The Strong to the Battle

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We know that, “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!” 1

Our group of student missionaries (SMs) in training will bring a lot of strength to the field. Each one has a history of life battles already fought and a desire to push back the enemy of souls. We look forward to seeing how God is going to use His soldiers to advance His kingdom among the unreached in the coming year.

Christopher Viar’s grandfather is a missionary, and Chris was born in the mission field. Currently his best-honed skill is playing violin, but he began conquering viola in anticipation of needing to be able to teach both instruments in Thailand. 

Another musically gifted SM, Janna Que, has sung for churches almost every Sabbath since she was two years old. She is headed for Palawan to teach math and English to “give back” to the people of her mother’s country (and her knowledge of Tagalog will be useful in the lowlands).

Ryan Schmid is seeking to discern whether teaching or discipling is his God-chosen life work. He is eager to take the call for Remote Village Evangelism in Cambodia and see how God will use him to win people to Jesus’ side.

Laressa Farnsworth grew up reading mission stories and has wanted to be a missionary all her life. To be best equipped for service, before attending college she attended SOULS West and served one year as a Bible worker. She then fought her way through nursing school and is eager to finally launch to Palawan as a jungle nurse.

Elaine Steele* will be serving as an ESL teacher but is on another mission as well. She has studied three languages and will soon be learning a fourth as she shares Jesus in her creative-access country.

Cambodia will be blessed by Karissa Ziegler. This trooper knows what it means to overcome obstacles and loves to help other people overcome theirs. She will be teaching English to wiggly children as she reaches them with God’s love through her patience and cheerfulness.

Charles and Lara Cabral are coming from AFM Brazil. They hosted a church plant in their home and have been instrumental in Pathfinders, health outreach and other missions in Brazil. They look forward to helping the Ericksons by pioneering the Pathfinder program among the Gogodala in PNG.

Aline Costa is our youngest trainee from Brazil. She, too, has already been leading in Pathfinders and other church activities. She will command an army of young people in Guinea and will be a big help to the project there.

Having previously served in the U.S. Army, Patricia Cooper has decided to put her strength to work in the Lord’s army. We know that her teamwork and boots-in-the-field attitude will be assets in Guinea where she will be helping with the accounting at the project and teaching English at the French school.

Touched by the motto, “Reaching the Unreached,” Jacqueline Molina learned about AFM at college while she was finishing her BSN in nursing. She has bravely requested to serve in Palawan in a remote village, teaching literacy and meeting the health needs of the people there.

Heidi Weber is the AFM Brazil office manager. She came to AFM training and learned how our office runs here in America. Besides being conversant in four languages, Heidi has wonderful administrative skills and a cheerful personality that shines brightly for Jesus.

Piano teacher at Peace Music Academy in Thailand will be her official call, but Rachel Bourque, having recently graduated with an associate’s degree in media ministry, will also participate in various other aspects of the project reaching the people of Thailand.

Sabrina Silva* will be serving in a creative-access country in women’s ministry. After leading study groups at her non-Adventist university and serving as Youth Director for her region in Brazil, Sabrina feels the call to reach out to Muslim women, utilizing the information she gleaned from her master’s degree in public health.

Staying on the front lines for a second year are Ivan Navarrete, who is serving as accountant and administrative assistant for the Palawano Project; Sierra Jensen,* who is serving as an ESL teacher in a creative-access country; Keren Gomez, who is serving among the Isan children of Northern Thailand; and Justina Thomas who is serving her third year as a nurse in Palawan and is actively pursuing a career-missionary call.

We believe that this group of consecrated, equipped young people make the enemy tremble. Thank you for your prayers and financial support of these soldiers. May God grant them wisdom, humility, strength and grace to press the battle forward and lead many to Jesus Christ, the Captain of the world’s Salvation. 

1A Call to Stand Apart, p. 100.

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