Missionary Associates Headed for the Mission Field
|The missionary associates commissioned on June 23.|
From June 11-23, 2011, 54 missionary associate candidates met on the campus of Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, for their pre-field orientation.
The two weeks were filled with courses on missions, budgets, cultural studies and other topics. They also had time for worship with God, fellowship with other missionary associates and meetings with the leadership at AG World Missions.
Their training culminated with a commissioning service on Thursday, June 23, at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri.
“I AM VERY THANKFUL FOR A PRAYING WIFE”
One of the young couples commissioned as missionary associates was Jesse and Sarah Jones from Bloomington, Indiana. Along with two-year-old Aiden and four-year-old Keaton, they are on their way to the Czech Republic for a commitment of at least two years.
A graduate of Central Bible College, Jesse helped plant a church after he graduated in 2003. However, a serious car accident in 2006 curtailed his ministry for a time and he began working for a window cleaning and power washing company.
In January of this year the Joneses took a 10-day missions trip to the Czech Republic to fill a need some friends had told them about. “I told my wife we would take this trip,” Jesse remembers, “but I said there was a 99 percent chance God would not call us as missionaries to that country. But the second day of our trip, just six months ago, that’s exactly what He did. God stirred my heart and told me this is where He wanted us to go.”
Sarah has a different take on the time line. “It actually started for me in 2006,” she said. “I went to some services with AGWM missionaries Jason and Andrea Morrison, the missionaries we will be working with, and God begin to stir my heart for the Czech Republic. Jesse’s accident in 2006, when he was hit by a semi truck and trailer, was a dark time with our lives put on hold.
“In 2007 I began to pray for Jesse that God would give him a fresh vision and be able to find his place and know what God had for our family. In 2008 I felt God calling us to the Czech Republic and I have continued to pray since that time that God would make Jesse ready.”
Jesse finished the interview by saying, “I am very thankful for a praying wife. I thank God for her every day for never giving up. We are excited about the future and what God has for our family.”
A 21-DAY FAST LEADS TO MISSIONS
Bryan and Tracey May from Richmond, Virginia, with their five children, ages 15 years to seven weeks, is another missionary associate family on their way to the mission field.
“We went on a 21-day fast,” said Bryan, “when God started speaking to our hearts. I’m a professional engineer in Virginia; a lay leader, not a minister. I have my own business, but with what God has called us to do we are putting that career on the back burner.”
“We are really glad to be on the path that God has put us on,” added Tracey. “The times are shaky, but God has given us the peace to go forward with the call He has given us.”
The Mays will be working with a ministry called Jacob’s Hope in the Middle East.
HEALED FROM A HEART ATTACK
Scott and Charity Smith from Wendell, North Carolina, also have five children, ages 13 to four.
Several years ago they began attending a missionary-minded church. The pastor was the district missions director. “Two months after we got there,” Charity said, “they had their missions conference. Missionary after missionary came through at that conference and throughout the next years. Little by little God chipped away at our hearts and called us to go. As missionary associates we are taking the first step and are going to Venezuela. Our long-term plans are to become fully appointed missionaries. We would love to do that for the rest of our lives.”
Scott and Charity’s first plan was to wait until the children grew up and left home before starting their missionary career. “But,” Charity said, “God told us He had a plan for each of our children too. If we waited until they were grown they might not follow His plan for their lives. But if we step out now in faith following God’s plan for our lives, we believe our kids will follow in God’s plan for their lives as well.”
God started speaking to the Smiths about missions in 2007. In December of 2008 Scott had a heart attack. One of the elders in the church prayed for Scott in the hospital and God miraculously healed him.
“He had the EKG that showed he had a heart attack,” Charity said. “After prayer each EKG after that showed no heart problems.”
On the way home from the hospital God spoke to Scott that now was the time to begin the process. Since that time they have been preparing for missions and now they are on their way.
MISSIONARY ASSOCIATES ARE SHARING THEIR VISION
These are just three of dozens of stories that could be told from each of the missionary associates of how God called them to missions.
Many have prepared for years to respond to the calling of God on their lives. They have now completed this big step of being commissioned as AG World Missions missionary associates.
The next step for them is to begin or continue their fund-raising efforts. It will take thousands of dollars a month to support their overseas ministries.
Please welcome these new missionary associates into your churches to share their vision and consider partnering with them as they take the good news around the world.
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