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Eve Brooks is a preschool teacher at Southside Early Childhood Center. She and her husband Mike moved back to the Lancaster area in 2010, but they weren’t coming from another county or even another state. The couple has been doing missionary work in other countries for the past 20 years, serving four years in Africa and 16 years in Indonesia.
“We left in 1990 and returned home on short furloughs to get our five children off to college,” she said. “I worked in the missions school as a speech/language pathologist for grades K-12, so I dealt with students of numerous nationalities. My husband is a pilot and would provide air transport for church leaders, flights in emergency situations, delivering translated Bibles and transporting medical supplies. The work we have been able to do as missionaries has really been a blessing.”
Africa was a war-torn country when Brooks and her husband were serving in Kenya. A movie called “Hotel Rwanda” was released in 2004 and chronicled the awful true story of what happened in that country in 1994 due to genocide.
“It was such a terrible time, and I feel very fortunate that we were able to help,” she said. “My husband flew in to take missionaries out of the area. While we were in Kenya we were able to deliver translated Bibles to the people, and my husband was delivering medicines for cholera. The funny thing is, we were only supposed to be in Africa six months when we got there in 1990. We were supposed to leave there and go to Afghanistan, but for some reason, we were never able to get permission to go in. After four years, we still couldn’t get into Afghanistan, and we went to Indonesia.”
Brooks said Indonesia has one of the largest Islamic populations, so as Christian missionaries they had their work cut out for them. According to the CIA website, www.worldfactbook.com, the number of Muslims in the country stands at 86.1 percent.
“To have the opportunity to share the love of Christ in that culture was a tremendous blessing,” she said. “And to work with those people to get Bibles translated into their language is terribly exciting. One island in Indonesia can have as many as 250 languages. We had the opportunity to deliver the finished Old and New Testament that had been translated into the Dani language. It took four years for that translation, and it was just wonderful to be able to hand out those Bibles that were written in their own language.”
Brooks said they are working with a group called Vision 2025 that has started translating the last 2,000 languages left that the Bible hasn’t been translated into.
“We are so excited about that, because that means we are so much closer to carrying out the mandate of preaching the gospel to all the world,” she said. “We are getting into the hands of everyone around the globe.”
Brooks said she and her husband plan to go back overseas and continue their missionary work in the next five years or so.
She is also planning a trip to North Dakota next summer to learn literacy teaching.
“Some cultures don’t have a written language, just a spoken one,” she said. “Taking this class will help me learn how to teach them to read their language and read the Bible once it’s translated into that language. As a teacher here, my experiences have really given me the desire to expose the children to different cultures and teach them that the world is full of people who are different than what they are used to seeing. Honestly, though, I can’t wait until we can get back overseas and continue spreading the gospel to people who have never heard it before.”