Ordinary People

Krista and Justin

By Heidi Thulin
On Field Media

Leading a TIMO team in a Muslim town in central Chad wasn’t originally on Krista’s agenda. Born in Kenya to missionary parents (her great-great grandmother started the legacy in 1907), she felt comfortable on the eastern part of the continent. While she attended an American university, though, she met her husband, Justin, a missionary kid from Nigeria, and together, they decided to go where few people ventured. Krista says, “We thought that maybe by being missionary kids, God had better prepared us to be in the hard places.”

Chad, with its sandy, scrub-brush terrain and its temperatures hovering around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, definitely is a hard place. “You learn to live with the heat,” she says. “We have a screened-in back veranda that we sleep in…[and] six little solar fans that we line up for everybody at the end of our cots. [Inside the house,] we don’t have doors, just curtains hanging through the middle and windows on all sides so we can get air through.”

Despite the lack of modern comforts, Krista seems unfazed. “Every ministry has its own difficulties,” she says. “It’s a joy of ours to be there…because this is what God has called us to and we enjoy it. The relationships [with the people] are so important and are what keep us there.” And it’s true. Their local neighbors have heartily welcomed her family into the community ever since they arrived in that town three years ago. Almost daily, Krista sits cross-legged on her friends’ living room rugs and shares tea, or two months out of the year a fresh salad, with them. “All of us young moms…just sit there on the mat and talk about life and our kids,” she explains. “Then of course, religion comes up. And it’s so easy, because their whole lives are wrapped around Islam.”

The peoples’ openness and curiosity has given Justin, Krista, and their teammates the boldness to proclaim the gospel in that town, and as a result, eight people from the local community have recently accepted Christ as their Savior. “It’s amazing!” Krista exclaims. “There are people who have been in places over twenty years and have seen nothing [happen]. I believe God has honored our steps in being so disciplined in our prayers.”

The prayers and the journey do not end there, though. Their TIMO teammates recently returned to their home countries, but Krista’s family will spend another year in Chad to disciple and encourage the new believers. It will be a challenge, but it is one they greatly anticipate. “We’ve encouraged them to continue meeting together as a family and to study God’s word together,” she says. “We don’t want it to be a church that we are leading. We want them to start this church.”

After eight years on the field, Krista and Justin thank God for their ministry’s longevity and for helping their family call Chad their home. “We come [to Nairobi] where there’s so much more variety in the food we can get and so many different fun things to do, and yet, ” she laughs, “our son comes up to us and says, ‘I just miss Chad.’”

 

Ordinary People: Krista

Jul 1, 2015 | Articles, By OFM, Central Region, Ordinary People

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