It's About the Call - The VanWyk Family - Botswana
 
ANSWERING THE CALL

VENEZUELA
VENEZUELA
 
VENEZUELA
VENEZUELA
VENEZUELA
Our first mission trip was to Caracas, Venezuela in 1992 with Ambassadors in Missions (AIM), a youth missions arm of the Assemblies of God. We went as youth leaders with 30 teens from Iowa. Even though we couldn't speak Spanish, we enjoyed sharing the Gospel through music, drama, and preaching.

We needed to be debt-free to become career missionaries so we spent 5 years with both of us working full-time. We accomplished that goal in November 1994 and became short term missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1996. Bob taught 6th-9th grade science at the American School of Yaounde. Barb was youth pastor for junior high MKs and led worship and directed choirs for the missionary family. Knowing our call was to Africa we wanted to "get our feet wet" on the continent by serving in this support role in Cameroon, West Africa.
 
CAMEROON
CAMEROON
 
CAMEROON
CAMEROON
CAMEROON
We discovered we could not only survive in Africa but thrive. Through our interactions with the missionaries and church in Cameroon the Lord gave us a burden for the African pastors. They were serving multiple villages with very little training. We knew that if and when we returned we would want to help train pastors to sustain and guide the multitudes of people coming to Christ on the continent.
CAMEROON
CAMEROON
 
PASTORAL TRAINING
PASTORAL TRAINING
PASTORAL TRAINING
Bob had taught school for 20 years and had a Master's degree in elementary administration but this would not be sufficient to train pastors. He would need ministerial credentials and pastoral experience for this dream to become a reality.

We returned home and Bob began to search for a seminary where he could complete coursework for ministry credentials and teach school to support our family at the same time. Those doors never opened but in 2000 the Lord paved the way for us to pastor our home church in Spencer. In April 2008 with all coursework complete we were both ordained with the Assemblies of God.
 
PREPARATION MEETS OPPORTUNITY
Bob was working in his church office in the summer of 2007 when he opened a letter from Africa's Hope. It was a 911 call outlining Africa's shortage of pastors and the desperate need for pastors to be trained. This gripped our hearts as we recognized this was the burden the Lord had given us 12 years prior. As we prayed we realized it was time to apply for full-time appointment with Assemblies of God World Missions. We received this appointment in April 2008!
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