We are Americans, pastoring in Finland, and seeking to enlarge God’s Kingdom. God is our pilot and we’re just along for the ride, which can truly get interesting sometimes. We’ve been referred to as “people-builders” because we seek to know more about Christ; then, we teach and help others understand what we’ve learned to be true. Both of us contribute to the blog and our writing styles tend to differ, but that’s what makes it interesting. We hope you’ll browse through our posts as well as the rest of our site.
Simply put, our life’s goal is heaven, and we want to take as many with us as we can. There are a lot of hurting people in the world, and God wants to help them find the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13, 14)
In 2002, God placed the call to Finland upon Mark’s heart during an all-night prayer meeting. At that time, we worked together to lead the children’s (5-12) ministry group under the leadership of our pastor, Bishop William L. Sciscoe (The Church Triumphant of Columbus, Ohio); our lessons from five years of doctrinal teaching are published in two books, Growing with God and Growing with God 2.
God’s calling took precedence, and in 2003 we began making big changes in order to downsize our ‘life.’
Our first missions trip was under the U.P.C.I. (United Pentecostal Church International) AIM (Associates in Missions) program in August 2005, when we went to Estonia to work with Missionary Mark Shutes.
December 30, 2011 marked the completion of one year since our family set foot on the land of our calling. Since we arrived on-site, we have been working to integrate ourselves into the culture. We became students of the Finnish language in September 2011, and while learning Suomi is proving to be a challenge, we are working at it enthusiastically and look forward to the day that we can freely converse in it. To get an idea of the linguistic hurdle, you can read “Is Finnish a difficult language?.”
We each have a definite calling – something we can’t deny – and we could all take you to the time and place where God said “Go” or “Do.” Because of that, we have no doubt that we are living God’s will for our lives – and that’s Finland.
United Pentecostal Church International — International headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A — www.upci.org