Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to our new students through short interviews. The first student couple I decided to interview was Brad and Stephanie. Stephanie is someone I knew very well growing up. In fact, from around grade nine through high school and Bible School, we were together and at times, inseparable. It is a cool thing to be able to reconnect after all these years and see my childhood friend prepare to serve the Lord on the mission field.

Brad and Stephanie have been married five years and have a new son, Jason. They call Steinbach, Manitoba home. Stephanie is an MK. Her parents and her brother’s family also work with New Tribes Mission.

The interview went as follows:

Could you tell me a bit about yourselves? How did you hear about missions and what made your realize it was what the Lord was asking you to do?

Stephanie – *giggles* I was born into it. Growing up here at the training centre, missions was my life. Realizing that the Lord was asking me to go myself was a slow process. It started in grade eleven. We were asked to write a paper on a profession, and since I have wanted to be a teacher since I was very young, I decided to write on that. I included missionary teaching in the paper and through that the Lord began to open my eyes to the need. I began to think, ‘If I am going to be a teacher anyway, I might as well be a missionary teacher.’ Slowly that progressed during teacher college. I realized that my heart was really for tribal church planting and not for teaching.

Brad – In 2005 I came here (NTMC Durham) on a missions trip to help with a building program. This was my first introduction to missions, and meeting the staff here and speaking with them was really neat. It wasn’t something I thought about for myself until much later though, after getting to know Ed Esau and Stephanie and spending a lot of time talking that I realized that this was what I wanted to do.

What did you do before coming here to train?

Stephanie – I worked as a Load Administrator for the Credit Union in Steinbach.

Brad – I was a Saw Operator at a steel mill.

Has this transition been hard for you? For your family and friend back home?

Stephanie –For our family who lives here, it was exciting, but the move has been very hard. We were very involved in our church and had a lot of really close friends, so leaving them has been very difficult. Leaving Brad’s family has been very difficult as well. We are very close with them and having Jason has only made the move more difficult for them and for us.

Do you have an idea of where you would like to serve after you finish with Emanate?

Brad – We are open. We have Thailand on our minds but we just want to be open to wherever our skills will be most useful. We hope it will become more clear as we train.

Stephanie – Brad has always been interested in Thailand, even before he knew much about missions. One thing that draws me to Thailand is that there are not a lot of spiders there. *laughs* We were able to spend some time in Thailand visiting a friend, and we really loved it there.

What are you most looking forward to about the training here at Emanate?

Stephanie – Gaining confidence. I feel totally unprepared and I hope to feel more prepared when we finish.

Brad – I am looking forward to learning new skills, tips on language learning, work program, etc.

What, if anything, are you most nervous about?

Brad- Maybe jungle camp. I don’t know how to build so that will be a challenge.

Stephanie – For me, it’s trying to find a balance. Balancing being a new mom and homework and everything that is new.

How can we be praying for you during your time at Emanate?

Stephanie – That God would direct us to what he wants us to do. We are here, but everything else is an unknown including our finances after this first semester. It will be interesting to see how He provides.

Brad and Stephanie