So, do you have your coffee? (Or what's your favorite treat like that? Share in the comments.) Let's sit back and get to know each other a bit. These are the questions from last week:
-How many kids do you have? How old are they? How long have you been married?, etc.
-How did God call your family into ministry? Where are you serving and what is your ministry about? Is ministry something that you’ve always felt God leading you toward, or do you find it surprising that God has you where he does?
Here are the responses that have come in this week:
Hi, my name is Tammy. My husband of 27 years and I have are missionaries in Tanzania, East Africa. We have been missionaries since 1993 and have lived in Kenya and Tanzania with our three children. Our two older boys are now living in America with their families. I have one granddaughter who is 2 1/2 and a precious new baby on her way any day now! Our youngest is in the 11th grade and attends a MK Boarding school.
When my husband and I were dating he had already graduated Bible College and knew God had called him into the ministry. After our marriage Bill took a position as a youth pastor. As a youth pastor he was asked to take the teens on a missions trip to Mexico. It was during those missions trips that the Lord worked on Bill’s heart in regards to full-time missionary work. After much prayer we decided on the country of Kenya. Some years later the Lord moved us to do the same church planting ministry in the villages surrounding the Lake Region of Mwanza, Tanzania. We are now entering a new phase of ministry as we take a back-seat role and do more training of national pastors/leaders and their wives rather than actual church planting. Its a joy to see the churches take on the burden of seeing churches started in villages without a gospel witness of any kind!
-Please introduce us a little bit to your family! How many kids do you have? How old are they? How long have you been married?, etc.
Lucas and I (Melissa) have been married 6 years and have 4 kids: David (5), Elsie (3), Lucy (2) and Peter (3 months). Our house is full of noise and love!
-How did God call your family into ministry?
Before we got married, I remember Lucas and I sitting at his kitchen table discussing our gifts and dreams about how we could use them to serve God together... Gradually, God has clarified the vision that began that day as we've prayed together and with our families and Church in the US and even as we've been abroad wondering what step comes next.
Where are you serving and what is your ministry about?
We live in Nicaragua. My husband is a computer programmer who has his own business working for client companies often in the US and Europe. We are working to grow the business and train Nicaraguans to work alongside him to bring some economic opportunities and improve lives of people who were born in a land with less opportunities to provide well for their families. Our vision is to "seek another's good" and share Christ's love with our brothers and sisters here. We are excited to see what God might be able to do that we can watch and take part in after just finishing our first year down here that had a lot of settling in and preparation in it!
Is ministry something that you’ve always felt God leading you toward, or do you find it surprising that God has you where he does?
It's been a vision that's gradually grown for us. As we've learned more about the world and some of the harsh economic realities in it, this is where both of our hearts break and where our gifts line up too. Along the way, with 4 little blonde kiddos following me to the market, God brings lots of surprising opportunities to share the heart of God too as so many people notice us and ask questions!
-My name is Ashley, and I have 4 kids (ages 1.5, 4, 7, and 9). My husband and I have been married for almost 11 years and have spent the past 8+ years living and serving in Russia.
-My husband and I both served overseas during university, him in Siberia for 2 years, and me in China for 1, and during that time we both felt called overseas long-term to be sharing the gospel. Before college I would have NEVER thought I'd end up in ministry! After being overseas, I assumed that I would go back to China and my husband specifically desired to go back to Siberia. We had very similar passions and future callings so when we got to know each other and fell in love, it was very clear that God had brought us together and had prepared us to serve together overseas. We planned to go back to Siberia, but the Lord redirected us when the ministry that we had planned to join closed before we could get there. God then opened a door for us to work with students in Krasnodar (southwest) Russia, but we later were forced to leave that area due to visa and ministry security issues. We're now working with college students in St. Petersburg!
I'm Phyllis. Will and I have been married for 13 years. We've spent 6+ years in Russia, and now 6+ years in Ukraine. We have four children, ages 11, 9, 7, and 3; the youngest is in the photo here.
I always wanted to live and serve God in Russia, for as long as I can remember. Now we're in Ukraine, and that was something of a surprise for me, but I have truly come to love this country and people. It's close enough to Russia that I do feel like it's what I've always been led to... with slight difference. We work in orphanage ministry.
Thank you so much to those of you who sent in your answers! If you didn't, and still want to, please share in the comments now. Also, let's continue the conversation there. If anyone's stories here strike a chord with you, tell us about it. Ask more questions, etc... let's chat.
Next Tuesday I'd like to post "A Day in the Life of...." Who wants to share that with us? Let us follow you through a day: a real day, a typical day, an ideal day, your choice what kind. If you're interested in sharing that, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.