LIFE at Wheaton Bible Church

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Eight People You Should KnowEight People You Should Know

Just as our church is committed to making disciples who make disciples, our missionaries have that same goal on the various fields where they serve. Among those “disciple makers” are the eight missionaries introduced in this article—all of whom will be in the States and in our area for a good part of this year. Take every opportunity to get to know them while they’re here! Invite them to your Community Group, over for an evening, or out for coffee. To help you get started, we’ve asked them some “get to know you” questions and included a brief snapshot of who they are and how they serve.


Chris & Mindy Beetham

Chris and Mindy work with Serving in Mission (SIM) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Chris serves as lecturer in biblical studies at the Evangelical Theological College and as lecturer in New Testament at the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology. Mindy serves as chair of the governing board of Bingham Academy, an international school in Addis, and also prays with women involved in discipleship. Chris and Mindy have five children, Sam, Kate, Erin, John, and Ben.

Chris
When I’m back in the States, I’m looking forward to…
Mindy
When I’m back in the States, I’m looking forward to…
  • …going to Michigan with Mindy for our anniversary getaway.
  • …eating real burgers on the grill.
  • …doing research and writing in Wheaton College‘s Buswell Library.
  • …being able to be with family.

Book I’m reading now? Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview by Meredith G. Kline

Where you’d find me on a relaxed day off? With Mindy and kids, or alone, reading

Hardest adjustment when I’m back in the States? Transitioning back into the fast-paced, technologically advanced, individualistic culture.

Best way to get to know me? Same as Mindy—over a hot cup of joe in a local coffee shop.

Ideal job if I weren’t a missionary? Same as my missionary job—teaching New Testament at the graduate level (somewhere in the States, close to family)

  • …going on lots of walks everywhere we are.
  • …eating ice cream.
  • …doing plenty of looking at books.
  • …being able to be with family and friends.

Book I’m reading now? The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Where you’d find me on a relaxed day off? On the beach in Holland, Michigan, or in the woods north of Big Rapids, Michigan.

Hardest adjustment when I’m back in the States? Speaking one language all day long.

Best way to get to know me? Over a cup of coffee.

Ideal job if I weren’t a missionary? Being Mom (but that’s who I am on both sides of the Atlantic)

CHRIS BEETHAM WRITES…
“Tesfaye” (not his real name) is a recent graduate of the undergraduate institution where I teach and one of my best students. He is an ideal student, who blends academic ability and intellectual rigor with a mature walk with Christ—and a pastor’s heart.

Along with my formal teaching ministry, my main underlying goal is to identify and mentor students like Tesfaye, in order that they may eventually replace me and other Western missionary faculty members. [Ethiopians contextualize the Gospel for Ethiopians so much better than their Western counterparts and cost the Church much less to retain than a Western missionary on the ground there.]

Tesfaye’s denomination and the local church that he pastors raised and provided all his financial support to attend ETC. In exchange, he pledged to return and pastor the church for five years. Through his studies, however, Tesfaye discovered another love that complements his love for pastoring—the academy and the life of the mind. Tesfaye came to realize that so many of the serious issues facing churches like his are caused and energized by misguided theological errors. [For example, the fear of evil spirits is prevalent everywhere, but the New Testament is explicit that Christ conquered the spirits and the demonic and holds preeminence over them (Colossians 1:15–16; 2:15).]

After his five-year commitment is over, Tesfaye hopes to return to Addis Ababa and further his training at the graduate school. His long-term desire is to train other pastors and equip them to handle the Scriptures carefully and to approach all of life with a biblical worldview. Through men like Tesfaye, Wheaton Bible Church is advancing the Kingdom of God and of His Christ.


Kevin & Rahela Conway

The Conway Family

Abi (age 14), Kevin, Kara (5), Joseph (12), and Rahela.

Kevin and Rahela serve with Church Resource Ministries (CRM) in Osijek, Croatia, where Kevin is the Country Leader for the CRM team. The Conways teach and pastor future Christian leaders in Eastern Europe at Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETF). People from all over Eastern Europe come to ETF, where the Conways help train them in the Scriptures and also give them firsthand practical experience in church planting and church leadership. Kevin and Rahela have three children, Abi, Joseph, and Kara.

Kevin
When I’m back in the States, I’m looking forward to…
Rahela
When I’m back in the States, I’m looking forward to…
  • …going to a baseball game with the kids!
  • …eating a Wendy’s single with cheese.
  • …doing anything I want after the doctorate is finished!
  • …being able to watch SEC college football on Saturdays (especially the UT Vols)!

Book I’m reading now? Leben aus den Verheissungen by Gerhard Sass

Where you’d find me on a relaxed day off? What’s that? I guess I’d go to a sports bar and watch a dozen college football games simultaneously.

Hardest adjustment when I’m back in the States? Trying to see everybody we know.

Best way to get to know me? Marry me. Besides that, take me golfing.

Ideal job if I weren’t a missionary? I’d like to run my own company again or else manage a political campaign.

  • …going to the Children’s Museum.
  • …eating Chick-fil-A.
  • …doing nothing (at least for a couple of days)!
  • …being able to go to a good Christian bookstore.

Book I’m reading now? One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and re-reading Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby.

Where you’d find me on a relaxed day off? Hiking outdoors.

Hardest adjustment when I’m back in the States? People and language (why do you spell people like that?)

Best way to get to know me? Go for walks with me.

Ideal job if I weren’t a missionary? Nurse or gardener

A NOTE FROM RAHELA
Recently, I began a discipleship group for some women in the church who were new in the faith. We have been going through Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God, and all of us have been so blessed by it as we have been coming to a better understanding of the basics of our walk with Jesus.

Upon hearing that we were going to the States for almost a year, one of the women approached me and told me that she was really sad to see me go. She is from an Eastern Orthodox background, and she has been involved with witchcraft and other evil spiritual elements. She said that she has always had a problem “opening up” with people beyond a superficial level, but that I was the first one she “had let into her heart” in a long time.

Please pray for Jasna, who will be taking over for me as the leader of the group when I’m gone, and also that all the ladies in the group would grow in their relationship with Jesus and each other in the coming year.


Scott & Barb Harbert

The Harberts

Standing: Jeff, Sarah (Joshua's wife), Joshua, and Matthew. Seated: Scott and Barb.

Scott and Barb work with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) in Nakuru, Kenya. Scott serves as the Unit Leader for all AIM missionaries and ministries in western Kenya as well as Prayer Coordinator and Trainer for the Africa Inland Church (AIC) of Kenya. Barb coordinates the HIV/AIDS partnership between our church and the AIC Nakuru Region, our Heart for AIDS Initiative.

Scott
When I’m back in the States, I’m looking forward to…
Barb
When I’m back in the States, I’m looking forward to…
  • …going to a baseball game.
  • …eating a Butternut donut from Dunkin’ Donuts.
  • …doing things Americans do.
  • …being able to visit family.

Book I’m reading now? Run with the Horses by Eugene Peterson

Where you’d find me on a relaxed day off? I really like walking. I like to exercise, yes. But I especially love to walk.

Hardest adjustment when I’m back in the States? Fast-paced life.

Best way to get to know me? The best thing is to go for a walk. Spend time talking and praying together.

Ideal job if I weren’t a missionary? A professional drummer

  • …going into Chicago.
  • …eating Chicago-style pizza.
  • …spending time with family.
  • …being able to attend Wheaton Bible Church and Place 4 You Women’s Bible Study.

Book I’m reading now? Guardian of Lies by Steve Martini

Where you’d find me on a relaxed day off? At my sister’s in Lake Forest

Hardest adjustment when I’m back in the States? Finding ways to connect with friends

Best way to get to know me? A shared meal

Ideal job if I weren’t a missionary? Receptionist at a tourist hotel in Mombasa.

SCOTT HARBERT’S STORY I have been meeting for prayer regularly with Pastor Harun Njuguna over the last two years. What a joy it has been to see our prayers answered and our faith strengthened through this time together! Pastor Harun leads a strategic outreach program to the 20,000 university day students in Nakuru. He also directs Scott Theological College’s campus in Nakuru, where I enjoyed teaching a 10-week course on prayer and renewal earlier this year. Harun also frequently teams up with Nakuru AIDS Initiative in ministering to the needs of the poor, the internally displaced, and the youth, through various trainings.

We are so happy that Pastor Harun and his wife, Lauryn, will be coming to Wheaton, where Harun will work on a master’s degree in theology at the Wheaton Graduate School. We know God will continue to answer our prayers that God will use them through their ministry with Wheaton Bible Church.


Greg & Faith Hurst

The Hursts

Faith and Greg, with daughters Hannah (age 12), Kayla (14), and Mariah (10).

Greg and Faith work with Serving in Mission (SIM) in La Paz, Bolivia. Their mission is to make disciples so that the Bolivian church will become a mature witness of Christ in La Paz, in rural Bolivia, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Through the years, their main ministry has focused on discipleship through youth ministry and church planting, which has centered on a church plant known today in La Paz as the Mallasilla Bible Church. Along the way, they also have helped to establish an English–speaking Christian international school (www.nics.org/schools/lapaz), started an economic development project (www.cafeyungas.org), and have served in SIM mission leadership for the past nine years. Greg and Faith have three daughters, Kayla, Hannah, and Mariah.

Greg
When I’m back in the States, I’m looking forward to…
Faith
When I’m back in the States, I’m looking forward to…
  • …going jogging on the Prairie Path.
  • …eating deep-dish pizza at Gino’s East.
  • …doing a trip in the fall to see the splendor of the tree leaves turning colors!
  • …being able to take advantage of the great opportunities in Wheaton for spiritual renewal and growth.

Book I’m reading now? Prodigal God by Tim Keller

Where you’d find me on a relaxed day off? Jogging, biking, or playing golf

Hardest adjustment when I’m back in the States? Catching up with the advance in technology

Best way to get to know me? Over a cup of coffee

Ideal job if I weren’t a missionary? Family-based ministry at a church in the U.S. or working as a businessman

  • …going jet skiing with Greg at the family lake house.
  • …eating Tex-Mex.
  • …taking advantage of public libraries.
  • …being able to spend time with my mom/sister and sisters-in-law.

Book I’m reading now? Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Where you’d find me on a relaxed day off? Bike riding on the Prairie Path

Hardest adjustment when I’m back in the States? Keeping up with new cahnges in technology

Best way to get to know me? Over a cup of coffee.

Ideal job if I weren’t a missionary? Being Mom (but that’s who I am on both sides of the Atlantic).

THE STORY OF THE SHOE-SHINE BOYS
God has been so faithful to help the Hurst family start a new church in Bolivia . . . the Mallasilla Bible Church. Before Ramiro came to the church, he worked on the streets of La Paz, Bolivia, as a shoe shiner. When he came to know Christ, however, everything changed. Now Ramiro wants all of the thousands of shoe shiners in La Paz to know Christ.

One of Ramiro’s shoe shiner friends, Ivan, was left partially paralyzed after being brutally assaulted by a street gang. Even after multiple brain surgeries, he was left so severely brain damaged that he struggles to talk, walk, and use his left arm. When a wall at Ivan’s humble house began to fall down, Ramiro mobilized the Mallasilla Bible Church’s youth group to help share God’s love to Ivan in a practical way—they served together and rebuilt Ivan’s wall.

Today, Ivan knows Christ and is found on the streets struggling, but with great joy, to share a few words with his friends. “Jesus. Saved life. Loves you..Praise Him!” he says with difficulty. The other shoe shiners know exactly what he wants to say. Ivan was one of the forty shoe shiners Ramiro invited to a Mallasilla Bible Church retreat in the jungle. More than 130 people at the retreat celebrated together as Ivan and others were baptized.

Mentored by Greg, Ramiro continues to mature spiritually and thrive as he discovers his gifts and God’s dreams for him. Please pray with us that through the ministry of Ramiro, many more shoe shiners would embrace the Gospel, engage in church, and grow in the knowledge and love of Christ.

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