Charles Barnes writes today about those who are being sent out from Idaho Falls:
1. Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson is a high school student at Watersprings School and a member of the worship team of Eagle Rock Vineyard. Over Spring Break, Joe is going to Guatemala on a mission trip, associated with Potter’s Field Ministries, which has a permanent outreach ministry near Antiqua. Joe and his classmates will be involved in construction projects, helping prepare the facility for Holy Week (which is celebrated for 3 weeks), helping teach English in some classrooms, and using his music skills in ministering to children. Joe hopes to raise a total of $800 by March 8 (he leaves a week later); you can learn more, see his progress and contribute at https://www.gofundme.com/7fseu5a4.
2. Mitch and Amanda Chaplin
Mitch Chaplin was the only Christian in his family until a few months ago. God brought together Mitch from Nova Scotia, and Amanda, from Idaho Falls via Boise and then Alaska, joined them in marriage in Michigan, and after a number of years of training and preparation, is now sending them to disciple and encourage a new generation to become missionaries to unreached peoples. Mitch and Amanda have hearts to serve and enthusiasm to take the gospel where it hasn’t gone.
While Mitch’s family was marginally involved with the United Church of Canada, Mitch did not hear a clear presentation of the gospel until the summer after 7th grade. A group from North Carolina had come north to Nova Scotia to do a summer Vacation Bible School. Much older than the kids that came to the VBS, Mitch hung out with the staff and from them heard the gospel and responded.
In high school he became friends with Christians who went to different churches, and this group would make the rounds of going to several church youth groups each week. A leader of one of the youth groups joined New Tribes Mission and was headed to Brazil, and he encouraged Mitch to go to a NTM Bible School after graduating from high school, and even took him to visit the school.
Amanda spent the early years of her life in Idaho Falls, and most of her relatives are LDS. Some are still very committed Mormons, others marginal. When Amanda was very young, a man her dad worked with invited her parents to go to a concert in Idaho Falls. The concert turned out to be a revival meeting, and they both responded to the invitation to be saved. Amanda’s family moved to the Boise area when she was 6 years old and she came to saving faith in Jesus while living in the Boise area at the age of 11. The family then moved to Alaska as she entered High School. It was there that she got plugged into a strong youth group, was mentored and discipled and where her heart for missions grew. As she heard missionaries share in her youth group, she knew that was what she wanted to do. After high school she attended Ecola Bible School in Cannon Beach, Oregon. One of the teachers there was a New Tribes missionary who shared about their 2 year Bible School (NTBI) and their Missionary Training Center.
Mitch and Amanda met at the New Tribes Bible Institute in Jackson, Michigan. New Tribes has a two year Bible Study program; following graduation Mitch and Amanda took time to work to pay off school debts and be involved in youth ministries. For a year and a half, they lived in Idaho Falls and were involved with Christ Community Church, helping with the youth program there. They also came back to Idaho Falls during the summers to help with mission trips of the Christ Community youth group.
During this period Mitch and Amanda desired to continue their training with New Tribes Mission, the next phase of which involved an 18-month program with courses in cross-cultural communication, church planting, and linguistics, and a 6 week “jungle camp” aimed at learning basic living skills needed in undeveloped areas of the world. These years prior to returning to school were a time God was teaching them to live by faith. Amanda had three miscarriages. And for a while they had doubts about their calling to missions, as people in their church in Canada, where they had been involved for many years, were hinting that the church may not give them any support. But support did come through to enable them to enroll in NTM’s Training Center in Ontario. During their time in Ontario, Amanda gave birth to a healthy daughter, Amy Grace, on May 2, 2014, just 4 short weeks before their Jungle Camp practicum began.
Mitch and Amanda completed the NTM Training program and jungle camp, spent some more time working to finish paying off school debts as well as beginning to raise their financial and prayer support team. They arrived in Idaho Falls early last month to continue to raise their support for working full time with New Tribes Mission. For their first 4-year term, they plan to return to the NTM Bible Institute in Michigan. While helping to run the cafeteria, they will be involved in discipling students and seeking to influence them to pursue further missionary training. This will also give Mitch time to gain US citizenship, so that then when they later go overseas it will be much easier making trips to both the US and Canada.
Mitch and Amanda expect to be in Idaho Falls until May and would love to share with you more about their lives and their calling. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more at http://mitchandamanda.com/.
And yes, Mitch says that he IS related to Charlie Chaplin!