We are Paul and Ellen Swenson and our four children: Sam, Hazen, Noah, and Emmanuella.
Our Desire: To work in with group of people that does not have the Bible in their native language and to see God establish a church there.
Who are we?
Our family is from northeastern Vermont very close to Canada. Ellen and I both believed in Christ at young ages. In the year 2000, we both graduated from Cedarville University with high school teaching degrees and got married that summer. After a year away from Vermont, we moved back and became involved in our home church and I worked in Ellen’s family’s electrical supply company (Green Mountain Electric Supply) in sales and management from 2001 to 2014. Once our boys were in school, Ellen taught at United Christian Academy.
In 2013 we adopted Emmanuella from Ghana. What a blessing she is to our family!
Also at that time we were praying for our good friends Craig and Sara Noyes, who were training to be tribal church planters with New Tribes Mission. God then began to challenge us to consider if we were to go. We went to New Tribes Mission’s facility in Pennsylvania called Wayumi so that we could better understand what tribal church planting is and to see if that was something God was leading us toward. Coming away from our time at Wayumi we were saying as a family that we would go as God opened the doors for us. God has been faithfully opening many doors for us to be able to go. We had the privilege of training at the New Tribes Mission training center in Canada (Emanate) beginning in August of 2014 and we graduated in December of 2015. We moved to Papua New Guinea in January of 2017 with the goal of being part of a church planting team. In July of 2018 we joined the Tanguat work.
Why are we going?
In Revelation 5:9 there is the statement that Christ has purchased people from every tribe, language, nation and people and in Revelation 7:9 we see a picture of them worshiping Christ together. God used those verses to get me specifically thinking about those who don’t have access to the Bible and don’t have a knowledge of who He is. Statistics were another way that God challenged me to go. In the world today there are about 6,900 different languages; of those languages there are about 2,000 that have no access to any part of the Bible in their language. In English we are blessed to have over 400 different complete or partial versions of the Bible, but there are still so many language groups in the world with no Bible at all.
We as a family really look forward to seeing how God will use us as we set out to reach the unreached. While it will be very challenging, we look forward to being part of a team that will be learning the language and culture, teaching literacy, translating the Bible, teaching Bible lessons, discipling the believers, and training leaders that God would raise up to lead the local church.