues with their projects.

The information my team and I gather lays the groundwork and informs decisions about translation and literacy programs supported by my organization. Our work also adds to the international body of academic knowledge, and informs the government and others of the needs and resources in each language community.

I have been so grateful for the love and support of Hope throughout my time here! Living overseas can be difficult, and knowing that the folks back home want to stay connected and understand my life is incredibly encouraging. If you would like to support and encourage me, send me an email or a message, follow me on Facebook or Instagram, read my email updates, and listen to my podcast!

I'm looking forward to reconnecting with you, my community, this year during my home leave! 




Pat Roach, Serving with Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) as West Coast Area Coordinator


Pat is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Westminster Seminary. He was the RUF campus minister at Rice University from 1999-2007. In 2007 he moved to Portland, OR to plant Hope Presbyterian church, where he pastored until 2014.

He has been married to his wife Ashley since 1997. Ashley serves on the faculty of the nursing school at Oregon Health Science University, and is working on her PhD at the University of Tennessee. They have three children - Mary, Anna, and James (born in that order). They also have three cats, and two dogs. But who is counting. 

He can be reached at 503.805.0110.


Sarah, Serving in South Asia


Sarah works in South Asia as a language surveyor. Her ministry there is with her organization's language assessment team, designing and performing research for the various minority language groups around the country. Not only does her work add to the academic community, it aids her organization in making sound decisions regarding language development projects in these areas, ultimately supporting the work of Bible translation.