By Mike Gilland
Our American culture’s youth are often criticized for being selfish, self-indulgent, and ambitious. And, those criticisms are sometimes well-deserved. But – such sweeping generalizations are NOT representative of every young person in this great country, and I would like to introduce you to a young married couple that might just be the polar opposite to all of those unflattering descriptors.
Say hello to Stephen and Kelly White, now based in Orlando and working in a ministry called UNTO, a division of CRU (formerly Campus Crusade For Christ). Both Stephen and Kelly were college students when they felt a nudge from God to invest themselves in a different way – to help reach the unreached people groups in other parts of the world with the Gospel of Jesus. Stephen was a student at the University of Florida, while Kelly was at the University of Wisconsin. Soon, they both joined CRU and found themselves serving in two different countries in North Africa. While they were stationed far from either, they managed to meet at a conference…and that meeting turned into marriage a couple of years later. They both returned to the United States, and Stephen worked as an accountant and Kelly as a public school teacher.
But…that call on their hearts still beckoned…
They left their comfortable jobs to do something that demands daily faith. They began to raise support for their basic needs so that they could return to the mission field, helping unreached people through CRU’s “UNTO” ministry. The scope of UNTO is to relieve suffering, restore dignity and reveal the hope of Jesus in countries where people are starving both from lack of food and clean water.
And they are making a difference.
This group of dedicated missionaries go into these areas of the world, working with locals, teaching methods of irrigation, and helping provide the community with clean drinking water, something we in America take for granted every day.
Stephen and Kelly say that “We believe that living out the ‘Great Commandment’ is one of the most effective ways to help fulfil the ‘Great Commission’ so that no one is left without hearing the good news.”
Their dedication and faith inspire me.
If you would like to find out more about them, and ways that you might help them – and in so doing, helping those unreached people in other countries, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And God…thank You for young heroes who are making a difference.
Mike Gilland is Operations Manager for The Shepherd Radio Network, a group of radio stations in Florida that features the “Christian Teach/Talk” format. Mike hosts a daily talk radio show in the 2 PM hour called “Afternoons with Mike”, talking to local pastors and newsmakers. In Orlando, The Shepherd is heard on WIWA, AM 1270. In addition to his broadcast experience, Mike spent 36 years in full-time ministry as a pastor and worship leader. As a guitarist, Mike performs at concerts, restaurants, private parties, etc. He is married to Cindy, the father of four grown children and grandfather to seven grandchildren.