We count it a privilege to serve at Ethnos360 Training where we have a part in equipping missionary candidates for cross-cultural life and ministry. Every fall we welcome a new class of around 40 students to begin their 2-year cross-cultural training to equip them for ministry overseas; every spring we witness the graduation of friends and new co-workers. We would like to highlight one family that we had the pleasure of getting to know and helping equip.
Spencer & Joanna desire to be a light in the world and their favorite verse is, “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 4:6. They graduated from Ethnos360 Training in the Spring of 2021. Spencer then received additional training with a four-month program with Offgrid Tech, a ministry on our campus that specializes in instruction on solar panels, small motors, water filtration and the basics of electrical installations. This extra training will equip him for helping his own family and his fellow missionaries with the technical needs they may have in remote locations.
Spencer grew up in the South American country of Paraguay. He is a third-generation missionary child. His grandparents helped establish the work among the Aché people group. He grew up in a family that ministered in five different locations with three different people groups in Paraguay. In his home he heard many different languages spoken — English, Spanish, Guaraní and German. Even when his family returned to North America for a year of home assignment, Spencer was exposed to multiple cultures as he spent time in Canada with his mom’s family and the United States with his dad’s family. This has given him an appreciation for different cultures and languages. Consequently, he learned early in life to be sensitive to and respect the culture of others. He also recognized the important need for making God’s Word known in these remote regions.
Joanna grew up in Florida in a missions-focused church. She was challenged into missions through some short-term mission trips she took as a teenager. Her pastor encouraged her to consider going to the Ethnos360 Bible Institute in Waukesha, Wisconsin. During her two years of studies there, she met Spencer and they developed a relationship. They were then engaged in October during the first semester of their training at Ethnos360 Training in Missouri. During their first Christmas break they got married in December of 2019. In the final year of their training they had their first child, Abigail, and they are expecting a second child soon.
With all their training, they look forward to going to Brazil where they hope to be involved in planting a church among a people group living in the Amazon rainforest. With their sensitive hearts to the Lord, we know they will be a tremendous blessing. Truly, it is a privilege to be able to work alongside of students like Spencer & Joanna as they are trained and equipped for missions. Please pray for them as they look to the Lord for developing a team that will be praying for them, supporting them, and giving to them financially.
John & Melanie