Another way the ministry of Word of Life continues to challenge young people is through the annual Missions Conference at the Bible Institute. Jennifer Norris Him ‘91 first remembers hearing about missionary, Mary Slessor, at VBS when she was just ten years old. From that day, her heart burned with a desire to travel the world to tell others about Jesus. When she was fourteen, she was invited by a pastor to attend a Word of Life Bible Institute Missions Conference in Ontario,
her life, this was her response:
Canada. At that time she surrendered her life to the call of missions. Jennifer later attended two years at the Bible Institute to get the Biblical training and the ministry experience she needed for the mission field. During her second year at the Bible Institute, she traveled to India for her summer internship and thought that was where God was leading her. However, while she was completing her education at PBU (now Cairn University) she met her husband, Heap Him, who is from Cambodia. After learning the horrific story of Cambodia’s suffering and genocide and helping with Cambodian refugees in Philadelphia, she developed a deep love for the Cambodian people. She and Heap worked with Cambodian refugees in California for five years before moving to Cambodia to bring God’s love and truth to a hurting country. Jennifer describes their ministry in the following way: In Cambodia, a tropical, friendly country still struggling to recover from years of war and genocide, we mentor baby pastors’ in-house churches in the rice fields. This is a country that believes disabled people are to be cursed and that they deserve their suffering because of an evil deed that was done in a past life. Our ministry brings hope and opportunity to disabled children and young adults through a school and therapy center called Lina’s Hope where we offer daily therapy, education, Bible study, nutritious meals, medical care, field trips, and an environment of love and acceptance. We share the Gospel with children and families through daily Bible studies and as God opens the doors of hearts through relationships. We also rescue and foster disabled children who have been abandoned or who have escaped from life- threatening or abusive situations.. ”
So again, we might ask, why does this call for “each generation to reach their generation for Christ” motivate and move the hearts of so many Christians? Perhaps Don Lough, Jr., Executive Director of Word of Life, explains it best in this quote from Word of Life’s 75th anniversary book called, “A Story of Life Change”: The famous British evangelist, Gypsy Smith, at 80 years of age was asked, ‘What is the secret of your excitement for Christ and the Gospel after all these years?’ This elder evangelist replied without hesitation, ‘I have never lost the wonder of it.’ I believe Word of Life has stayed on track focusing on Christ and the Gospel for 75 years because we have never lost the wonder of it all. How about you? Are you still in awe of the life-saving work that Jesus did in your life? It is your responsibility to share this Good News with your generation so they, in turn, can reach the next generation. I grew up as a missionary kid in Aruba, then I moved to Schroon Lake and lived with my grandparents. I graduated from the Bible Institute in ’88 and went on to attend The Master’s College. I had the distinct blessing of growing up surrounded with Christ-centered living. I watched people obey God’s leading, and, because of their example, when the Lord led us to Utah to serve Him in full-time mission work, it was not something we had to pray about for very long! My husband, Russ, had been saved out of a third generation Mormon family at the age of 14, and he had a deep desire to reach those who were being deceived in this false religion. By God’s grace, Utah Partnerships for Christ was started in 2000, and we have had over 300 mission teams comprised of approximately 3,000 mission team members come over the last 17 years. Our goal is to train Christians how to share the Gospel effectively with Mormons using short-term mission trips. As a ministry, we also have a strong radio presence with our partnership relationship with KUTR AM 820 which is a part of The Truth Radio Network based out of Winston- Salem, NC. The radio station reaches 80% of the State of Utah, 24/7, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ! In God’s strength, we are striving to live out what my grandfather said so many years ago. And it needs to be a focus in all of our lives as believers, to reach those around us by being salt and light, to reach our generation for Christ. I was very close with my grandpa, and his faith was authentically lived out. He consistently shared the Gospel with complete strangers by giving them a Gospel tract, or by taking the time to explain God’s love to them. When he said, ‘It is the responsibility of each generation to reach their generation for Christ,’ he didn’t just say it; he lived it.
Another Bible Institute alumnus involved in full-time evangelistic work is Tammy Oris East ’88 and her husband, Russ. Tammy is the granddaughter of Jack Wyrtzen and when asked how her grandfather’s quote had influenced
10 The experience fall 2017 edition
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