Our 2016 Missions Conference (“Mission: I’m Possible”) was a great success. We hope that you were able to attend and if not, ask others about it.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. –
In our post-modern society of liberalism, it has become increasingly difficult to share one’s faith in meaningful ways. Our circumstances differ from the early church, but the Lord’s promise to be with us has held true for every generation of believers. In the Great Commission, Christ’s call was that His disciples tell others about Him, that they take His message to all the nations. Christ’s command applies today as true as when He first spoke these words. And so it is the Lord’s expectation that we will not only evangelize, but that we will take the next step to teach new believers and thereby make them disciples of Christ.
The Great Commission requires a great commitment.
Most of us will never experience what it’s like to be a missionary in service to our Lord. We are called in service elsewhere in the church. However, there are those within our body that have responded to God’s call and are serving either domestically or globally to bring the Good News of Christ to the lost. We support them financially through our monthly giving, but the greatest commitment we can make to our missionaries is to pray for them daily. Communication letters and prayer requests are in each of their boxes in the center hallway. Please consider adopting a missionary family and begin to pray and communicate with them. You will both be blessed.
Church of the Open Door supports a wide variety of missionaries both domestically and internationally. It is our fervent desire to continue to expand the mission’s ministry to fulfill the great commission. Listed below are the various missionaries and missions organizations we support. (Listed alphabetically by last name)
A sampling of our Missionaries activities:
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David and Debra Almack
David and Debra Almack work with CLC International where Dave is the U.S. Director and the Regional Director for North America and the Caribbean. Deb, as an accountant, works in the Finance Office. CLC’s purpose is to make evangelical Christian literature available to all nations. In the U.S., CLC operates three full-service Christian bookstores and a small publishing house. The U.S. headquarters is also a sending base for CLC missionaries going overseas to serve. In 2016, CLC also took over Multi-Language Media, which provides Christian books and Bibles in many languages for people in the USA. Dave oversees each of these areas.
Rev. John and Jan Becker
The Beckers, sent out as missionaries from COD in 1987, have been teaching and preaching the Gospel in a number of areas in the southwestern United States. Since June of 2004, they have been ministering to migrant workers and their families along with other Hispanics in the Greeley, and now Monument, Colorado area. John leads several weekly Bible Studies, while Jan coordinates a number of children’s Bible clubs. They still make occasional trips to Mexico to encourage believers they have come to know over the years as well as to drop off clothing and other necessities. Under Integrity Mission, Inc., their ministry has extended to Hispanics, Navajos, and other peoples of the region.
Rev. David and Crissie Boyd
David and Crissie are serving the Lord with Baptist Mid-Missions in the European country of The Netherlands. David and Crissie have been involved in church-planting in Veghel in northeastern Holland since 1983. David, along with his father Herb, and now his son Daniel, has helped to organize Christian summer camps for the children there for over twenty-five years.
Lisa serves as an Area Representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), representing Delaware and Chester counties in the Greater Philadelphia area. FCA seeks to challenge coaches and athletes on all levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. As a graduate of Eastern University, Lisa endeavors to evangelize, train, equip and encourage coaches and student-athlete leaders.
Melvin Floyd developed and, until recently, directed a multi-faceted urban ministry whose goal it is to lead people to Jesus Christ and disciple them in the Christian faith. His son-in-law Daniel Sawyer, now directs the ministry which includes the Melvin Floyd School of Evangelism and Missions, holding street meetings during the summer months, teaching relationship enrichment courses, and involvement in prison ministry. Esther Sawyer has worked in the ministry since 1987 and currently serves as Administrator.
Marlin and Donna Fuller
Marlin and Donna work with local churches in both Pennsylvania and New York to help them use AWANA effectively. They also oversee the other four Awana missionaries in Pennsylvania and New York. They travel well over 40,000 miles each year through their involvement in all aspects of AWANA which also includes introducing AWANA to new churches, providing leadership training, speaking in Awana Clubs and speaking in Sunday services sharing the burden to reach our youth for Jesus Christ.
Rev. Ben Gerdes
With his wife, Daisy, Ben Gerdes served the Lord in Anchorage, Alaska for many years, combining their ministry skills in their local church with the maintenance of the SEND International missions complex. Following retirement in 2001, they moved to Fairbanks and continued to be active in ministry. On April 27, 2009, the Lord called Daisy home and Ben continues to serve, as he is able, often preaching the Word in local churches.
Paul and Kathy Gregowske
Paul and Kathy serve the Lord in Santa Rita, Guam, with Trans World Radio (TWR). Paul assists with construction and reconstruction projects that need to occur before transmitters can be put in place. His carpentry, masonry, and other “hands on” skills are put to good use! Kathy assists in office work and, together, they serve as hosts to visiting guests.
Paul and Robin Johnson
Paul and Robin have been involved with missionary work among the indigenous tribes of South America for many years. Much of their time, over the years and continuing on until today, has been spent ministering among the tribes in Peru and Bolivia. Paul’s work includes surveys and strategy sessions with missionaries seeking to reach the unreached people of this area. In addition, he has been involved with tribal pastors’ conferences, tribal leadership conferences, and partnering with FAIENAP, the tribal church association in that area which has begun to send out missionaries of their own to other parts of that region. The Johnsons have expanded their vision by being strategically involved with an organization called ALTECO, a consortium of organizations, churches and businesses that have invested of themselves in the Amazon region.
David and Linda Lackey
David and Linda have served the Lord with Wycliffe Bible Translators for over thirty years. They started their missionary service in Colombia, South America, where Dave was involved in an aviation ministry, assisting the missionaries and churches of that area. They relocated to Wycliffe’s JAARS support center in Waxhaw, North Carolina, where they were involved in staff placement and missionary appointee support. In August 2005, they moved once again, this time to Washington State where Dave has assumed the role of Wycliffe’s Personnel Administrator for the Northwest USA region. Linda has continued in her role of assisting accepted missionary candidates in getting out to the mission field.
Woody and Sue Lewis
Woody and Sue serve the Lord with the CrossWorld organization (formerly UFM International), being involved in discipleship training and church planting in the southwest portion of France near Grenoble. Woody and Sue rely heavily upon Friendship Evangelism to provide opportunities for sharing the love of Christ to local townspeople in the area where they live. Woody also has the opportunity to periodically teach at the Geneva Bible Institute and at Bible Colleges in the former Soviet satellite countries.
Dr. Robert and Mrs. Judy Long
Dr. and Mrs. Long have been serving the Lord with TEAM in the Far East for over 30 years. They are now officially retired and have a home in Columbia, SC, but spend many months each year visiting the foreign field ministering to and mentoring those missionaries on the front lines as part of TEAM’s Member Care group. Dr. Bob is a pediatrician by trade and served in that capacity for many years before retiring in 2002. Judy earned her master’s degree in counseling at Columbia International University and is putting those studies to good use as she ministers to those presently on the field.
Howard and Virginia McConnell
Having served for over 30 years with WEC International at the U.S. head-quarters in Fort Washington and then in the New Zealand office, Howard and Virginia McConnell have answered God’s call to work with Crisis Care Training International in Fort Mill, South Carolina. This ministry is part of WEC’s outreach to train others to reach out to people, specifically to children, who are in crises situations. Howard works in an accounting role for this ministry and also provides formatting for books. Virginia extends her gift of hospitality to visitors and candidates and assists in many administrative duties as well.
Ron Oates serves as Associate Director of Club Beyond through Youth for Christ, seeking to minister to dependents of men and women serving in the United States military. This position allows Ron to combine his heart for youth ministry with his love for the families of the military, who are making incredible sacrifices for our country. His work at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is focused on bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the approximately 7,000 middle school and high school students on the base, as he directs the programming and ensures that they are in compliance with Army standards.
Eric and Casandra Pardine
Eric and Casandra minister in Peru, where Eric taught in a Biblical training ministry in the mountains at Urubamba Baptist Seminary outside of Cusco. Their mission is to train nationals, through the ministries of teaching and discipleship, in order that they may begin new churches and fortify struggling works. In January 2015, Eric assumed the position of pastor of San Sebastian Baptist Church in Cusco, a position which also allows him to continue to train young Christians. Casandra home-schools their sons and daughter and is also involved in discipleship ministries.
Sylvia is a retired missionary who with her late husband, Blake, served the Lord literally all over the globe. Most recently they were associated with BCM, International. During her early years on the field, Sylvia served in the Congo. The Lord brought Sylvia and Blake together after both of them lost their first spouses. After marrying, they ministered to the Spanish-speaking communities in New Jersey and central Florida before retiring to Kissimmee, Florida, where they continued ministering among the migrant workers until Blake’s passing in early 2001. Sylvia now leads weekly Bible Studies in her retirement community as she seeks to reach the lost and build up believers in her own backyard.
Matt has worked with both the youth group and College and Career ABF class at COD. While a student at University of the Sciences, he recognized the need of many Christian students for support from the body of Christ and opened his heart to God for His direction. Now a college graduate, Matt worked under Coalition for Christian Outreach on the campuses of both Ohio State – Marion and Marion Technical College. He accepted the call to this ministry where his gifts and enthusiasm for encouraging Christian youth – and spreading the gospel to those who don’t know Him – are put to good use. Matt and Katrina Annalese were married on July 20, 2013.
Paul and Kitty Trout
Paul and Kitty Trout have served the Lord ministering among Hispanics both in Mexico and in the Flagstaff, Arizona area, since the early 1990s. They originally moved from Mexico to the Flagstaff to help out at the Indian Bible College, but soon felt led of the Lord to once again be more involved with the Spanish-speaking folks of that area. They are presently associated with Hosanna Ministries, mission whose primary objective is to aid and involve local churches in carrying out Christ’s Great Commission. Paul and Kitty’s ministry includes evangelism and discipleship, as well as regular trips to Mexico and other Spanish-speaking areas to encourage the local pastors there.
Richard and Carolyn West served the Lord with Trans World Radio (TWR) for many years both in Guam and in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Having been secunded from TWR to the HCJB Global Technology Center, now Sonset Solutions, they moved to Elkhart, Indiana where Richard is involved in the fabrication and assembly of radio towers used throughout the world.
On February 6, 2012,following a courageous battle with ALS, the Lord called Carolyn Home. Richard continues to serve in the ministry in Elkhart, Indiana. Two of their six children, Katie and Bryce, both teenagers, are involved in school and church activities.
In addition, COD supports missionaries in several other fields “closed” to the Gospel where conditions are too sensitive to publish their names or locations.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”