Being God's Ambassador in Africa and Wherever Else in the World

April 29, 2024

A couple of years ago a good friend of mine, Court Durkalski, recommended that I read Simon Sinek’s books: Find Your Why and Leaders Eat Last. I honestly don’t read many books at this stage of my life but these two have had a major impact on my thinking.  They changed my thoughts on what our ministry is all about.  In the past, while communicating with friends of our ministry I would always focus on what we were doing and how we do what we do.  Now, when communicating I focus almost entirely on why we do what we do. 


I have determined that the why for me is that it is a true calling from God.  He has called me to be his ambassador in Africa and wherever else I happen to be in this world.  Life in Africa is not for sissies, it can be difficult, dangerous, and even lonely at times.  But when I remember that I’m on the mission field as His ambassador and that is exactly where He wants me to be, I face every day with His joy in my heart.  Beth and I had good training at the School of Missions with the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri many years ago, but most of what I learned has simply been on the job training.   


Two of Christ’s commandments that I do my best to live by are, “Love God with all your heart and soul and love your neighbor.”  It may be sacrilegious to add to this commandment, but I would add to act like we love God and love all human beings.  Some humans are much more difficult than others to love but I believe He is asking us to love and serve each other, especially widows and orphans. 


I grew up in a Christian home and was raised by parents who made sure I was in church every week, which I continued through college. I was a good social Christian for the first 40 years of my life but did not have a relationship with Christ until I was saved and born again through the Promise Keeper movement several years ago. I read through the Bible for the first time in my late 40s.  Since then, I have read through the Bible seven times and continue to be blessed and learn new things about how God set up this amazing world of ours.   


I will turn 80 this winter and have been contemplating about the legacy that I would like to leave for my wife, children, and grandchildren.  The very most important thing to me is that they trust in God and will spend eternity in Heaven with me one day.  The next important thing is that I take as many people with me to Heaven as possible.  Our main mission field is in Africa, which is where we’ve spent the last 20 years on this task.  I plan to serve in Africa as long as God gives me the health to continue.  We are busy now with our succession plan of turning Blessman International over the leadership of Dustin and his amazing wife.  They’re already doing a good job of leading 90% of everything we do in Africa.  We pray this transition will be gradual and done with excellence.  We are already on our way down this succession path and have a great staff in Africa and in the US to carry on the work we have been doing.   


Our annual gala will be on May 2nd and that is the time of year I do some vision casting to share what I sense God is calling us to do next.  Over the past several years, I have been blessed to have a clear line of communication with the Holy Spirit and received many clear visions of what we are to be putting our hands to. 

One of the primary newer visions for me is to plant quality churches in Africa.  We are currently busy raising funds to construct a new 450-seat church to replace the school hall where Mountain View Church has been meeting.  This small church started with 35 members 9 years ago and has grown to over 300 people attending each week. We have a goal of having the funds ($325,000) by August 1st and dedicating the new church sometime close to my 80th birthday on February 4th.  We plan to honor our good friend Neil Barnard, who started Hunt Against Hunger with us and tragically was killed in a car accident 4 years ago with this church building that is located on the school grounds where he attended school. 


Prayer request: Please continue to pray for Alex as she recovers from her recent back surgery.