Paul and Connie have been enjoying the benefits of Kingdom-minded living for many years. In 1990, Paul was working with an indigenous mission group building chicken farms in Haiti when he met his wonderful, future wife, Connie. As they began to pursue God’s direction for their lives, Paul and Connie left Haiti, but their hearts continued beating for missions. For the next number of years, they dedicated their time and resources to their church, local and international organizations, sponsoring children and missionaries.
Because of this very intentional lifestyle of generous giving, their two daughters have been impacted to join Kingdom work. As very young girls, Keren and Rachel began their personal journeys on a family mission trip to the Adventure Learning Center in the Bahamas (founded by Randy and Kim Grebe who now serve with OM Ships www.omships.org!) Together, the family learned about other cultures, and the girls began to see a much bigger picture of God’s world. Keren and Rachel returned for summer mission trips to the ALC and went on during their high school years for outreaches to Nicaragua.
Paul and Connie were first introduced to OM many years ago by Harold and Amy Smit when they shared about missions in Keren’s 2nd grade class. Harold and Amy still serve full-time with OM Ships onboard the Logos Hope. From that first encounter, Paul and Connie have been committed supporters of the Ships ministry and get excited about the massive impact the ship has in areas where Christ is least known. Their most recent involvement with OM has been providing micro-loans as part of OM’s Business For Transformation (B4T) in Moldova. (See companion article on back page.) This program provides business training, mentoring and capital to assist Moldovans in starting their own business. This type of giving resonated with Paul and Connie after reading the book Hole In Our Gospel which really challenged Paul as a businessman to make the most impact with his gift.
Paul states, “There are so many opportunities in the mission world, and I wanted to find something that got my heart.” Connie continues, “We really wanted to make an impact and not always be in a place where a lot of people are already working.” They found what they were seeking through OM’s micro-loan outreach and focus on the unreached and marginalized, “The idea that I could give, that my giving continues to give to change somebody’s life and then changes a community and then comes back to give and give again, is like an absolute home run for a ministry opportunity, and as a business guy I connect with that.” He goes on to say, “When you see the idea of a business providing jobs in that same community, I see how you can really transform a village and a country through that – that is a massive impact and done on the foundation of Christ.”
Connie is excited about how God has used their blessings to share with others and the heritage of teaching their children to give of themselves. “In giving back, we are blessed, and we have the joy – it is not a burden. We try to figure out how we can give more and how we can get involved deeper. We must all live a life of gratefulness and share it.” Connie explains, “You won’t have to be on the ship or live in Africa, but you can support these people and the work they are doing.” The Youngs, however, do have plans one day take one or both of their daughters to Moldova to visit some of the men and women who now have the ability to stay at home with their children and elderly parents because of the micro-loans they received through OM. They want to see first-hand how these men and women are sharing richly in their community, to support their church and others, but mostly to be a witness to Christ for the next generation.