After over 15 years of serving in youth ministry and participating in missions part-time, Joe and Erin wanted to be involved in full-time missionary service, but they weren’t sure where to begin or with whom to serve.
After meeting, discussing and praying several times with their pastor, a former NTM (now Ethnos360) missionary, they believed God wanted them to apply with Ethnos360 to see if there were somewhere they would fit into ministry with them. Within 24 hours of their submission, Ethnos360 called, inquiring about their interest.
Jump ahead just a little over a year. They’ve prayed, filled in forms, prayed some more, filled in more forms, had several phone and email interviews, and traveled to Sanford, Florida, for Pre-Field Orientation. Applied for visas and raised support. It was very stretching.
Joe and Erin are very excited about where God has led them. Joe is serving in maintenance in Western Brazil where he has been able to be a part of many projects on the grounds of PQQ, an MK boarding school, since their arrival. From fixing wires, freezers, and mowers to digging holes by hand in the jungle and raising new telephone poles. He has also helped with the digging of a new well and putting up safety window bars on housing along with flood lights along the river to increase security, to name a few! We are currently praying about the possibility that he may have the opportunity to assist in the maintenance of missionaries’ houses in a tribe, enabling them not only to go, but to stay gone and teach God’s Word to unreached people.
Erin has been taking care of their toddler(2), Anora and homeschooling their 1st grader, Liam while the oldest in 6th, Gavin is attending classes at the school. She also has really enjoyed being able to help cook for the students and staff in the dining hall 4 days a week. With Joe, they are the Sophomore Class advisors, so they meet with the class every week in their home to get to know and mentor them as they plan class activities. On the weekends they are able to spend lots of time with the kids playing sports, fishing, hiking and doing outreach with local communities that are invited. Joe is also involved in helping with media and is in the rotation for preaching during the Sunday service held at PQQ.
Boarding schools were something they had not been very familiar with before now and they are so thankful how God has shown them how important places like PQQ are. They didn’t realize that many of the missionaries serving in the Amazon tribes were from different countries than their own and that many have restrictions on schooling that they do not. That being said, without PQQ many of the tribes currently having bibles translated would not be if it weren’t for the schooling offered for the missionaries children. First hand they have learned how misunderstood boarding schools often are and hope to share with others how desperately they are needed and how God uses many missionaries and volunteers to keep them going, as well as how well the students are loved and discipled. The school always needs teachers and helpers to volunteer and they are glad to have time to help out as they can, Joe is teaching wood shop class for high school and Erin helps with study hall as well as art class.
As Joe and Erin look at the ministry and see Joe’s exact skills being used, it seems nothing short of divine leading. His experience in the workforce; his hobbies; acquring construction, engine repair, computer and management skills; logistics and more were the perfect training for missions. And now God has handed Joe his dream job. His passions, experience and talents all fit into what Ethnos360 needs. They feel they are truly blessed by God to be able to serve in such a wonderful place.
Did you know that craftsman types, like Joe and Erin, were some of the first people God called into service? Check out Exodus 31. GOD spoke to Moses: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you.”
Pray for Joe and Erin as God uses them as part of the Ethnos360 team to reach the lost for Christ.