Welcome – what follows is an expression of our heart.
We are His children. We belong to Him, and we can call Him Father. Our Father is God; He deserves praise and worship from all nations and people. Some day He will have that. Esther and I want to be a part of adding to the multitude of worshipers by sharing with people how they too can be His children, how they too can experience the joy and confidence of life knowing they have peace with God through Christ, that they have been forgiven of sin and can have eternal life with Him. Our heart and desire is to go to a place that has never heard the clear message of salvation.
Esther and I have learned to appreciate very much the diversity and interdependency of the Body of Christ. Each of us in the Body of Christ needs each other in order to glorify God and promote His kingdom. God has designed us such that each one of us in the Body serves Him in a different capacity and has given us all different gifts and desires in order to accomplish the growth of His kingdom. He has assigned you with your role and us with ours. God has placed in our hearts personally the passion to develop and multiply His Body. You might be wondering how Esther and I came to the conclusion that we are to go to a place that doesn’t have the testimony of Christ. We would like to share with you how we individually decided this so that you can know us a little more deeply.
From Gary’s perspective:
Shortly after I became a Christian the Lord led me to Florida Bible College. While I was there studying the Word of God, the Lord began to develop in me a passion for people. I wanted to help believers grow closer to God. So I got involved in my local church teaching and preaching. It soon became evident that God had enabled me to communicate His message clearly. As I studied the Word I saw God’s great passion for people. He wants more than anything for people to reverently enjoy Him. In fact He “is not willing for any to perish” (2 Peter 3:9) so badly that He sacrificed His own Son to pay our sin debt that we could never pay! (Being a father now I am even more amazed at this sacrifice. How could God allow His own Son to be crucified for me?!)
God began to work in my heart and show me that there are millions of people who do not understand this message, millions of people who do not know what His has done for them. He showed me the Apostle Paul’s ministry and I was fascinated with the concept of establishing a church where there isn’t any. I couldn’t believe there were still places that didn’t have access to the truth of the Gospel. God reminded me of the gift He has given me of communicating His message. So I went on a mission trip to Haiti to explore this further. Was God truly leading me down this path?
I was in Haiti for two months. When I witnessed and experienced the great need of the nationals to know the truth and the huge need for more Christian laborers I was overwhelmed. While there as I was reading through the book of Matthew God continually made Jesus’ attitude towards people (“and He had compassion on them”) seem to jump off the page. God began to develop this compassion for sheep without a shepherd in me. At the same time He brought Esther, my wife, into my life. And she too has this compassion for those who need Christ. (I am very grateful for her!) One thing after another seemed to point us to the mission field. God has sown into our hearts His passion for all people, and nothing gives us greater joy than following His leading in our lives which is to go to a place where there is no church, introduce them to our incredible Father, and leave an indigenous functioning church.
From Esther’s Perspective:
I was born when my parents were in training with New Tribes Mission. I was three when we moved to Senegal, West Africa and spent most of my childhood years there. I returned to the States when I was 18. The Lord used my childhood to open my eyes to the desperate need of people around the world to hear the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
I was saved at a very young age while having Bible story time with my Mom. I understood at that time my lost condition before God, and my need for a Savior. As I grew older and into adolescence I learned more about what it meant to have a relationship with God and to walk with Him daily.
My Dad used to always say that telling other people about Jesus and the message of salvation was the greatest work we could do on earth. As I studied the Scriptures, I too caught the passion that Jesus had which was to spread the good news of the gospel to the whole world. After graduating from high school, I stayed one more year in Senegal, working as staff at the mission school. It was a great time of growing and seeking God’s direction for my life. I came back to the States at 18 knowing that I wanted to be a missionary one day. I went to New Tribes Bible Institute and completed their 2 year degree. From there I went to Florida Bible College where I completed my BA in Biblical Studies and Elementary Education. It was there that I met my wonderful husband, finding a man whom I greatly loved, who deeply loved the Lord and also had the same desire to serve Him as a missionary overseas.
Growing up as a missionary kid, I was very familiar with the Great Commission given by Jesus to His disciples before He ascended to heaven recorded in Matt. 28:18-20. These verses have been key in challenging me to be an overseas missionary. The last part of these verses are most comforting as we step out into the unknown. We know the He will always be with us to guide and help.