Reflecting on the past 15 years

Image000Way back in 1990 Hal Patterson asked us if we would consider training to teach at Oro Bible College. We told him that God was not through with us at the church we were pastoring but we would call him when that ministry came to an end, figuring it would be 10+ years and he would forget. 3 Years later God called us beyond that local church so we called Hal. We trained for missions. Then in Feb of 1996 in North Carolinas biggest ice storm we met with the executive council. As they say the rest is history.

In the past 15 years we have counseled, witnessed in foreign languages, did spiritual warfare with those oppressed by demons, helped the poor and hungry at our door, taught theology, Bible and even PE., climbed mountains and went into squatter areas of cities in the name of Christ. We have prayed for nationals and watched God change lives. If that was not enough the Lord helped us manage a field and orient missionaries to living in foreign cultures. We preached, taught, prayed . We sweated through tropical heat and were chilled by New Zealand winters without central heating. We have survived and made friends and disciples in his name in many places.

It has not all been glamorous. Watching our children leave home to go to the US was a gut wrenching thing we endured. There were times of civil unrest. Terrorism almost ended one of us. If that was not enough, we and the children came down with tropical diseases. Tiredness, spiritual dryness and loneliness mocked us. However God is and always has been faithful. If we had to do it all over again we would do the same thing.

As we come to the end of our time as AC Missionaries we reflect that we are not the same people we were in 1996. We are now part American, part Filipino, part Kiwi. Our desire to serve Christ wherever he calls is still with us and we pray continually for those who are lost in the remotest parts of the earth to come to know him. With that we leave with one question, “Who will go for HIM.”

-Penny Vann

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