My name is Larae Hoff. I was born and raised in a Christian home. At the age of 7 during Vacation Bible School, I asked Christ into my heart. When I turned 13, something happened to me, which I blamed God for, and I started down a path of rebellion. A few days later, I heard a message on a radio program, which said that if you are not a Christian, you will go to Hell. That night, I prayed “fire insurance prayers,” just asking Christ to forgive me; but I didn’t change; physically or spiritually. I prayed those “fire insurance prayers” every night until high school. At age 16, during a winter youth event, I got the assurance of my salvation. I did a 180-degree change and have never doubted my salvation since.
Going on my first missions trip during college made missions clear to me. During my junior year, I committed to God during a Missions Conference that I would serve Him full-time on the mission field. When I finished college, I was unsure of where I should serve, I just knew that I wanted to serve overseas.
Through the years, God has opened and closed doors, but the verses in Jeremiah 29:11 and Proverbs 16:9 have taught me that God’s plan and timing are perfect! In January of 2021, God opened a door for me to do an internship with Team Ghana. I fell in love with the many opportunities I could have there to serve God in Africa.
God has blessed me with the opportunity to serve with Fundamental Baptist Missions International in Ghana, West Africa, and to help their team. Monday through Friday, I will be teaching at the Christian school, Fundamental Baptist Academy in Kumasi, Ghana. Then once I have learned the language, on Fridays after school finishes, I will work with the village churches that my team has helped start and train/teach a layperson to start children’s ministries.
I grew up here at First Baptist Church and was saved at the age of eight during Youth Conference at our church. The following year, I felt the Lord calling me to missions. I didn’t know what it meant at the time, and I thought that maybe I would be a missionary one day when I was older. Little did I know that just a few years, later the Lord would call my parents to leave Indiana and help start Team Peru. From the time I was 14 to when I graduated high school, I had the opportunity to live in Peru as a missionary.
I returned to Indiana to study pastoral theology at Hyles-Anderson College, not thinking that the Lord would call me back to missions. It wasn’t until just a few months before Cassandra and I were married that we knew God was calling us to be missionaries.
Cassandra was saved at the age of 17 during School Camp at Hammond Baptist High School. She surrendered to serve the Lord with her life, and we started dating in Bible college. Once we were married, we were able to start our missionary journey.
In 2021 we were able to go to Peru for an extended survey trip of five months! We worked in our church in San Gabriel, Lima, Peru, and traveled to the jungle to help train national pastors. We were able to reach many new villages that had never heard the Gospel.
Now Cassandra and I are on full-time deputation, hoping to return to Peru soon! It is our desire to see new churches started and the Gospel spread throughout South America. Not only will we work with my dad in Lima and plant new churches in the surrounding area, but we will also work to train pastors throughout the country, especially in the Amazon Jungle region.
Steve Kim is a second-generation missionary. He was saved on September 11, 2005. He had professed and prayed when he was seven, but he did not have full understanding of what he was doing. He was baptized two weeks later on September 25
After pastoring for seven years, his father, who is also a missionary in Mexico, asked him to pray about coming down to Mexico. After three months of praying, God called him to Mexico City and confirmed his calling through the promise that God would always be with him (Matthew 28:20).
Presently, he is living in Mexico with his family and working on his first church plant, aiming to plant the church in December 2022. The tentative location is the southwest side of Mexico City (around these areas: Insurgentes Sur, Mixcoac, Ciudad Universitaria).
I was saved at the age of six after hearing my pastor clearly present the Gospel at a Youth Camp. It was the first time that I understood that I needed to accept Christ in order to be saved. From that time on, I grew spiritually with much help from my faithful, loving church family at Salisbury Baptist Temple.
While a student in middle school, I attended a Youth Conference with my church. It was there that the Lord called me to serve Him as a missionary. I distinctly remember surrendering to missions, but I did not know where the Lord would lead me to serve Him.
The Lord led for me to attend Bible college at the Landmark Baptist College in Haines City, Florida. While there, I trained and sought for the Lord’s will. I benefited greatly from the ministry of Dr. Mickey Carter. During the summer between my sophomore and junior years, I attended Camp BIMI. This is a tremendous ministry designed to help young people find where they fit in missions. The Lord used my time there to call me to Suriname, South America.
A year later, the Lord allowed me to participate in a month-long missions trip to South America. It was an intense time of training. It was truly a unique opportunity to experience missions firsthand. On that trip, I learned many things about ministering in a culture foreign to my own.
Most importantly, however, I met my future wife Emily. The Lord used our mutual desire to serve in missions to draw us together. We were married in May of 2019 and started deputation in September of the same year. We are excited about the opportunity to minister to the people of Suriname.
I was born on April 22, 1981, in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. In 1987, my parents were divorced, and because my mother was afraid that my father would use his political influence to take us away from her, she took us to Lancaster, California in 1987. I was six years old.
In 1996, I was invited to Lancaster Baptist Church’s Open House Sunday, where I was saved one week later at the age of 16. Six months later, I felt the call to be a pastor, and I surrendered to the Lord’s calling on my life. Later, I enrolled in West Coast Baptist College, where I graduated with a degree in Bible and pastoral theology.
I married my sweet wife Magdalena in 2003, one semester before we graduated from college. We now have a 23-month-old son Luis Jr. and a 10-week-old daughter named Sofia.
I joined the staff at Shadow Mountain Baptist Church in 2003, where I served as the Spanish Pastor and the head of the Publications/ Graphics Department. The Lord blessed our family while serving in the ministry, and I was able to get preaching and pastoral experience.
In 2005, I was ordained at Lancaster Baptist Church. We started the Hermosillo Baptist Church in 2009. We have also started a Bible institute and a Christian School.
Neither my wife nor I grew up in a Bible-believing home. My wife was born in Peru, South America, and was raised as a Catholic, but was mostly non-religious. Shortly before graduating from high school, her mother was told by a friend about Hyles-Anderson College in the U.S. God moved miraculously to allow my wife to come to the U.S. and attend the college, where she graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. My wife professed that she was saved, but she was not. While out soul winning during her first semester, she finally understood the Gospel and got saved. Later on, she had the opportunity to go back to Peru and see much of her family trust Christ as their Saviour.
Meanwhile, I grew up in California in the cult of Scientology, though I was mostly non-religious. By the time I became a teenager, I didn’t want anything to do with religion. In 2004, I met Karin, and she invited me to church and shared the Gospel with me. I didn’t want anything to do with church, but God used my interest in her to get me to listen. After coming to church a couple of times, I knew that I was lost, and I trusted Christ as my Saviour and was baptized shortly afterwards. My wife and I started dating and after getting married, we moved to Regency Baptist Church in Orangevale, California, in 2005. It was here that God allowed us to serve in many different areas, including the bus ministry, Sunday school, media, and various other areas. In 2008, I felt that God was calling me to full-time ministry. I made a decision to give my life to God, but I did not really make a true surrender. I pursued a secular career and became financially successful. We moved to Colorado in 2014 and started attending Elmwood Baptist Church in Brighton, Colorado, where we served in the teen ministry; I also served as a deacon. My wife also taught in the Christian school.
It was in Colorado that God started to work on my heart. He reminded me of the commitment I had made in 2008. I realized I would never be happy unless I fully obeyed God. In 2017, we fully surrendered to whatever God wanted for our lives. God made it clear that He wanted us to be a missionaries. Shortly afterwards, God placed Japan on my heart in an undeniable way, and my wife and I have sought to follow that call ever since.
When we arrive in Japan, we will work with another Japanese church for the first two years or so while we learn the language and how to effectively minister to the Japanese people. After that, we will allow God to direct us to a new city to plant an independent Baptist church.
“Yakob” was born and grew up in a small village near Seoul, the capital of South Korea. His family is of a noble class as descendants of the Yi Dynasty of Korea. They have been living in a certain village for generation upon generation, totaling 430 years. His family has practiced Confucianism, which is common among the noble class. They did not like Christianity because it conflicted with their tradions of ancestor worship.
However, when “Yakob” was 14 years old, he became curious about the Christian faith. His family did not allow him to visit church at all, but one summer night after dinner, he secretly visited a church. Everybody at the church knew about his village. They had tried to witness there previously but were always rejected and had even been beaten. When he visited the church, they were very surprised to see him but welcomed him heartily. That night, “Yakob” listened to the message, and after church, the youth pastor gave him a copy of the New Testament.
“Yakob” kept the New Testament a secret from his family members because he knew they would be upset if they knew he had it. He started reading the Bible. Everything seemed new and marvelous. He learned that he needed to be saved, but deep down, he had a fear that if he became a follower of the Christian faith, he could no longer practice the worshipping of his ancestors. This, of course, would run in direct opposition to his culture and certainly would not be acceptable among his family and relatives. In Korean culture, a teenage boy must start to learn and practice the family traditions. The more he learned about Christianity, the more he struggled. Which one should he choose? His family traditions or Jesus? The youth minister explained to James about salvation and the cost I would have to bear. I decided then to choose Jesus.
As “Yakob” expected they would, his family and relatives were extremely upset with him because he no longer participated in ancestor worship. His relatives blamed his parents, and he became isolated from his family members. In spite of this, however, “Yakob” did not compromise his faith, but he prayed and wept over them. After some time, God answered his prayers, and both of his parents came to know the Lord Jesus. Now, half of his siblings are Christians too. Praise the Lord!
By the grace of God, I was saved in 1985 at a Christian school in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Right after my salvation, I knew that God was calling me to the ministry. I surrendered in 1987 and immediately started working at winning the street kids to the Lord.
In 1991, we started pastoring La Iglesia Bautista Biblia Abierta in the same city of Santa Cruz and stayed there for the next 10 years. We left that church in 2001 to serve as missionaries, and we have started four churches and another four with men who have come out of our ministry. All in all, we have been serving for 34 years.
I had the privilege of growing up in an environment saturated with the Good News of what Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection has accomplished for those who will turn from their sin and self-righteousness and call upon Him for salvation. I was presented with the truth that my sin is what separated me from God and would ultimately lead to spending forever in a place called Hell. I understood the message for a while until one night while lying in bed, I was smitten by the fear of going to Hell, and my father led me to Christ at his bedside. Though I can say that I was driven somewhat by the fear of ultimate judgment, I know that the promise of Jesus to those who call on Hm is true. I was redeemed that night, and He has truly been my Saviour ever since.
During my sophomore year of Bible college, God the Holy Spirit arrested my attention of how much my life had become self-centered with the name of Jesus tacked onto it. He brought me to the place of full surrender and began to use the many Scriptures that I had memorized as a child to teach me more and more of Himself. It is through this renewal period that I began to have opportunities opened before me to take some trips to Africa, starting in Ghana, West Africa. This is where I first realized the joy of opening the Scripture and expounding the truth found within. On that trip, I was able to step across the border for a couple of days into the country of Togo.
Upon my return to the States, I met a Togolese man at Bible college who was studying and planning on going back to his home country. I was intrigued by his closeness to Jesus and his dependence upon God the Father to meet his needs. He was instrumental in helping me in my walk with God, and I consider him a wonderful friend. It was through the year spent in Togo with this co-laborer in the ministry that God showed me that Togo was where He wanted me to begin spending my life proclaiming Jesus. I truly see God working through what He does through His Gospel going forth in Togo, impacting West Africa and the rest of the world. I look forward to proclaiming Jesus and His salvation, planting churches, and partnering with established churches to evangelize and disciple the lost in Togo.
Hi, I am Robert Wilson, and this is my story . . .
I was born and raised in South Chicago. I grew up in a single-family home with my mother and brethren. When I was five years old, our family was reached through the Bus Ministry of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. We were first invited by two lady bus workers, Miss June and Miss Roxanne. We lived in Canaryville, and our bus route was 103. My first bus captain was Bro. Ken St. John.
When I was seven years old, our family moved to Hammond specifically so I could attend Hammond Baptist Schools. (There was no City Baptist School in those days.) My mom kept me faithfully in church and Christian school all my young life.
When I was 17 years old, God called me to be a missionary to Mexico one night during my personal devotions. This was a very definite and specific calling, hence why this verse is on my prayer card, “. . . to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world . . . .” I was a senior in high school.
The next year, I enrolled in Hyles-Anderson College, where I later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pastoral theology and then a master’s degree in education with school administration. My sweetheart also graduated with two degrees from Hyles-Anderson College: secondary education and secretarial. We were married in 2000 in my wife´s hometown of Brooklyn, New York.
We started our deputation in 2001. We presented our ministry in 228 churches in 28 months. In 2003, we moved to Mexico, where we spent our first two years working under the ministry of Dr. Tommy Ashcraft in Monterrey, Mexico.
In 2005, we left for Guadalajara, Mexico, to start our own church. After much prayer, we started our first church, Iglesia Bautista Monte Calvario (Mount Calvary Baptist Church) in a rented facility on the east side of Guadalajara. In 2010, we purchased a property, which we have been renovating ever since.
We plan to stay at this church, making it our “hub” church and from here, send out pastors and missionaries. This is what we have done. We sent one of our men, Misael Meza, to take a pastorate in Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico. At the same time, one of our ladies went to Thailand as a missionary. A man from our church, Arturo Zavalete, went out to start a church on the other side of our city. We started another new church half an hour away from our first church, Iglesia Bautista Monte Sion (Mount Zion Baptist Church). I am now pastoring two churches.
Other ministries we have include an extensive outreach ministry. We run our vans and sometimes double-run them to pick up people for our first church. We then use them to pick up for our second church. We minister in several different rehabilitation centers in our city. Our young people play instruments and sing, and I preach. We also hold weekly open-air meetings. Many members are involved, and we gain many new prospects for our churches. I also allow our young people to preach in these meetings to gain experience. We also have an extensive music ministry, with several young people playing and learning various instruments.
I was privileged, for most of my life, to have lived in a Christian home. It is no surprise then that at a young age, I made the decision to get saved and baptized, but I couldn’t remember and probably didn’t understand why I wanted to be saved. So, on June 25, 2003, at the age of 13, I truly got saved and accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour. Since that day, I have lived my life knowing, without a doubt, that I’m going to Heaven when I die.
In 2004 and 2005, I took missions trips to Mexico, which really opened my eyes as to how the Gospel needs to be preached around the world. It was in 2005 that I made a public decision in my church to be a missionary. Initially, I thought that I could be a missionary to Mexico or the Philippines: Mexico, because that was where I first saw the need to be a missionary, and the Philippines, because that is where my mother is from. From 2008-2012, I went to Hyles-Anderson College and got a bachelor’s degree in missions. During my time at Hyles-Anderson College, I started praying for the missionaries in the Philippines while attending a Missions Prayer Meeting every week. It was there that God called me to go to the Philippines.
My family and I are an integral part of an already established church in the Philippines. Our church is currently meeting in a five-room house, where we set up 180 chairs inside and outside for our services. We are looking forward to constructing our own church building where everyone can fit inside under one roof. We are currently in the process of filing the paperwork and obtaining the right permits to start construction on a new church building.
We have two chapels established in our town, which were started by two of our Bible college graduates, and we will soon be starting a third chapel in the next town. One chapel has built their own meeting place, and the second chapel is raising money to build their own meeting place too. In addition to our chapels, our church holds three weekly home Bible studies and over a dozen Bible-extension classes for children, which are held all over town. The biggest ministry our church has is our Tent Revival Ministry. Every year we hold a three-day Tent Revival, and we see thousands saved! Unfortunately, 2020 was the last year that we had our Tent Revival because of the 100% increase in public-transportation fares and the COVID restrictions placed upon mass gatherings