We began our international ministries in 1967 as members of OMF International, initially for one year in Singaporean and Malaysian churches while preparing to serve in Indonesia, and then in Indonesian churches and Bible colleges. After these years we were called to serve two Sydney churches. Following seven years in the pastorate, we joined Operation Mobilisation and served for 15 years as trainers and encouragers of Christian workers, especially in Europe and Australia. Since April 2003, we have been serving together as a family partnership under the name Equip & Encourage International.
The name Equip & Encourage International describes our calling:
- Equip . . . to equip, teach and train God’s servants
- Encourage . . . to encourage, edify, counsel and mentor His servants and people
- International . . . to exercise these ministries among His servants internationally, including national Christian leaders and cross-cultural Christian workers
11 He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, 13 until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ. (Eph.4:11-12 New Living Translation)
11 For I long to visit you so I can share a spiritual blessing with you that will help you grow strong in the Lord. 12 I’m eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other. (Romans 1:11-12 NLT)
2 Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. (2 Tim.4:2 NLT)
28 So everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ. We warn them and teach them with all the wisdom God has given us, for we want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. 29 I work very hard at this, as I depend on Christ’s mighty power that works within me. (Col.1:28-29 NLT)
God’s servants face many unexpected challenges, stresses and temptations. Missionaries and Christian workers tend to be looked upon as being mature spiritually and emotionally, and able to face any circumstance or trial in their ministries. But often they are unprepared to go through such trials, and can struggle with perfectionistic and idealistic expectations from home and supporting churches as well as from mission leaders.
Whereas God has instructed all of His people, including His workers, to encourage and counsel one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to admonish and comfort one another. When we choose to follow God’s way, we are much better equipped to discern and confront the attacks and lies of the enemy, and also to persevere in our ministries, and to grow in godliness through the struggles and trials we inevitably face.
With these different needs and the teaching of God’s Word in view, we believe God has called us to a ministry of equipping and encouraging His workers, whomever He brings into our lives. It is our hope and prayer that through our ministries, God’s servants will become increasingly effective in their work for God and also strong in heart, maturing in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God has prepared us for our present ministries …
- Through the spiritual lessons learned and still being learned in God’s training school of life as well as ministry experiences in different world cultures
- Through equipping us with various spiritual and ministry gifts for the building up of His people
- Through the example and training imparted to us by men and women of God in Christian colleges:
- Frieda: Northwestern College, Minneapolis, USA (BA, missions & music)
- Graham: Wheaton College (BA, history), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Th., Practical Studies/Missions), all in the USA
- Through the experiences of raising four children
We aim, by God’s grace, to motivate and teach God’s servants . . .
- To keep growing in their Christian walk
- To exercise their ministries with increasing effectiveness and depth
- To develop relationships with fellow-workers that reflect the character of Christ
We equip & encourage God’s servants . . .
- Through writing emails and letters, and counselling by phone/Skype
- Through writing relevant articles and books
- Through participating in missionary training courses
- Through inviting God’s servants to visit us in our home
- Through pastoral ministries in our home church
- Through national workers’ conferences, seminars and Bible colleges
- Through one on one personal ministry with these national workers and missionaries
- Through ministries at mission team retreats
- Through preaching and teaching God’s Word in churches
We believe strongly in serving in close partnership with our home church, our supporters and prayer partners, and our team of advisors . . .
- Community Church, Hornsby (Sydney) . . . our home church since 1983, and the church we pastored from 1983-88
- Intercessors / prayer partners . . . friends from around the world, our co-labourers through prayer
- Supporters . . . a group of God’s people (individuals, families and churches in several different countries) who give generously and sacrificially towards our ministries
- Advisory & Accountability Partners . . . a small group of wise, mature and godly men and women to whom we look for advice and practical support
An OM field leader:
“I have personally been greatly challenged and encouraged by times spent together with Graham and Frieda as I often felt they were someone who really understood the mission issues we face every day.”
A missionary (serving in Europe):
“Thank you very much for the time you had for me. I really appreciated all you said, your openness, your wisdom, your insights. I was surprised when you asked just the right questions at the beginning and we were right there about what I really wanted to talk about. I want to tell you both that this visit really refreshed me, encouraged me. Thank you very much and I think I went home differently.”
A Russian pastor:
“We are grateful to you for your open, loving hearts and for that time which you have given us. God has plentifully blessed us through you.”