Matt and Deborah Stanghelle
Matt and Deborah Stanghelle are leading a team of Norwegians and internationals to plant the Presbyterian Church in Norway. Norway runs deep in Matt’s family heritage. They consider it a great privilege to church plant in the land of his forefathers. Matt is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is serving his call with the Ministry to the Military and Internationals, a commission of the Southeast Alabama Presbytery.
Their mission is to plant the Presbyterian Church in Norway by establishing healthy, Christ-centered churches, through the ordinary means of expository preaching, biblical worship, and devoting themselves to prayer, discipleship and evangelism.
Rick and Betty Aschmann
Rick and Betty Aschmann serve in Ecuador among the Quichua Indians. Their ministry focuses on Bible translation, leadership training, church planting, and literature production in the Quichua Indian language. Rick and his family served for many years in a cooperative agreement between Mission to the World and Wycliffe Bible Translators, working in Colombia from 1981 to 1994. Rick’s first wife, Heidi Marie, died in 1997 after a long battle with cancer. In 1998, Rick was reassigned to Ecuador to work in the Quichua Indian language.
Rick was ordained as a pastor in 2014, after a two-year church planting internship in Bogotá, Colombia. The Aschmanns then returned to Ecuador to begin a new church-planting work among the Quichua Indians. Rick is also involved in Bible translation projects in several Indigenous languages to provide God’s Word in the heart language of the Ecuadorian people.
Tom and Vicky Arabis
Tom and Vicky Arabis have been ministering in Portugal since 1990 in leadership training through theological education. Their primary thrust is teaching, Tom in the areas of Christian Education, Bible and Hermeneutics/Bible Study Methodology, while Vicky teaches in the area of Bible. Besides serving as professors, they are or have also been involved over the years in various other educational roles such as Academic Dean, Curriculum Coordinator, and Administrative Director, among many others. Their desire is to prepare Christian leaders who can influence the growth of God’s Kingdom in Portugal, including the development of a church planting movement in the least-reached areas in Portugal.
Doug and Masha Shepherd
Doug and Masha Shepherd are helping the Ukrainian Presbyterian denomination plant new churches in the western region beginning with Lviv, the cultural and intellectual center of western Ukraine. Doug is the team leader for this new work which began in 2007.
Doug’s journey in missions started at Texas Tech University where his summer missions experiences resulted in a short-term commitment to Ukraine with MTW after his graduation in 1994. Over the following years he was involved in starting a university ministry similar to RUF in the Ukrainian Presbyterian Church.
Masha’s life began behind the iron curtain in Ukraine. When the curtain fell, it allowed new interactions with a variety of worldviews. In her early twenties, Masha came to Christ through the university ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Ukraine.
John and Ellen Buerger
John and Ellen Buerger met while attending college in Omaha, Nebraska, and married in 2001. After John finished seminary in 2007, they adopted their eldest daughter in 2008. In 2012 John began serving on the pastoral staff of New St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas (2012–2019). During this season of ministry God laid it on the Buergers’ hearts to adopt another little girl from Bulgaria. Thus began a series of events leading to the adoption of their second daughter and a call to serve with MTW in Bulgaria for three years in the areas of theological higher education and church renewal.
The Buergers are excited that God has recently opened up doors of opportunity and a call to plant a new international church in Lisbon, Portugal. John also envisions using his experience in theological education at the Martin Bucer Seminary in Lisbon, helping to equip future Portuguese pastors in biblical, systematic, and philosophical theology, while Ellen hopes to come alongside families with special needs children.
Tom and Margie Rafetto
Tom and Margie Rafetto are working with translation projects in the country he and Margie served in when they first went overseas in 1984. Because some of the projects there are sensitive, we’ll leave the country nameless, but feel free to ask them directly. Wycliffe recently changed its funding policy to encourage deeper community involvement in translation projects along with more specific planning. Tom helps translation teams design their projects with these new standards in mind. He travels there 3 or 4 times a year for face to face meetings and processes the results from home between trips. He’s enjoying the opportunity to dig deeply into a relatively small number of projects so they can obtain the resources they need to make the impact they desire.
Keith and Debbie Kanavel
Keith and Debbie Kanavel are missionaries to Burkina Faso. Their information is withheld for their security.
Charles and Bonita Davidson
Charles and Bonita Davidson – originally from Asheville, N.C., Charles was motivated to consider world evangelization through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ at Clemson University. Bonita, who grew up in LaGrange, Ga., attended the dental school at the Medical College of Georgia (DMD, 1983). During this time, she was deeply influenced by the ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Augusta, Ga., and felt the call to world missions.
The Davidsons met and married in Columbia, S.C., in 1984. Charles received his M.Div. degree from Columbia International University in 1985 and was then ordained by Westminster Presbytery. In 1989 the Davidsons joined MTW with a call to the church-planting team in Lima, Peru. After 15 years in Lima, the Davidsons moved to El Paso, Texas, to join the MTW border ministry in education and mentoring. In 2012 they were invited to join the Northern Mexico team to serve out of Monterrey, Mexico, as a teacher and mentor of Mexican church planters.
Charles’ role in Monterrey is to minister with the Church Planting Center, training and mentoring men throughout the north of Mexico. He is investing himself in others so that they can reproduce themselves many times over.
Scott and Kathy Craig
Scott and Kathy Craig have served with MTW since 2002, working in Ciudad Juarez and Monterrey, Mexico, and in Costa Rica. Scott and Kathy work alongside national pastors and church planters in the coordination of short-term teams. The short-term teams open doors for the gospel and provide encouragement for the local church.
Now the Craigs are returning to the place it all started for them with MTW. Ciudad Juarez is in a strategic location on the U.S. border just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. First seen as a stepping stone for those seeking passage to a better life, the city has now become a place where folks are putting down roots. Scott and Kathy will serve in facilitating short-term teams and working alongside nationals in supporting and encouraging their ministries.
In past years the small church plants there struggled to establish themselves. But now, with a firm foundation, dedicated church planters, and a core of committed leaders, there is a strong mother church, two rapidly growing church plants, and new church plants in the works. Please pray with the Craigs that God will raise up gospel-centered churches that will transform lives and communities along the border.
Tim and Kristy Holliday
Tim and Kristy Holliday serve with MTW and Isaiah 55 Ministries at the U.S./Mexico border where they work to spread the gospel through evangelism, church planting, and community development ministries. They use their gifts to serve those in need, to see God’s kingdom expand along the border, and to see His Church grow.
With Isaiah 55 in Reynosa, Tim uses his skills in computers and technology to serve both the administrative side of the mission and also to offer those skills in vocational ministry among deaf students and the neighborhood community. Kristy uses her background in ESL to serve in the community around the Isaiah 55 ministries. Mostly, their heart is to serve as support to those around them in whatever capacity they can. Their desire is to live as described by Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Please pray for Tim and Kristy and family as they serve the people along the U.S./Mexico border.
Dan and Becky Young
Dan and Becky Young have served in MTW’s U.S./Mexico border ministry since 1990. They currently work on both sides of the border with MTW’s northern Mexico team, Centro para Plantación de Iglesias/ Center for Church Planting, or CPI. The Youngs are part of the team centered in Monterrey, Mexico, but are based in McAllen, Texas. The CPI is committed to church planting, the preparation and training of church planters, and to revitalizing churches and training leaders, especially in northern Mexico.</p><p>Dan leads the ministry of CPI along the border with south Texas, networking with pastors and church planters for church planting and revitalization in border cities like Laredo, McAllen, Reynosa, and Matamoros, and others in the Rio Grande Valley. His main ministry is serving, training, and coaching pastors and ministry leaders. Becky ministers through discipleship, mentoring, and faith and arts ministry. She is committed to painting and using her gifts to care for creative people. Dan and Becky also partner with Isaiah 55 Ministries in Reynosa, a ministry of justice and mercy, where three MTW couples are working.
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