We’re continuing to feature one of the 41 missionaries and ministries Vision supports, and this week, we’ll be getting to know one of the missionaries serving in North Africa.
1. What led you to go into the foreign mission field? Have you always had a desire?
Ever since I took a missions trip to Mexico when I was 14, I have felt God leading me to be a foreign missionary. I had the Gospel. It was a treasure beyond comparison. There were still many sitting in darkness without the Gospel. I have a life that is not my own. Pretty simple math, really.
2. What did you do to help prepare for the mission field?
I spent two years training in Peru with Pastor Gardner. That was the biggest help of all.
3. What are some things that surprised you the most when you got to the field?
How you can’t trust missionaries. I had to learn to think for myself and not take everyone’s word for it.
4. What are some of your most memorable “learning the language” moments?
Muslims are forceful people, and one time I had a large group of young men trying to convince me to say the Shahada (Muslim declaration of belief) in Arabic. I was new, but I knew what the Shahada meant, so I didn’t say it.
5. What are some cultural differences that you really enjoy in your country? What are some that have taken you longer to adjust to?
I love the connectivity of the culture in North Africa. People walk and see other people. People take time for people; they’re not focused on a list of to-do’s. This is also the very same thing that takes a lot of adjusting to, and I am still working on it.
6. What is your favorite local food?
Couscous. I love Chicken Couscous.
7. What are some of the things you do to meet new people?
It’s not hard to meet people in North Africa. You just have to get off your couch, and people are everywhere.
8. What would you like for us at home to know about the people you are working with?
They have never before met a Christian, nor have they ever seen a Bible. It is no wonder they have not responded en masse to the Gospel. They haven’t received the Gospel en masse.
9. How did those around you respond to your surrendering to be a missionary?
They responded well. My family loves Jesus, and that is a real help.
10. How did your kids deal with adjusting to the culture/new environment?
It’s hard to make friends in a new language. They miss their cousins, for sure. But overall, they do well. Kids aren’t the problem with adjusting to a new culture/environment. Adults are.
11. How did you meet your wife?
I met her at my home church in OH. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen walk into that building at 21 years old. I determined to marry her after our first conversation.
12. What is the scariest moment you have had while on the mission field and how did God work in it?
When my friends Said and Tyler were arrested as I watched…I worried for Said for two days. They let him go, and God did miracles…as always.
13. What are some of the most rewarding moments you have had so far?
Same as the scariest or right afterwards (see above). Other rewarding moments include every time I have seen someone turn in their idols for Christ. That makes it worth it all.
14. What would you tell someone who wants to be a missionary and is considering your field?
Come on! …But get training first. We don’t need more missionaries. We need more prepared missionaries who know how to win and disciple, plant churches, and lead as a servant.
15. What is your church called? How many men have you been able to train?
We have started two churches. One is called Light BC, and the other is Messiah BC. We have trained two men as pastors.
16. Do you work with a team?
Yes. I work with a wonderful team of Peruvians, Americans, and Moroccans. It is the greatest privilege of my life to be involved in the work with men of their caliber.
17. What are your future plans/projects for the ministry?
I am trying to hold on to what is going on now, but we are also hoping to plant two new churches in 2013