Q – When did you first know God was calling you to the mission’s field?
Craig – While in college I went on 2 short term mission trips to Central America to build churches. After the second trip I knew God was leading me to a longer missions experience. So after graduation I went to Cameroon for a year. That was the beginning of a few mission experiences.
Maureen – When I was in high school I wondered if this was something God was calling me to do. I went on a short term missions trip and this confirmed that this was an area I needed to pursue and seek out if this was to be where I was to be serving. As I was about to start my career as an RN I thought I would go to Cameroon with NAB for 3 months to see where God led. Through the application process God revealed to me that he wanted me to commit to one year in Cameroon, so I did! While I was serving in Cameroon I met a young man who also had a heart for missions. We both were profoundly impacted by our time in Cameroon. That was the beginning of our love affair with Cameroon; the country and it’s people and yes, with each other too!
Q – How would you describe your first year on the mission field?
Craig – Overall my first year was great. The first two months, however, were very difficult. A month and a half after college graduation I left to spend a year in Cameroon. It was my first time to live on my own. It was my first time to travel out of the United States by my self. It was my first time to live in another culture. Several times I nearly hopped on a plane to return home to Portland. But I stuck it out. God provided the right people and the right experiences at just the right time. The year finished well and I look back on a positive experience and time of spiritual growth.
Q – What surprised you the most once you began your work?
Maureen – In 1984 I started my work in the Children’s Ward at Banso Baptist Hospital (BBH). I was shocked at seeing children die that would not have died back in Canada. Before arriving at BBH I didn’t really think about the consequences of not having the equipment, reliable electricity, vaccinations and highly trained specialists that I was used to having in Canada.
The lack of healthcare in rural areas and difficulties in transportation delayed initiation of treatment and resulted in challenging situations.
Q – What are some of the ways you have you grown since you have been serving overseas?
Craig – Developing a greater trust in God. Understanding that difficult experiences are opportunities to grow closer to God, to learn to trust God more and to learn that God is faithful to provide what we need when we need it.
Q – What advice would you give to those considering overseas missions?
Listen to God’s leading. Go where He calls you to go and do what He calls you to do. You don’t need all the answers to start. Just go as far as you can see.