This past week I had an opportunity to interview Cam, another of the new Emanate students. It is always neat to see single men choosing to serve the Lord on the mission field and hearing their stories of how the Lord led them here.

Hi, Cam. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you hear about missions/NTM and what made you realize that this was what you should do?

I grew up going to a church in Mount Forest, the same church that Marg Jank grew up in. Since it is close [to the Emanate campus] lots of New Tribes missionaries would come through, so I always knew about NTM.

Every year our church did a missions conference and one year they worked with the church library. We could earn team points for every missionary book we read. I got really exposed through all of these biographies, and it was then that I decided that this is what I wanted to do. This wasn’t really acceptable to my family, though, so over time I started saying that I wanted to be a teacher, or something like that, and eventually, I started to believe it.

I didn’t take my faith seriously in high school. Nearing the end, I started looking at my Christian friends and it became very evident that there were two groups [of Christians] with different goals; I could choose two different ways to live. I was trying to straddle them both. I picture a cartoon and the guy is trying to straddle the wings of two different planes and the planes keep going further away from each other. I realized it wasn’t really going to work. I needed to pick one, so I started to take my faith seriously and decided to go to Bible school.

I went to Bible school [at Word of Life in Ontario] for a year and loved it, but when I finished, I knew I couldn’t afford to do anything but work, so I came home and got a job in a factory which was good. After a year, I went back for a second year of Bible school with Word of Life in New York, which was really good as well. It was much more missions focused in New York, and I started getting missions back on my mind. It didn’t make sense to do anything else.

I got into a program where I would go to Brazil and earn my degree through two years of missions work, but I began to feel that I would be using God to get a degree instead of doing the work to serve God, so I withdrew from the program and came home for another year of working. A week later, I was laid off from that job. That Sunday I was approached about going on a week long missions trip to Chile and decided to go. After buying the ticket, I got a call with a job offer. The company was willing to let me work for the week before I left and was flexible about my trip and letting me come back after. It was really neat to see how God was providing for everything along the way.

When I came back, I looked at New Tribes, but it was so close and I knew everything about it, which wasn’t a strike against, but I figured I should look into other mission organizations before deciding. After looking around, I realized that New Tribes was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. The move would be easy, and I could still be involved in my home church.

Has this transition been hard for you or your family and friends at home?

Um, maybe a little bit simply because I have always been one of the older people in any circle I have been in, and now I am the opposite side of the spectrum. I am the youngest person in the training. I am not married, and I don’t have kids. That hasn’t been bad, though. It’s taught me to be more intentional in my relationships. I don’t have kids to “use” to get to know people, so if I want to get to know people I need to be very aware of their schedules for their kids. It’s been neat to go through that.

As far as family, some of them don’t really understand what I am doing. Most of my family isn’t saved so they are a little worried…

Do you have an idea of how and where you would like to serve after you finish training?

Well, I would like to do something with Bible translation and church planting but beyond that… I have a couple broad regions that I am interested in like South America, but no, I don’t really know where and am waiting for God to show me.

What are you most looking forward to about training?

I am looking forward to Jungle Camp. It should be fun. I am also looking forward to the language classes, how that works, and how to translate something so that the meaning comes across without being distorted by the culture or anything. I find that really interesting.

What are you most dreading about the training? (if anything)

Shoveling snow in the winter. [laughs]

How can we be praying for you as you begin your training here at Emanate?

Pray for wise time management, that I would be intentional in not just my ministry at my home church but with the people here on campus and in the community, and that God would provide financially as well because I don’t have that whole thing figured out yet.