Dave and Mindy, after eight fruitful years of serving as World Outreach mobilizers, recruiting and coaching more than 20 people for the mission field, will transition into retirement and continue serving with World Outreach as Mission Assistants (volunteers). Their time with World Outreach has been their greatest ministry venture. Although Dave was an EPC local church pastor for more than 25 years, this was the first time that they were true equals in ministry. They have learned to appreciate each other’s strengths and compensate for each other’s weaknesses.
Here is one story of God’s faithfulness in their ministry.
Though we have been reaching out to refugees and immigrants for many years, two years ago we felt a new sense of call when we realized just how many Afghans had been brought to San Diego County. People from a region in Afghanistan which never had missionaries come to them were now housed in Hotel Circle in San Diego, just four miles from our home.
Dave recalls a day last December when he was given the address of an Afghan family that had just arrived in the U.S. “All I had was an address and a $25 gift card. I had never met this family. They had no idea I was coming. But I knocked on the door, and it opened! In typical hospitable Afghan form, they invited me into their small apartment, sat me down on a chair, and offered tea. To my pleasant surprise, they spoke fluent English and we were able to have a conversation. I had no idea at the time where this new friendship would go.”
The next day we contacted the San Diego EPC church and found out that they already had a team in place to minister to this family. We quickly agreed to be part of that team. As time went on, we and other team members made it a point to visit them often, and it was always a joy. They have three young children, including two girls who love books. And Mindy loves to read books to children!
One afternoon in March, a group of kind-hearted souls were visiting from the EPC church in Orange, California. We took them on a home visit to meet this fun, young family. It had been raining that week, and during the conversation it came out that this family had no car, which is common. “How do the girls get to school?” one of our friends asked. They walked. “In the rain?” The silence answered the question.
After tea, we left a gift of sweets for the family, prayed, and went on our way. As we drove away, a man from the church in Orange blurted out, “They need a car. Those girls shouldn’t have to walk to school in the rain.” But cars are expensive. And with the cost of new cars skyrocketing, even used cars are out of reach for refugees. “I know somebody who will donate a car to this family,” he said. And he took it on as his personal mission to make sure that this family had a car.
Sure enough, they got a car. When the rains begin again in Southern California, the girls will not have to walk to school in the rain. What’s more, this car has become a source of livelihood for this family. The father works all night, driving for Uber. The girls come to a tutoring program that we are a part of. We are now truly friends with this Afghan family. They will be visiting us this December to see how we celebrate Christmas.
We should ask, where is Jesus in all of this? Isn’t he right in the middle of it? The time will surely come when they ask their new American friends for a reason for the hope within them. In the meantime, we are living the gospel in front of them.
The call to be a global worker is a beautiful call, but the call to be a missionary among those in our own country is also beautiful. The nations are coming to us. God is bringing them. Look around, who are they in your community? Are you ready to meet them?
“We love because he first loved us” (I John 4:19).
Our time as formal World Outreach workers is coming to a close, but this is not a goodbye. We are excited to see what the Lord has next for us.
Dave and Mindy Fenska