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GRN: How did you become involved in missions?
Dave: At age eleven I wanted to commit suicide. I was in a closet with a gun pointed at my head, when a Bible verse I had learned came vividly to my mind: "You are MY workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which I prepared beforehand that you should walk in them (Eph. 2;10)." I put the gun down. I knew He wanted me to be a missionary. At the time I assumed it would be in the Amazon jungle basin of Brazil.
Gail: I gave my life to the Lord at seventeen and he directed me to New Tribes Mission (NTM) through their Bible School and a short term trip to Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa. I took the NTM training, and additional linguistics training. I spent almost 4 years in Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa. We worked briefly in a tribe on the coast, then north to the Komono for the rest of the term.
GRN: Where did you two meet?
Gail: I met Dave On furlough in Oregon. He was taking the NTM training.
Dave: After high school, I attended Spokane Bible College, now Moody NW. My pastor told me to check out NTM.
GRN: Where did you begin your ministry together?
Dave: God directed us to Papua New Guinea instead of to Brazil. We filled in where needed-in the bush, in Wewak town, and in the capital Moresby running the guest house. I'm a people-person and evangelist at heart, so I witnessed in the trade language Melanesian Tok Pigin.
GRN: Where did you go next?
Dave: The visa wasn't there to return, so we spent four years in the USA. We accepted a pastorate in NE Washington State, one of the least churched counties in the country. Some precious people were saved during that period.
GRN: How did you hear about GRN?
Dave: I spent many days and weeks hiking with national pastors and others around PNG. I found many groups who had the Bible translated in their languages, but when I asked if they read it, they said they did not! They don't read it because they are oral communicators. God led us to find GRN on the web, and as we learned of its work we were more and more excited.
GRN: Where is your current assignment?
Dave: We are in Vanuatu, a South Pacific nation made up of over eighty islands, about two thousand miles east of Australia, recording languages. From there we hope to minister in other South Pacific countries - Lord willing!
GRN: What are some of the challenges you face in your recording work?
Dave: Transportation is our top challenge. Getting to some of these islands to record is a real challenge! Air Vanuatu flies to many of these places, but the airfare is increasingly expensive and flights are sometimes cancelled. The baggage allowance is prohibitive too with the recording equipment and supplies to last a week in a remote area. Boats are a bit more plentiful, but schedules, weather, overcrowding of passengers all make it harder.
Gail: There are fewer missionaries in Vanuatu and virtually no support network. We can feel overwhelmed at times as we get to do most everything-and that takes time!
GRN: Are the people responsive to the gospel?
Dave: It's a challenge to help them understand the true meaning of the gospel. Many in Vanuatu are 'churched' but most are confused as to salvation through faith alone in Christ, and not works or religion.
GRN: Do you have a family?
Gail: We have two sons Jonathan and Seth.