Jeannie and I welcome you to our website. We are excited you are here!
As long as we can remember we’ve had a passion to make the love of Jesus Christ known to our world. Throughout our lives we have used our talents, training and ability to tell His story. We are now enjoying the opportunity to present the Good News of God’s saving power through community health development among the Gypsies (Roma people) of Central Europe!
That’s quite a switch for us! Up until June 2011 Jeannie was an Art Teacher at Chippewa Valley High School and I was the Senior Pastor of Fellowship Chapel (for 36 years!) in the suburbs north of Detroit, Michigan. But we had a plan we were working on: to leave our jobs, if God permitted us to do so, when I was 63 to do full-time outreach with our many contacts in Hungary and the Balkan region. We had developed these relationships through numerous mission trips to the this area of Europe over 20 years.
God opened the way in June 2011 and we are now launched on our new career! The North American Baptist Conference accepted us as missionary appointees in the fall of that year. We are now NAB Field Directors for Hungary, with Fellowship Chapel being our sending church. The Community Health Evangelism (or CHE) Network has also asked us to be their Central European regional coordinators as the CHE strategy is beginning to make headway in this region. We are thrilled to be part of this wholistic approach to planting churches; making disciples and bringing personal, church and community health among the poorest, most rejected people of Europe.
Ron and Jeannie
An Open Letter to Our Supporting Partners about Extending Our Term of Commitment
Recently, Jeannie and I received a letter from a member of the mission committee of one of our faithful supporting churches. She asked questions that some of the rest of you may be thinking. When we originally launched our mission ministry into Hungary and Central Europe we talked about a five-year commitment. It’s hard for us to believe that it is 2016 and we are already beginning our fifth year here. Her question was, “Is this your last year? Will our support of you be finished?”
The answer to the first question is “no.” The answer to the second question is, “If you can continue to support us, we will need it. If you cannot, we understand. Just let us know.” Here is a copy of the letter I sent to her in reply (with a few alterations to protect privacy):
Thank you for your inquiry about our term of commitment. Yes, we have just started our fifth year of ministry here in Central Europe. Little did we know when we started that it would be such a great adventure and open door of opportunity or that our health and stamina would still be so good!
We have decided that we will continue our work into the foreseeable future. Last year I became leader of our Balkan/Central Europe CHE Network that has launched a vision campaign to begin CHE Teams and community outreach projects in every country of the Balkans and Central Europe by 2020. God is opening the doors and Jeannie and I would like to be part of the team that sees this happen. We continue to look for our future replacements within the NAB family. I would like to have a few years to train them up in community development and mentor them in their roles in this field.
Over the next five years, I have decided, with counsel from the International Office, that my own work in this whole program will change. I have been a pioneer and equipper and trainer and team-former these last four years. In the future I will be working more on developing sustainable partnerships between NAB Churches and our new teams and projects in Central Europe. This will mean spending a little more time traveling in Canada and the US and a little less time here on the field. The Lord has given me good leaders that I have been training up here in Europe, so I can now take the time necessary to make certain all of this is sustainable in the future, God willing. So, I would like to ask you to consider continuing to support Jeannie and me as we answer the Lord’s call here.
Thank you for your interest and prayers,
Ron and Jeannie