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© First Baptist Church of Milford.

Modern Africa

Interview with Dave & Maggie Barnhouse

God burdened the hearts in our church to step in and work with the people there.
 |  Dave & Maggie Barnhouse  |  Africa

Can you give us some background information on you and your family, and how God led you to the place where you serve today?

My name is Dave Barnhouse. I am 42 years old and my wife, Maggie, is 39 years old. We have five children: Jonathan, 18 yrs; Nathanael, 16 yrs; Emily, 12 yrs; Steven 2 yrs; and David, 11 months. For the past 10 years I have been pastoring Slippery Rock Baptist Church in Slippery Rock, PA. God has blessed and allowed us to be a part of many amazing things. Shortly after I became pastor, we began taking missions’ trips. We’ve gone from the Arctic Circle, to Haiti, to the Dominican Republic, to Honduras, and most recently to Africa. A group of men from our church visited a missionary in Zambia and fell in love with the people and the work. Very shortly after our trip, that missionary left the field and the ministry in Zambia had no leadership. God burdened the hearts in our church to step in and work with the people there. Over the past three years, there have been groups from our church travel over there on nine different occasions. In October of last year, on a return flight from one of these trips, God began to give me a burden to move to Zambia and work with the people full time. My wife and I began to pray earnestly about this, wanting God to make His way clear to us in an unmistakable way. Within a very short time we were amazed at the very evident answers to these prayers. In May of 2011, I talked to the people in a Sunday evening service, sharing the burden of our hearts and resigning the church to begin the process of deputation.

What new challenges have you experienced that you didn’t experience before?

After being a pastor for the past 20 years, and being on the receiving end of hundreds of missionary calls, the greatest challenge to me is being on the other end of the phone, the one making the calls to request meetings.

How well have you adjusted to the culture?

I have learned a lot from the past five times I have been to Zambia, and look forward to the opportunity of working with the bush people to learn even more upon our return.

What is the most influential religion in the area you are working, and what unique challenge does that present?

While there are many religions that have an influence in Zambia, the greatest challenge is the attempt to blend traditional tribal worship with Christianity.

How will you go about evangelizing the people you are trying to reach?

We have many opportunities for ministry in Zambia. We have done village to village outreach in the evenings, Bible Institute, widows’ outreach and Family Conference. We will be able to do programs in the local schools, as well as working with the children in the orphanage.

What methods will you use to train and disciple the new converts?

We are currently using a discipleship program that is tailored to the needs of the bush people, and are training the pastors and grounded church members to disciple new converts.

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