We are both saddened and thrilled to announce our fellow missionaries, the Carter family, have left our ministry in Equatorial Guinea. Jason, Lisa, and their three awesome boys have been forced to permanently return to the U.S. due to health issues. Last week, Jason and Lisa returned to Equatorial Guinea, packed up their home, said many tearful goodbyes, and flew back to the U.S.
It is thrilling to announce that Jason has been hired as the new head pastor at Trinity Wellsprings Church in Satellite Beach, FL. This a wonderful calling for the Carter family and it is exciting to know they will continue to minister to others, and will be closer to the medical resources their family needs.
It is sad for us as the Carters were the only other missionaries associated with our IBCP seminary. They had been in Equatorial Guinea serving as WEC missionaries for most of the last 15 years. They were experienced in Africa and they were involved in the early days of the ministry. We came to EG to work alongside the Carters and be guided by their wisdom. We were excited to work with the Carters, and to be honest, we never would have joined the ministry if they weren’t here. But, God’s plan is perfect. In the end, we actually only got to serve alongside the Carters for our first two months. Since June of 2016 we have been flying solo as the Carters were in the U.S. tending to unforeseen medical needs.
Please pray for the Carters. Their hearts are breaking as they are forced to leave Equatorial Guinea and a culture they intended to serve for many years to come. Pray for them as they move their family to Florida. And, pray for Jason as he loves and serves the new culture to which God has called him. Pray God, the perfect physician, will care for their family.
Pray for Erin and Mike and the national run IBCP Seminary. Pray we all work well together to serve this culture and glorify God. Pray Mike and Erin lean on God as he continues to help them to maneuver the culture and love the people we serve. This is a hard environment in which to live. It is even harder to do without experienced mentors.
The ministry team at our IBCP seminary consists of us, the Carter family, and a large group of African board members, staff and professors. The Carters are the only other North American missionaries attached to our ministry. They are a family of five who have been serving off and on for a dozen years here in EG.
The Carters left for the US in June for what was scheduled to be a three-month furlough. They were going to rest and take care of a couple of medical issues. Following some unforeseen complications their return to EG has been delayed. They’re not certain when they will return to serve by our sides.
Mike has been asked to step in and fulfill some of the Carters’ personal and ministerial obligations. We are thrilled at the opportunity to be able serve the Carter family and provide them with the time and freedom they need to get everything in order back in the US.
Please be in prayer for the Carter family. Pray they will take their time, embrace each other, rest, heal and return to Central Africa only when they are fully ready. Pray for the Pettengills as our workload has increased with the addition of ministry responsibilities.
The Carters, fellow missionaries and teammates here in Bata, left yesterday for a short furlough in the U.S. For three-months this family of five will be getting some additional training and taking care of a few medical issues.
Jason, Lisa and there three boys are missionaries with WEC and have been serving off and on in Equatorial Guinea for over 10 years. They helped set up our home and get us started here. Our family has relied heavily on the Carters during our first two-months in Bata. Their absence will test our independence and ability to function on our own.
We will miss their friendship and fellowship, but are thrilled they are able to take this time reconnect and recharge.
Earlier this week we had our first ever team meeting with the Carter family. The Carters are WEC missionaries who have been working at IBCP seminary, in some capacity, for a dozen years. The Carters and the Pettengills are the only non-nationals who are dedicated full-time to the work of the seminary.
Lisa, Jason, Erin and Mike met for two-hours. We prayed, talked about our plans for the next few months and discussed expectations of each other. The four of us understand we will sin against each other, but we committed to show each other the grace and mercy of Christ.
Our little team will begin meeting regularly to pray and discuss our ministry.
Things are going well. We have spent our first few days getting our new house in order. Without the Carter family we would be lost. They picked us up at the airport, cleaned our home and got it ready for us, have been running us around to purchase basics, have been feeding us multiple times a day and have been shepherding us through the process.
Three of our first four days we had lengthy power outages, which also halts water to the house, as the water is pulled from a well by an electric pump. The weather is warm and humid, not unlike La Ceiba.
Our first two big purchases have been made. We have a gas/electric stove and and refrigerator. We have purchased phone chips for local cell service and we have purchased an internet chip that provides very slow service for a very high price.
We are meeting our neighbors and settling in. Mike is installing solar security lights and Erin is working on a garden. We’ve put in about 10-12 hours a day unpacking, cleaning and organizing. We are loving our new home and adopted culture.
More to come.