Ian and Karen Smith

Interim Field Directors – Romania Interim Field Directors – Romania Download Profile

Halfway Already!

Published on February 14, 2023

November began with an unexpected visit to Bucharest to visit the Canadian Embassy. Karen and I received our Romanian identity cards with relative ease, but it was far more difficult for Nathan and Kendra.

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Getting into the Swing of Things

Published on November 14, 2022

How do we summarize the last 3 months into one short letter? It’s been great! We are loving living in Romania!

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Packing, Sorting, and Organizing

Published on August 10, 2022

We would like to take a moment to update you on what has been going on in our lives in the past month or so since we accepted the call to go to Romania for a year.

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Get to know Ian and Karen Smith

Interim Field Directors – Romania

Q: When did you first know God was calling you to the mission’s field?

Ian: Since I was a young adult, I felt a strong call to give my life to ministry. I/we have been privileged to serve in numerous nations in short-term capacities, and God has grown my heart for global ministry through these experiences.

Karen: There was a time in my life where, as a teenager, I was having to struggle to decide between following Jesus or following my friends. I did not see the logic in choosing both. One night, I woke in the middle of the night crying, and it was all clear to me. I must follow Jesus. From that moment on I have had a pretty determined focus to follow God in whatever ministry He would have me do. Originally my heart was solely focused on serving as a missionary after Bible school.

Q: Who is someone that influenced you in your decision to serve as a missionary in a cross-cultural setting?

Ian: I have admired and appreciated the ministries of Hudson Taylor and Gladys Aylward, as well as George Mueller and William Wilberforce.

Karen: When I was young, my uncle and aunt had come back from the mission field. It left an impression that people I know had served overseas and made it acceptable to me. My parents served in full-time ministry in Canada and impressed on me a life spent on the Gospel.

Q: How long have you been serving as a missionary? As a NAB missionary?

Ian: We are brand new to the NAB. I served as a pastor in two different Fellowship Baptist churches for the last twenty-three years.

Karen: We are just starting!

Q: What life experiences did you have that helped you prepare to go overseas?

Ian: I have been part of short-term ministries to Colombia, Peru, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, the Republic of Philippines (six times), and Romania.

Karen: I did a two-year associate of arts in Bible Missions. During that time, I spent significant time forming friendships with people from other cultures. In church context, I continue to enjoy this. My husband and I have gone on or led several short-term mission trips, including ministry to Columbia, Peru, the Philippines, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kenya.

Q: How would you describe your first year on the mission field?

Ian: Don’t know yet! 😊

Karen: Still to come. 😊

Q: What surprised you the most once you began your work? What did you wish you knew beforehand?

Ian: Ask me in a year? 😊

Q: What initial fears/concerns did you have about serving as a missionary overseas?

Ian: Not fears, but certainly we want to parent our teens well through this significant life transition, prayerfully asking the Lord to further open their hearts to global ministry.

Karen: I’m concerned I may make a social blunder in a different culture.

Q: What are some of the factors that led you to become an overseas missionary through the NAB?

Ian: The stated need of the Gerickes going on home assignment.

Karen: The need was there and made apparent to us, and so after much prayer and discussion, my husband and I, and our family, decided to go.

Q: What advice would you give to those considering overseas missions?

Karen: Remember that the joy of serving far outweighs the joy of keeping a life like we like it.

Q: How can people pray for you?

Ian: Pray that God would use this year to grow our hearts to love Hungarian-speaking Romanians.

Pray that He would sustain and bless the preaching ministry, youth ministry, and ministry of leadership within the Romania field.

Pray for our teens, that they would grow to love God’s global heart. Pray He would show them how He desires they would use their lives for His glory.

Pray for close partnerships with supporting churches and individuals.

Pray for Karen and I, that we would transition to the field well and that our marriage would grow for God’s glory.

Karen: It has not been easy to give up the life we love in Mayerthorpe. We will be leaving family, friends, our home, and our favorite hobby, amongst other things. Pray God will help us see the joy in serving Him far outweighs the joy we find in the people/things we love.

We have travelled overseas twice as a whole family; however, we have never spent more than five consecutive weeks away from Canada. Please pray for us as we seek to integrate into a different culture. Pray for our adjustment and that we will be sensitive and respectful.

We have a passion for people to be discipled and future leaders to be developed. This ministry pairs well with that. Please pray for our ministry in Romania. Please pray that, despite cultural differences, we will be able to be used by God to grow His church.

We are excited to be working with a great team of leaders serving in Romania. Please pray that we will be discerning and encouraging to those under our care.

As regular supporters of Bible camp, we are pleased to be a part of a ministry developing a Bible camp in Romania. Please pray for Camp Falcon Rock. Pray for effective ministry, as well as the continued physical development of the property.

Country Facts

Romania NAB pastors and churches have decades of relationship with leaders in Romania, but it was in 2014 that NAB formalized a ministry agreement to aid the Hungarian Baptist Conference of Romania in the development of Camp Falcon Rock. We are working together for the construction of a ministry center that be instrumental in developing the next generation of Christian leaders for this country. Read More Facts View All Countries
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