“Our passion is helping missionaries in practical ways. We do solar electric, construction, repairs, education helps, maintenance, encouragement, and more.”
Jotham & Maria Van Der Decker are serving in Papua New Guinea as a Tech Specialist & Education Consultant.
Jotham grew up in PNG where his parents are missionaries, planting a church among the Kaulong people group. He was saved at a young age and also wanted to be involved in reaching those who have never heard the gospel.
“It was never a question in my mind,” he says, “that there was a need. So many times my parents could have used practical help in order to be able to do their ministry of church planting and translation. I always knew I wanted to be a part of meeting the needs I saw every day.” Jotham returned to the states after high school to attend Bible school.
Maria was born in Minnesota. Although she had heard the gospel before, at age five her grandfather explained the gospel to Maria and her brother. “But the difference was that he made it personal. ‘Jesus died for you.'”
When she was 10 years old, her parents became missionaries with Missionary Tech Team in Texas. Through her parent’s ministry and missions trips during highschool, she continued to pursue the idea of missions for herself. She continued training toward missions in college and at Ethnos360’s Missionary Training Center.
It was there that Jotham and Maria met. “One of our first conversations was about the many practical needs of missionaries. We found out that God has given us both the same desire to serve Him through meeting those needs.”
Jotham & Maria and their family are now serving in Papua New Guinea as support missionaries. Anytime missionaries in tribal locations need help: they need a solar-electric system installed or repaired, their generator stops working, or their house needs repair, or they need educational expertise, those missionaries have to stop their ministry of church planting to try to solve the problem, even when that may not be their area of expertise. Jotham and Maria are able to come in and help with those practical needs so that other missionaries can continue to move forward effectively in translation and discipleship.
Jotham and Maria are serving missionaries all over the country, through building trips, repair trips, sending in parts or helping with repairs long-distance, answering education questions for missionary kids being homeschooled too, etc. Through taking care of these needs, more missionaries are able to be more effective in their ministry of reaching the unreached.