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Jon and Kathy Christiansen

Jon's Story:

As a child, I lived in Zimbabwe, where my parents worked with TEAM at the Karanda Mission Hospital. In 1970, we returned to the USA where I finished High School in Stoughton, Wisconsin. I then went to Moody Bible Institute, majoring in Mission Aviation, also attending another technical school along the way, studying Aircraft Electronics. Following my graduation I worked at Moody Aviation in Elizabethton, Tennessee in its Avionics Department until it began a phase out process in 2003. For a short while, as we were applying with TEAM, I worked with the Carter County EMS. We began our work in Zimbabwe with TEAM in July, 2004.


Jon (husband), Kathy (wife), Children: Heidi Knight (husband-Henry), Ruth, Julie.

Jon's Ministry Focus:

Most of my time is spent managing people and projects that are connected with the maintenance and development of the Karanda Mission Hospital. Karanda is now over 50 years old. It also is one of the busiest hospitals in the country of Zimbabwe. In general, Kathy and I love to see how the Lord works through the folk that work at the hospital, reaching out in various ways to the many that come there. We are active in the local church and in various discipleship opportunities that the Lord has directed our way.

Kathy's Ministry Focus:

Primary school children in the correspondence are eager to learn to read both English and Shona. Their delightful insights and questions about the Bible and the Lord are refreshing. Teaching the staff children is fun.

Listening to the ladies in the weekly Ruwadzano with an interpreter gives me insight into their prayer life as well as the interesting cultural struggles that raise yet again the question: how much of culture is Christ culture and how much is not. Working with AWANA children on Sunday mornings is rewarding as children take Bible memory seriously. The kids are excellent Bible story listeners and even better at dramatizing them. Balancing the life of wife, distance mom and grandma, as well as FT teacher is an interesting life in the bush of Zimbabwe 3hrs away from the capital city.

The People:

The local Shona folk are generally very kind. Being relational, they enjoy any conversation and time we spend with them. Approximately 80% of the people of Zimbabwe attend some form of church service during any given week. Studies have shown that approximately 20% to 25% of these clearly understand what it means to have a relationship with Jesus. People are open to discussions about this relationship and actually welcome clear explanations. These daily opportunities are what I really enjoy; seeing the Lord orchestrate each one for His Glory.

Another cultural challenge gives rise to further opportunity. Many parents spend little time with their children outside of the normal routine of life. Like everywhere, the Shona children around us love to have someone spend time with them. The opportunities here are endless.

There are many good churches in rural and urban Zimbabwe. Folk hunger for training.

Primary Prayer Request:

From Jon:

I am always challenged by the needs of folk around us. So many do not have work and lack basic resources that enable them to plant, harvest, or send children to school. Please pray for wisdom as I deal with the needs that are brought to our attention.

We are involved in a couple of on-going discipleship opportunities. Ask the Lord to bless His Word as we study with these people.

We are involved with the local church in a number of areas. We would like to be useful in each of these opportunities.

From Kathy:

Salvation and discipleship of the primary correspondence school children.

Teaching Bible study to the children

Wisdom and comfort for my sisters

Healing of my sister, Carol

Comfort at this time of the death of my father 15 Feb.

Health of baby and our daughter soon to deliver our first grandbaby

Teachers to commit to FT teaching at the correspondence school, committed to discipleship and excellence in learning

Library books, organization, development, maintenance

Continued school supplies