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OUR TESIMONIES:

Josh

Through the goodness and grace of God I was adopted into a Christian home at the age of six. I grew up in Baptist church and attended a Christian School. Hearing the gospel so many times led me to a little confusion as a youngster as to when I got saved. However, I gained full assurance of my salvation at the age of fourteen. After hearing a powerful message on sin, I understood that it was my sin of unbelief that would send me to Hell. I called on Christ to forgive me and save me that night.

As an older teenager I began to seek to serve the Lord in more ways. I felt a strong desire to see souls saved and Christians living for God. This led me to begin witnessing to people, usually through door knocking. It was at this time that a sincere desire to preach to the Word developed in my life. I was never badgered into any ministry; rather the Lord placed His desires into my heart as I delighted myself in Him. After much prayer, specific direction from God’s word (Jer. 7:2) and counsel from my pastor, I announced my calling to preach at the age of seventeen. I believe that all Christians are called to serve Christ “full time.” However, I believe that I am called specifically to preach the gospel and to live of the gospel.

Shortly thereafter, the Lord directed me to Pensacola Christian College where I obtained a Bachelor’s in Bible with an emphasis on evangelism. It was during this time of my life that I was exposed to many ministry opportunities, ranging from Christian camping ministries to itinerant youth evangelistic ministry. After each opportunity I thanked God and prayed if that was the type of ministry that He would have me to go into. At the end of my senior year the Lord directed me to go on a 2 week mission trip to the Ivory Coast. It was there that I first saw how incredibly white the mission field was for the harvest. However, I did not believe God was calling me at that time to full-time mission work. The Lord had opened the door for me to further my education at Pensacola Theological Seminary. While earning my Masters and working part-time, I also was given the opportunity to pursue Rebecca, who would become my wife.

Through many circumstances and much prayer and fasting the Lord confirmed in our hearts that He wanted us to go on a internship/survey trip to Papua New Guinea. The day after I finished my obligations for school we left for New Guinea. Rebecca and I were praying that we would be completely open for God’s leading, but were still unsure that we were called to New Guinea. It was not until twelve days after we returned that the Lord confirmed in my heart that we were called to share the glorious light of the gospel to the unreached in New Guinea.

Many ideas exist concerning the work of the missionary. Many times Christians think of them as ‘super-Christians’ or ‘more surrendered – Christians.’ I do not hold to these ideas. I believe that a missionary’s main goal is to be like Christ – just as all Christians are commanded. However, in the course of reaching this goal, God directs their heart to embrace a people that need to hear the gospel. Any “sacrifices” are privileges to be born for the One who has born our sin. God has given my wife and I a wonderful mission field. There are many unreached people groups in Papua New Guinea. Many thousands of people live in New Guinea without any opportunity to hear the gospel through reading the Bible, listening to the radio or television or internet. Their only opportunity to hear the gospel will be if someone takes it to them directly. By God’s grace we have committed our lives to this task.

Ministry Experiences:

*Mission trip to West Africa in ‘07

* Summers of 05-06—Truth Alive youth evangelist

* Counselor in Christian camping ministries—2 summers

*Pastoral intern at Berean Baptist for 3 years and at Resurrection Baptist for 1 year.

Rebecca

I grew up within a Christian home, learning of Jesus, His life of ministry and miracles, and His ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. God led my family to a fundamental, Bible-believing church, where the man of God loved souls and the Word of God. Under these circumstances, I was convicted that I was a sinner at an early age and that it wasn’t enough to have a head knowledge that Jesus died for the sins of mankind. At the age of 5 I confessed my sin of unbelief according to Romans 10:13, personally believing that Jesus took my punishment when He died on the cross, and accepted Him as my Saviour.

As I grew older, there developed within me an unrelenting desire to serve God on the foreign mission field, using the tool of nursing to assist in church planting. My family faced multiple difficulties while I was in high school as my father went through heart surgery, was physically crushed within 2 years, and we lost my grandmother in a car accident. God performed some amazing things on our behalf during those years, teaching me that the most important thing in my life was my relationship with the Lord. Our faith grew as we trusted Christ to meet our needs, and my burden for nursing, missions and telling others about our powerful God increased as well.

In 2004 God led me to Pensacola Christian College, where I studied Nursing with a minor in Missions. The Lord graciously provided for me as I worked through each semester and worked in the Campus ministry during the summers. Doors began to open for me to be a part of a medical team sent out by Go Forth Baptist Missions. During three consecutive summers God provided for me to go to Honduras in 2006, Ivory Coast in 2007, and to Papua New Guinea to serve with the Allens during Christmas of 2008. It was in Papua New Guinea where groups of people remain isolated from the gospel and the physical and spiritual needs abound that God’s still small voice moved in my heart. It was also here that the Lord taught me a fuller meaning of following Christ, that a work is only a fulfilling ministry when God is in it, whether on or off the foreign mission field. It was here in the rainforest, among a forgotten people who live in grass huts and have gardens on the side of a mountain that God impressed a relentless burden for His work in mission nursing, church planting, and Bible translation.

After graduation from college, God directed me to live with and care for an older woman while I worked in a local hospital as a cardiac nurse. This dear woman accepted Christ as her Saviour two weeks into my stay with her and then died from a massive stroke while I was serving with the Allens in PNG. How my heart was impressed with the necessity of sharing the gospel and serving Christ with all my heart. It was also during this time that Josh Florence and I had been dating. We were pursuing our relationship as we sought God’s will for us in the ministry, whether that be in missions, evangelism, or working with a pastor for several years. We believed with all our hearts that God was the Author of our love story and we were married in August of 2009.  While Josh was finishing Seminary I worked as a nurse and we have been serving together in our local church.

We began to pray about going to Papua New Guinea to survey the work in Bible translation, nursing, and church planting among one of the 5 surrounding tribes that are calling for someone to come share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ. That opportuinity came the summer of 2010 and it was through that experience that the Lord confirmed in our hearts His calling for us to go PNG.  While we are greatly anticipating our work in PNG, we realize our need for the power and direction of the Holy Spirit for our daily tasks as well. We desire to be obedient, surrendered, and vessels mete for our Master’s use. We are bought with a price and have been given a high calling. Our desire is as Paul wrote in Philippians, “Yea doubtless, and I count all thing but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him…” May Christ find us faithful as we seek to serve Him.

Ministry Experiences:

*Toddler Sunday school helper/teacher (ages 12-17)

*Medical Missions trips to Honduras (‘06), Ivory Coast (‘07), intern to PNG (‘08)

* Summer Floor leader (’07) at PCC

* Ladies door-to-door Christian serive leader for a year-and-half during college

* Toddler Sunday School teacher (‘09 – present)

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