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New Workers to North Africa

By Lydia Gingerich

Eugene and Katrina, along with their two children Jimmy (toddler) and Lucy* (infant) are sent by Millport Mennonite Church, Frontiers, and RMM to North Africa to learn language and build relationships with a vision to cultivate a movement to Jesus among an unreached people group.

God's call on my life is no different than any other believer out there. I believe that when you look at scripture there is no way around the call to ‘go and make disciples,’ that could be your next door neighbor, your coworker, or a group of people in North Africa.”

For Eugene and his wife Katrina, the question was never whether or not they would share the message of the gospel with those around them, but where and how. After living out this call in many different ways and places, they have committed to doing so for at least three years in North Africa as a part of RMM’s team, beginning January 2017.

For the first two years, Eugene and Katrina plan to focus on learning the local language and culture. Eugene says, “We hope to build relationships even in the learning stage... This is an educational time for us but we also see it as ministry.” As they discover how to live in this country, they will also be working towards starting a business which will create natural and long-term connections with local people as coworkers, customers, and associates. Eugene and Katrina are working with Rosedale Business Group to create a business plan for this endeavor.

“I believe that when you look at scripture there is no way around the call to ‘go and make disciples,’ that could be your next door neighbor, your coworker, or a group of people in North Africa.”Eugene and Katrina were both influenced by their previous experiences overseas, and they are using some of the lessons they learned to prepare for their work in North Africa. After spending a year with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Discipleship Training School in Australia, and then outreach in Indonesia and Cambodia, Eugene was challenged to look at missions as building relationships and forming strong connections. He learned how to work across cultures and come together over common interests and shared activity. He is excited to see how God will work through these friendships and says that for him “there is no greater joy than to see a person be changed by Christ.”

For Katrina, living overseas has helped her see both the struggles and joys of this kind of work. She spent two years in North Africa under RMM, and she looks forward to returning with her family. Katrina is excited about the opportunities she will have befriending North African women. She says, “God's call to me is to minister to women, I especially have a heart for those who have little or no access to the truth of who Jesus is. I love visiting with women and oral storying - telling Jesus stories that can then be retold to others. I long to see movements of multiplying believers take place in North Africa and elsewhere.”

Both Eugene and Katrina know that there are many challenges ahead of them. There could be frustrating days and nights in the next few months as they study a new language. They could face difficulty gaining acceptance as foreigners in their community. They might struggle to find time to take care of their children and home as well as visiting with locals. But they know that in each trial, God will be there to assist and to provide his peace.

This couple is motivated by a deep longing to see people put their hope in Jesus Christ. “The real reason for going is the people. We will be working to build relationships with the locals by having them in our home, by having conversations with them in the marketplace, and by sitting with them in their coffee shops. We desire that this people group will turn to the Lord and live in relationship with Him.”

Please pray for Eugene and Katrina and their two children as they settle into their new home:

• They would find a tutor for language learning
• Their children would be at peace with all the transitions
• God-appointed connections with key people