Stories of those who have joined the ministry.
Sometimes it's hard to visualize what it might look like to make the transition to an assignment in ministry. Here are the experiences of some of your peers:
John Barnshaw: Development of HIV/AIDS Cube
After thirty-seven years at IBM, John and Faith Barnshaw attended a Finishers Forum and were led to join SIM. Two weeks after retirement, John was in South Africa and Botswana learning about HIV/AIDS ministries first hand. Presently, John is the point person for HIV/AIDS and malaria at SIM-USA. He is involved in procuring federal grants, working with donors, teaching new missionaries about HIV/AIDS, and collaborating with e3 Partners in developing teaching tools like the “HIV/AIDS Cube,” which he is holding in the photo at left, and now the new “Malaria Cube.” John loves what he does and is making a difference in people’s lives. More than 50,000 of the HIV/AIDS Cube have been produced; they teach people all over the world how HIV is transmitted, how to prevent it, what to do if you are infected, and finally, how to minister to families of those who are infected.
Bill Slater: Twice-Retired; Still on Fire
I believe in the statement, “There’s no retirement from the Lord’s service, but the benefits are out of this world.” Here is how it is fleshed out in my life. I retired from Abbott Laboratories (pharmaceutical manufacturer) in 2000. My wife (Judy) and I have been involved in ministry in our home church as well as participating in short-term missions in Africa, Central America and Eastern Europe. In addition, I was privileged to be a teaching leader of an evening men's class with Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) for 21 years. Since BSF asks leaders to ‘retire’ at age 70 and, barring a call Home, I wanted to continue teaching God's Word as long I was physically and mentally able, so I enrolled in at Southern Evangelical Seminary in 2005 so I could begin to prepare for life after Bible Study Fellowship. (more)
Ann & Larry Wright: Trans World Radio
The year was 1958, my (Ann's) junior year in high school. I looked forward each year to our annual Missions Conference. It was always a week filled with exciting missionaries and their stories from around the world. This year the keynote speaker was a man I had never heard of; a dynamic speaker with a contagious vision and a story filled with miracles. The story of his dream to build radio towers beaming the gospel message into the remote corners of the earth gripped me. God had just miraculously provided the very first tower! His name was Dr. Paul Freed, the founder of Trans World Radio. Each night he challenged us to heed God’s call to help reach the world with the message of Jesus. I responded in my heart to be willing to go if God called me.
Fast forward 50 years…..
Larry and I were married and he had run a successful commercial electrical contracting company for 32 years. We were faithfully supporting church and missions, including Trans World Radio, and enjoyed reading the newsletters from TWR. We were eager to retire, and Larry had been trying to sell his business for several years, with no results. In 2009 business was slowing down due to the poor economy. Larry was reluctantly laying off employees, eventually taking only half of his salary, then no salary at all.
One week we received a TWR prayer request brochure. One particular request jumped off the page---“Pray for retirees to be available to help with short term projects, using their skills to help in various regions.” I showed it to Larry. “What do you think, Honey? I’ll bet they could use someone with the electrical skills and knowledge you have, and maybe someone with some writing background like me.” (more)
From Jacob Huyer
A short-term trip [with GOM] went well, and from this trip a lot more work came up. We are going again in September and next year in January. Global Outreach Mission has always focused on ministry and medical clinics, but they are getting more and more involved in construction, due to "brick and mortar needs".
I was very impressed with Global's organization, willingness to dream BIG, and putting the Lord in front of all things. It seemed to me that there was a great opportunity to contribute to the Lord's work by being involved in all aspects of construction. I was asked more and more to help out with other projects. (more)
from Glenn & Liese Ripley
wanted to keep you apprised of our adventure and say thanks for the HUGE role
Finishers Project has played in our lives. We were accepted as missionaries to
Zambia, raised support over 6 months time and are now in the field. God used
Finishers Project to move us forward at a critical point in the process and we
thank God for this ministry and your faithfulness to your task. We are truly a
Finishers Project product.
from Darrell & Kim North
I signed up for Finishers Project not knowing what to expect. Now a year and a half later we are appointed to serve with Pioneers and will be on the mission field in about 10 months. Attending the Journey Deepens Retreat in Atlanta really showed us that at 42 years old with two kids, it is still possible to make that transition. God led the way as we kept taking one step at a time. Our business sold fast, our house sold, and now we are unencumbered and ready to go. While at the Journey Deepens someone told us that God can't steer a parked car; press the gas and see where He takes you. We did, and we are thrilled. Thank you for being the catalyst and giving us such great exposure to so many groups and opportunities. I recommend Finishers Project as a great starting point for people of any age.
from Cathy in Illinois
When I first decided to leave my job and look seriously at serving with a missions organization, I went to the Wycliffe website to learn about opportunities. There I saw an ad for a Finishers Forum, which I had not heard of before. I was thrilled to discover mission agencies were specifically targeting people my age and with my skills. At the conference I made my first live contact with several organizations. At Finishers Project I learned there could be a place for me in missions after all my years in business.
from Phil & Beth in Washington
Phil and I have felt called to missions for a number of years now. Our process started with the Service Profile that we completed on www.finishers.org about two years ago. This was reviewed by many partnering mission organizations, and we had a large number of responses. We were interested in a short-term mission project (as our first assignment, anyway). It was narrowed down to the Philippines and Papua New Guinea, based on our experience and what they needed done. We finally decided that PNG would be the best fit for our family at this time - especially since we are more comfortable in the country than in a large city (we live on a farm!). The kids are doing great, and I'll be happy once we get there (I really don't like to fly)!