Our Journey to Missionary Work: A Leap of Faith

A Leap of Faith

Hello! We are Rex and Jenny Childerhouse, and we’ve been married for 54 years. Currently, we reside in Katikati, New Zealand, but our story takes us back to our first missionary calling. 

The Call to Papua New Guinea

Our journey began when God called us to serve in Papua New Guinea at Dowley Teachers College in the highlands. I, Rex, was asked to be the Registrar of the college, while Jenny managed the radio station.

Watch the full story below.

A Table Full of History

The table you see before you has a deep family significance. My grandfather, one of the first Baptist male missionaries to India, bought this table during his honeymoon in Calcutta in 1898. Handcrafted with hammer and nails by a local artisan, this table has been with our family ever since. Jenny even wrote a book about our family’s experiences around this table.

Initial Resistance to Missionary Work

Growing up, my mother was heavily involved in mission work, dragging me to meetings and introductions to elderly missionary ladies. This exposure initially put me off missionary work. However, one evening at church, I lost an argument about who would attend a missionary meeting and ended up going. During the meeting, the speaker discussed how God could use one's existing skills in missions. Suddenly, I felt a strong nudge from God telling me He wanted to use me.

Overcoming Doubts

I was filled with doubts. How would Jenny feel? Would our church support us? Could I, with my slight dyslexia, handle Bible College? When I shared my feelings with Jenny, she was surprisingly open to the idea. The next day, I called a mission agency to inquire about qualifications and training. The response was clear: "Rex, God's calling you. We can use you as you are."

Church Support

At that time, our church, Tamatea Baptist Church, was praying for someone from within to support and send out on missions. As a deacon, I was part of these prayers, not realizing we were the answer. When we approached the church leadership, they were delighted and fully supportive. The mission agency confirmed that they could use us as we were.

Extending Our Mission

Initially, we committed to a two-year term in Papua New Guinea. Near the end of this period, the mission agency asked us to manage a children's hostel, a task I was reluctant to accept. Despite my negative response, our supporters back home were encouraging and willing to continue their support, so we agreed.

Managing the hostel meant commuting on rough roads between the hostel and the college. One day, I hit a pothole that caused significant damage to our vehicle. In frustration, I surrendered to God, asking for forgiveness and help. Immediately, I felt a sense of peace and managed to drive home with a renewed sense of purpose.

Faith Promise

Our church played a significant role in our journey through a program called Faith Promise. They challenged the congregation to ask God how much they should give towards missions. This initiative provided the financial and spiritual support we needed to continue our work.

Reflecting on Our Journey

Looking back, our path to missionary work was filled with doubts, challenges, and moments of surrender. Yet, through it all, we experienced God's guidance and the unwavering support of our church community. We are grateful for the journey and the impact it has had on our lives and those we served.


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