In 1969, a New Tribes Mission missionary came to our house to tell my family about people who had never heard the name of Jesus Christ. The information brought our family to a decision. Should we as a family go to a remote location to tell some of those people about God? My parents and all of us kids agreed that this was a good thing to do!
Within a year we had sold most of our possessions to begin missionary training. While my parents made the ultimate decisions, they included their family in the choices which were made. My family worked as a team to serve unreached people groups. We heard story after story from experienced missionaries which prepared our hearts and equipped us with knowledge that would help in ministry.
Our first years in a foreign country involved living in a swampy river delta, clearing jungle to develop property, entertaining guest by the dozens and having a dozen other children in our home. Even as children we had a part in the physical work of living in the jungle for a purpose.
Living still deeper in the jungle as a teenager, completing High School work at home, I carried a reasonable amount of the physical work load of reaching people. I had the privilege of moving a lot of supplies, mowing an airstrip regularly, helping to build a few runways in remote places, traveling the rivers in a motorized dugout canoe for supplies and building a house for ministry. With two buckets and a dash to the river I even provided running water to the house. We learned language and culture while building relationship and tending to medical needs. We worked through difficult living conditions for the purpose of bringing life to dying people.
As an adult, my particular path in this objective took me through several schools and jobs over 13 years to where I could work as an adult missionary in reaching those least reached people groups. I wanted to speed the work of church planting in remote places using aircraft. It required steadfast determination, persistence through distractions and a whole bunch of decisions in the same direction so that I could serve as a missionary pilot to reach remote people with the Gospel.
Although recent circumstances have required that we work in the USA, our purpose has not changed. We are not able to be in Papua New Guinea to serve the great needs right now but we can have a significant impact on the least reached people groups of the world. We can impart vision to those people whose hearts God has prepared, just like that New Tribes Mission missionary did at our house in 1969.
To this day my family is very heavily involved in spreading the gospel. My parents continue training missionaries. Some of my siblings work in ministries which equip Christians for effective ministry. All have persisted through difficult times while making choices which keep our heavenly purpose in view. All have made their own choices but a missionary visitor helped guide them to a path which leads beyond this world.
Ultimately, our purpose is to proclaim the glory of God in every tongue, kindred, people and nation. To do that, we must find laborers for the harvest.
More than 100 people groups are begging New Tribes Mission to send missionaries to tell them about God. Meeting their needs will not be completed on a two year short term missions trip. Each of those tribes will require someone to endure hardness, to invest blood, sweat and tears, to learn the language, to study the culture and to spend time translating God’s written word in order to communicate a clear gospel message to them.
Isn’t God worth everything? We are looking for people who are willing to do the hard things for the glory of God and those whom He loves in remote places.