MARY BETH THOMS (2015-2017)
On Sunday, August 2, 2015, Mary Beth Thoms joined WCAG as our second Missionary In Training.
Mary Beth grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While studying at Louisiana State University, God called her to be a missionary among unreached peoples. Upon receiving her B.A. in International Studies, she moved to Beirut, Lebanon. She served in an Arab church for six years and worked with the youth and children ministries. She returned to the U.S. to continue her studies at AGTS and will complete her M.A. in Intercultural Studies this summer.
The first six months of my term in the MIT program have already begun to challenge me and spark growth in many areas of my life. I have already completed a rotation with Adult Ministries and will soon finish my time with Youth Ministry. I also have been able to share about missions with the children’s ministry as well as be involved in church events. In addition, I am learning so much by participating in the daily workings of the church that everyday has become an opportunity to develop skills. The greatest part of my time has been building relationships with people in the church. I am so thankful for WCAG and the kindness and support that I have received from everyone. I am developing much more than skills, but also the relationships that make the journey enjoyable.
JOHN & JULIANA TILDEN (2013-2015)
Dear WCAG Family,
What a joy and truly a privilege to have filled the role of Missionary in Training at WCAG.
The Lord provided another year of great cross-cultural experiences. Juliana and I were blessed at the Farsi fellowship’s New Year outreach. The people were so nice, the food was so yummy and hearing prayer and worship in another language is always so overwhelming. From that outreach, I began to tutor two Iranian brothers in conversational English. Both brothers are Muslim, and each has aspirations of becoming medical doctors.
Another great group attended this year’s nine-week Islam class. I’m thankful for those that participated and pray that something learned will in some way be used for God’s Kingdom to come and the freedom in Christ that comes with it. The Lord continues to place on my heart a desire to help prepare the church in Missouri for the arrival of her new Islamic neighbors. My first post-WCAG opportunity happens in March. Missionary Andrew Austin and I will co-teach a short hour-long class on Islam. I’m so thankful for the experience of teaching the Islam class at West County and look forward to using this experience very soon.
2015 marks the year the Lord turned our family’s focus to the Bosniaks in St. Louis. Last fall we were approved as Missionary Associates to help Missionaries Andrew and Sheri Austin plant house churches among this Least Reached People Group. The transition to full-time focused work has been a little slow and difficult. To help with the finances I work an hourly job with a janitorial company called Centaur; they are known for employing Bosnians. The Tildens and Austins have been meeting for a weekly service at the Austins’ home. Up to this point, my contribution to our gatherings has been leading worship. Soon I will join Andrew in discipleship of a somewhat newly converted Christian.
Juliana and I are attempting to become full-time missionaries. The decision by U.S. Missions should be made by the middle of February 2016. Please pray the Lord’s will be done.
Thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives; we love you.
John, Juliana, Qorban and Matea