A Journey of Faith, Medicine, Community & Missions
Have you ever seen a woman dying in childbirth? Here in the U.S. it is an uncommon event. We have good hospitals and a huge network of paved roads to reach them. We have highly trained people to attend births and perform surgery if needed. We have operating rooms with electricity. We have anesthesia. We have access to drugs that can stop hemorrhage and fight infection. Across the world, in countries in Sub Saharan Africa, this is not the case. There are few hospitals, and the majority of these are in major cities, which are inaccessible to most women. There are not nearly enough trained midwives, and even fewer physicians. Many of the trained personnel are in the cities—again, inaccessible to the majority of women. And then there is the problem of roads—how can a woman in labor travel to an outlying hospital without a road to travel upon? What about electricity, lack of supplies and medicines? What about malaria and HIV? What about the family she leaves behind?
And so—why are we are going? We are going to love and serve in a place where there is a great and desperate need. We are going to help—in the hospital and in the community and in the local orphanages. We are going to live—to love by being part of a community where we are investing ourselves. We are going to teach—to help teach the newest generation of African doctors who will in turn go out into Kenya and places throughout Sub Saharan Africa. They will care for other women in other places where we cannot go. Above all, we are going to love in Jesus’ name, and to pour out our lives in the place God has called us to be—not into a desert—but into the lives of others.
Fresh Water, Fresh Starts in South Sudan
Michael & Karen Masso, World Harvest Mission, South Sudan
Michael and Karen Masso serve with a World Harvest Mission team involved in evangelism, theological training, primary/secondary education, teacher training, community health work, water supply, agriculture, and development in Mundri in South Sudan.
Michael works primarily in team leadership, construction, water projects, and community development. Karen works in team leadership and administration as well as home management and home schooling. The Massos have three children: Acacia, Liana and Gabriel. Read more ›
Matt and Jenn Irvine, Harrow, England
Matt and Jenn Irvine and their three children have lived in the Harrow area of northwest London, UK since 2001. Matt serves as a church planter and team leader of the World Harvest Mission Harrow team, which alongside of other local leaders, partners, and friends, is seeking to grow up a local community of Jesus-followers that both lives out and shares the Good News of Jesus in a way that is culturally understandable and meaningful in a multicultural, mostly British South Asian neighbourhood. He also continues to work on a parttime distance theological graduate studies through Reformed Theological Seminary. Jenn’s main role at present is keeping up with three little kids, though she helps and supports the community of Jesus followers in many, many important ways.
Matt grew up in Ephrata, PA, while Jenn grew up in Phelps, NY. They both attended Cornell University, where Matt studied History and Jenn studied Communications. They did not meet at Cornell (though Jenn did meet Jesus there!). During university, as Matt grew in his own understanding of Jesus’ love for him, he almost immediately (and most unexpectedly) began to sense God calling him to share the love of Jesus with others as his primary vocation, first just in general and then cross culturally. A Bible verse that grabbed him during this time and has stuck with him is 1 Timothy 1:15-16, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” Upon graduation Matt went for several years to serve and learn with a WHM team and community of Jesus followers based in Southall, West London. Later, while working as an computer programmer/IT consultant in NYC , Jenn went with her church to London for a week of volunteer service where she met Matt. They were married in 2000.
Matt and Jenn both enjoy spending time out with friends or having them over for dinner. Matt likes to do sport (or at least the thought of doing sport). Jenn also enjoys photography, keeping in touch with friends via facebook, and all things creative. They both like to read books and watch films and as a family enjoy going for walks and exploring new places.
Heads, Hearts and Hands
Jacob Reynolds, IBI Dublin, Ireland
Jacob Reynolds has served as principal of the Irish Bible Institute since it was established in 2000. He graduated (Bachelor of Biblical Studies) at Peace River Bible Institute, Alberta, Canada and received a Masters of Divinity in Education and Biblical Studies at Providence Seminary in Winnipeg. He then had eight years experience in pastoral ministry in Dublin before heading up the Irish Bible Institute.
At IBI Jacob teaches in the areas of Leadership, Church and Ministry. Last year he commenced a PhD at Trinity College Dublin, where he will examine the process of leadership training within the context of IBI. The aim is to isolate the factors, which influence the training of individuals to be effective at bringing transformation in their own lives and in the lives of those they serve and to evaluate to what extent the programs delivered at IBI help or hinder that process.
Heads, Hearts and Hands is a valuable way to express how we work out our vision mission and values. At IBI we value men and women as individuals created in the image of God. We believe that spiritual character formation is an essential element of preparation for Christian ministry. We want to see our students living lives motivated by love, informed by God’s Word and committed to Christ. Our training is designed to develop the whole person, head (mind), heart (attitudes) and hands (skills).
We teach from an evangelical understanding of Scripture that affirms both its authority and relevance to our modern world. We want to enable students to bridge the gap between ‘Word and World’ and so develop in their ability to relate God’s truth to contemporary culture. Courses are designed to stretch minds but also warm hearts. Students are encouraged to develop Christian thinking alongside a deep love and appreciation for God’s Word. Teaching is done in a variety of ways, whether in class, seminars or group discussions. Assessment can take the form of essays, tutorials, reading, assignments, group work, practical experience, or joint tutor/student evaluation.
Since the core of the Christian life revolves around loving God and loving neighbors, it is more important than ever in an individualistic and fragmented world that students learn, pray, relax and work together. Learning from difference, accepting diversity, teamwork and worshiping together all form a vital part of Christian training at IBI.
From Accounting to Bible Smuggling
Meredith and Sandy Elder
After college Meredith worked as an accountant until 1985, when he went overseas as a Bible smuggler to communist Eastern Europe. Sandy was in social work in northern Virginia, until 1984, when she started studying counseling at Westminster Seminary. After seminary, she worked for the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. Learn more about their story ›
At Ease Ministries to our Military at Fort Lee and Beyond
Since 1992, At Ease Ministries has been committed to the mission to reach Fort Lee, the military and the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
For more information, contact Steve Zachry, Director of At Ease Ministries