Extending a Church Planting Legacy
"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'” (Revelation 7.9-10, ESV)
I grew up in the nations.
My first memories begin in Costa Rica as our family prepared to move to the small country of Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. As my parents pioneered a church planting movement on the island I learned to seek the presence of the Lord surrounded by people from divergent nationalities and diverse people groups. I heard the Word of God preached in English, Spanish and French. I sang songs to the glory and majesty of God in numerous tribal languages. I raised my hands in worship with people from Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana. I knelt at the altar, surrendering my life to Christ, surrounded by men, women and children from the Fang, Bubi, Combe and Annabonese people groups.
And that’s where my call began. That’s where the vision for my life began to unfold.
I was called to cross dangerous oceans in pursuit of the nearness of Jesus my Lord, to see broken men, women and children, people made in the image of God meet with Jesus the Messiah who transforms and redeems.
It was in Africa that I began pursuing this call, pastoring a fellowship of believers in Kenya. Again, our faces and life stories represented the nations as we worshiped together from America and South Korea, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo and Chad.
I came back to the United States for university, where I met my wife, and we began pastoring in Virginia before returning to Africa to begin a new church planting movement.
I grew up in a place that had a heart for the nations. I was given the privilege of being led by Godly parents in a church that nurtured and developed my calling to reach the unreached, to go to those who haven’t had that privilege to hear the name of Jesus and respond to His love and saving grace.
Through my church I was able to see young children give their hearts to the Lord on the verdant mountainsides of Peru. I have experienced the seas of humanity in Northern India, where still so many have never heard the Good News of Jesus the Messiah. My passion became to see unreached peoples reached with the Gospel.
I decided to go to college and receive my degree in intercultural communication and in doing so met my wonderful husband. The Lord has guided us through ministry in the Richmond area to moving our family to Northeast Africa to begin reaching the unreached in the Sahara desert.
In Northeastern Africa we saw men, women and children give their hearts and lives to Jesus as their Lord. Not only did they give verbal ascent to a Sovereign God who is Love, but through the baptism of water and fire have taken up their cross to follow Jesus. Many of these heroes of the faith have been beaten, imprisoned and threatened with death but they place the cross squarely on their shoulders and continue to plant new churches in fertile soil for the glory of God.
"If you’ve ever wondered what the future of missions looks like, you need look no further than Brett & Elise Deal. In an increasingly complex world, they are passionate, committed and experienced soul winners."
- John Merrell, Executive Director of Oral Learners Initiative