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Interview with Allan and Sue Starling
GRN: How long have you served with GRN?
Allan: Sue and I have been with the mission since 1962.
Sue: We both joined at the same time, but worlds apart. Allan was in South Africa preparing to study at the Bible Institute of South Africa, and I was in Canada, finishing at Prairie Bible School.
GRN: How did you hear about GRN?
Sue: A friend gave me the book, Faith by Hearing that tells the story of Gospel Recordings. It touched my heart and gave me the vision of sharing the Good News around the world while helping in the home office.
Allan: At a meeting in Cape Town, the scheduled speaker couldn't make it so they asked a visitor from Gospel Recordings in Los Angeles to share. I had heard the name, Gospel Recordings, previously but had a wrong concept of what it was all about. As the speaker showed slides from around the world of people hearing the Good News on recordings, God spoke to me and I knew without a doubt that this would be my life's work.
GRN: How did you come to the USA, Allan?
Allan: I worked in the GRN office in Cape Town for a year. Then GRN asked me to come to what was then the headquarters in Los Angeles for six months. That's where I met Sue. Later, GRN asked me to stay permanently.
GRN: What do you enjoy the most about working at GRN?
Allan: I really like the fact that we are not in competition with anyone, and we all have the same goals. It's more than a job. It's a ministry.
GRN: What is your passion?
Sue: I have the gift of Helps. I love to help wherever I can serve in the hospitality area by sharing our home and meals with friends, family and GRN guests.
Allan: My passion is to help get the gospel to the small groups of people in isolated places who have never heard the story of Jesus in their own languages.
GRN: Allan, you must've filled many roles during your time at GRN
Allan: Among other things, I've worked in the South African and USA offices, helped in the production or phonograph records and players, and served as Field Coordinator, International Coordinator, and USA Board member.
GRN: You've been involved in a number of firsts at GRN, haven't you?
Allan: I introduced and programmed the first GRN computer (before the PC era); produced the first GRN database; implemented our priority system for recording and distribution; wrote the first constitution for GRN; organized our Language Tracking Department and pioneered the use language maps in GRN. I coined a few phrases along the way, like "Tailenders" for those at the end of the line for spiritual resources, and our "Words of Life" series of scripts.
GRN: What other projects have you done?
Allan: I've written and edited several books and magazine articles. My website, www.yourworldfacts.net/ and video series, Around Your World are designed to help Christians who currently have little or no knowledge of, or interest in missions. I help the USA office in a number of areas like editing. Much of this work is done from my home.
GRN: Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Allan: Isaiah 55:8, 9 reminds us that "God's ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours and my thought than yours." This has been true in my life. For instance, I thought I would be in Cape Town to the end of my days. Initially, I didn't want to live in America, but I'm very happy here. I'm a stay-at-home kind of person, but I've lost track of the number of countries I've visited for GRN.
GRN: Do you have a special prayer request?
Sue: Pray that we would "walk worthy of the calling with which we were called" (Eph. 4:1)
Allan: Jesus said, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields" (Luke 10:2.) Pray especially for Christians who can be trained to travel to distant places and make recordings for those who would not otherwise hear the Good News.