This is where I tell you who we are, what we do, and how God “called us to our ministry.” Or something like that…
Who we are, and how we got here:
We are an average, ordinary family of God’s Word-studying, Jesus-loving, Spirit-led, people. We’re just like you. I graduated from a small town, high school in Michigan, “not wanting to be involved in ministry.” Tamara grew up wanting to be a missionary, wife, and mother.
As I spent time “in the real world” going to college and working, I quickly realized that my parents had taught me differently. What I was doing wasn’t what God was doing, and this rightly troubled me. I started working with Youth For Christ, and met this young lady who was lit up with a fire to serve God; by telling others about Jesus, and showing that she had a hope that was different from the world. Tamara challenged me to check out “this Interface thing, in Papua New Guinea.” So, I visited the country of PNG, with New Tribes Mission in 1998. 6 intense weeks of seeing what God is doing on the other side of the world, to bring that same hope to people with no written language (or Bible) and no Gospel witness. To this day, I can only blame the hardness of my own heart, for my lack of compassion and obedience to God’s command. I came back radically challenged and aware that I was wasting my life trying to be a veterinarian. But, that’s just my story. God may use you differently… Tamara was in Costa Rica at the same time, sharing Christ’s love with street kids though another organization. So, when we got back together again, I told her that I was going to start “this New Tribes thing” as soon as possible and “I’d like you to come with me.” She did, and here we still are today.
What we do:
On a daily basis, we are involved in the function of an institute of Biblical learning and study, which exists for the purpose of training men and women to take the Word of God into people groups that have no gospel witness.
Tamara spends three to four mornings a week at the Bible school working in the office. She grades papers and helps feed the data into “the machine.” Tamara also manages my/our household. Six children are an absolute blessing, that require plenty of blessed work.
As of late, I have been taking over the responsibilities of the facilities manager. On a daily basis I get to work with local vendors and contractors. It has been a privilege to remember the challenge to share the hope of Christ “in the real world.” One of the added perks of the position, is that I often get to explain what “Ethnos360” means. The name ends up being a kind of ‘question mark’ for the public that comes in. “What does that even mean? Is that a real word?!” Then I get to tell them why, “2500 or more unreached people groups, is why.”
While all of these things keep us busy during the day, what we are really here for is this:
We are here to see men and women who have never heard the Gospel of Christ, hear the Gospel of Christ in their own language and experience the victorious, abundant Christian life as a direct result. We believe that God (in His sovereignty) has seen fit to use us here to accomplish this task. Our desire is to be an encouragement to students as they begin training with Ethnos360, so that they can, in turn, be a part of planting a thriving church in every people. We attempt to challenge their thinking about missions and their involvement in God’s plan to get THE message out, and the way they handle the Word of God in their lives.
We love it and are incredibly challenged everyday as we realize our inadequacies for this “job.” Pray with us, please.