This is “Our Story”
(Tom) I was born and raised in Zimbabwe where my parents were missionaries with TEAM. As a child I responded to the claims of Christ, and during my senior year of high school while involved with my parents in rural ministry, developed a deep desire to serve God in Zimbabwe as He saw fit to bless that. I graduated from Northeastern Bible College in Essex Fells, NJ in 1974. In 1975 Lois (whom I had met at Northeastern) and I were married, and were accepted by TEAM as missionary appointees. In 1976, after a year of missionary internship, we left the USA for service with TEAM in Zimbabwe. On home assignment in 1982, I graduated from Columbia Biblical Seminary with an MA in missions.
(Lois) I was born and raised on Long Island, New York. I came to know Christ personally early in life and had a strong desire to serve Him, just wasn’t sure where. Meeting and marrying Tom filled in that part! We had 29 incredible years of ministry in Zimbabwe in a whole variety of situations and then in 2006 TEAM asked us to return to the States so Tom could serve in TEAM’s Carol Stream Office as the manager of missionary finance.
(Tom) – It’s has been such a joy to see God use my pastoral nature and bent in accounting and bookkeeping to bring a blend to missionary finance that has been an encouragement and help to the broader TEAM family. While I love my work in the finance department, our passion for service in Zimbabwe has never waned. One day, in May 2014, as I began to think of TEAM’s needs going forward and of how and when to transition well from my post in missionary finance, I visited TEAM’s web site to check out opportunities in Zimbabwe. Spotting one that resonated, we spoke with area leadership and received a resounding response. Since that time, God has continued to stir our hearts with a desire to return to active missionary service. Current plans are to transition out of my job in the Carol Stream office and return to active ministry in Zimbabwe by July/August 2015. We are amazed to think that God could use us in a fresh way in Zimbabwe once again.
Blessed with four children, their spouses and eight, incredible grand-children
Upon our return to Zimbabwe, we will be helping rural churches to become hubs of community development and outreach, as well as assisting with children and youth camps. Since we know the language and culture well (Shona) and have a long standing relationship with church leaders, it will not take us long to be immersed in our work. A big part of what we would like to do is just be an encouragement to pastors and lay leaders, to show interest and appreciation for what God has been doing, then, together with the city churches begin to resource and help the rural churches in outreach and community development ministries.
Being part of the TEAM family in Zimbabwe will also be a real joy. We will be serving alongside an amazing team involved in medical outreach, theological training, relief and development in partnership with the church and with ministries such as, ANESU, Hands of Hope and Foundations for Farming.
Our focus in ministry, will be the Shona people in central and northeastern Zimbabwe, though we look forward to being in touch with people from all walks of life.
While we will likely be based in the city of Harare we anticipate involvement with people in the rural villages. The majority speak Shona as their mother language while many (especially in the city) are quite comfortable with English.
All of these folks are familiar with great hardships in life. All bear the image of God. All are loved by God.
Primary Prayer Request:
Pray that God would continue to knit together a great team in missionary finance, so that appointees and missionaries can continue to receive excellent service.
Pray that God would raise up a team of partners who will catch the vision and celebrate the opportunity to serve God with us as we head back to Zimbabwe.
Pray for the people of Zimbabwe and for the church. For seasons of joy and revival.