Reaching the Reached

June 1, 2015 will be my first day of retirement from AFM after working here for half the life of the organization. Established in 1985, Adventist Frontier Missions has not only been reaching the unreached around the world, it has also reached the reached right in our Berrien Springs, MI, home office! Let me tell you how.

I grew up in the Adventist church and was blessed to hear mission stories directly from the lips of Leonard Robinson, E.L. Minchin, Eric B. Hare and others. But working at AFM has ignited an even brighter missionary flame in my heart. My prayers are more pointed, my giving more purposeful, my testimony more powerful after years of associating with dedicated AFM workers and hearing repeated accounts of what God can do with ordinary people.
People like my beloved eighth-grade teacher, Art Bell. After years of teaching in Southern California, the Bells went to serve in Thailand. Today his granddaughter, Tonya Wright, and her husband Jared are AFM career missionaries in that same country.

And who could have known back in the early ‘80s that our next-door neighbors at Canadian Union College, the couple with two cute little girls a bit older than our boys, would continue serving in Adventist colleges until retirement and then go back to the mission field? Today, Don and Janella Abbey are AFM field directors in Asia.

My own son Adam began his overseas career as an AFM student missionary to Benin, West Africa, before I joined the staff here in 2000.

Accountants, architects, Bible workers, chemists, college professors, conference presidents, counselors, furniture makers, graphic designers, housekeepers, lawyers, mechanics, musicians, nurses, nurserymen, physical therapists, salesmen, secretaries, students, teachers, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged and retirees—AFM has sent missionaries from all these walks of life and more.

As I think about the workers who have gone out these past 30 years—people like you and me—I realize again that our jobs, our age, even our abilities are not what define or limit us. What really matters is who we are—Christ’s disciples with hearts for lost people.

Are you someone with a heart like that? Sometimes it seems that reaching the reached with the urgency of the need for more laborers is just as challenging as reaching the unreached! I encourage you to step through new doors that are opening at AFM. Let God take you on the journey He has prepared for you.

For the love of the unreached.

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