I was born the third of six children to Scott and Debbie Christiansen. My dad was a pastor; so, of course, I grew up in church and heard the Gospel regularly. I had made a profession of faith and been baptized by the age of seven, but the truth was that my trust was more in my prayers than in Christ. I rightly began to doubt my salvation at the age of nine, and shortly after, I decided to make sure I was saved. I went forward at the end of a Sunday night service and prayed, this time trusting Christ alone. I was baptized the same night.
When I was twelve, I went to my first Youth Conference in Hammond, Indiana, where I heard Dr. Jack Hyles preach, resulting in my surrendering to full-time Christian service. That decision was strengthened the following year when I went to Teen Convention in Longview, Texas. I did not know which avenue of full-time Christian service I was supposed to take, but as I grew older, I just began to assume that I would be a pastor or a missionary, as they were the options that most appealed to me.
I went to college and started with a pastoral major, but I decided to switch my major to missions in the second semester of my freshman year. I finished my bachelor’s degree in four years, and on my pastor’s advice, I began a master’s degree in education. It was while I was working on my master’s degree that I met and started dating my future wife Abbie. We had been dating for a year when I began a two-year internship at First Baptist Church. The first year and a half, I interned for Danny Brannon, the director of the Chapel Ministry, which was my ministry for most of my college experience. I interned for FBMI my last semester. When I was finished with college, Abbie and I were married on August 3, 2013.
I was born and raised in a Christian home. My parents, Tim and Kathy Cortopassi, made sure that my four siblings and I attended a Christian school and that we went to church as a family every service. Since I grew up in church, I heard the Gospel often. I may have been saved at the age of seven. I remember my mom talked to me during church on a Sunday morning. I prayed that morning and got baptized that evening.
Sometime later, my family watched the movie Left Behind. I got scared, wondering if I were really saved or not. I went through several years not sure if I was going to Heaven but assuming that I was because I had prayed with my mom and gotten baptized.
In seventh grade, I started going to Teenage Soul Winning. I started leading people to Christ but still was not sure if I was saved or not. In November 2001, I sat on my bed with my Bible, and I looked up the verses for the Romans Road. I went through the verses as if I were leading someone else to Christ, but I was doing it for my own benefit. I wanted to settle my doubt once and for all. I prayed, accepting Christ as my only way to Heaven. When I finished, I felt a huge burden lift from my shoulders. Since that time, I have not doubted my salvation.
Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a missionary. It was with that in mind that I went to Hyles-Anderson College and got my bachelor’s degree in elementary education. At that time I wanted to be a missionary to China, so I tried to take a missions trip there three different times. Every one of the trips was canceled. After trying for the third time, I really felt that God had closed the door to my going to China.
I did go on a missions trip to Honduras and Belize in 2010, simply because I wanted to take a missions trip before graduating from college. A week before my trip, Micah and I had our first date. We dated for three years before getting married on August 3, 2013.
Team Ghana’s driving purpose is making disciples of Jesus Christ, and the result has been the multiplying of churches. God has blessed the efforts of the men and women serving Him in Kumasi, Ghana. Fundamental Baptist Church International has been in existence for 8years and has already directly influenced the start of 36 other churches in Ghana and Liberia.
The church in Kumasi is also home to Hyles-Anderson College of West Africa, which has 61 graduates and an average of 37 students per month. The college prepares the young and old alike. The current student body is made up of young men who are aspiring to be in ministry, as well as current pastors who see their need for better training.
I eagerly anticipate doing as my fellow team members have done: winning souls, discipling converts, and helping advance the spread of churches across Africa. One of my specific duties on Team Ghana will be to disciple children. God has given me a passion for reaching children, so I eagerly anticipate this opportunity.
It is well known that children are the most easily reached people group, and I would contend that they are also the group with the most potential. Half of Ghana’s population is 20 years old and younger; young people truly are the key to making a long-term impact in Ghana and the surrounding regions. I look forward to teaching Ghanaian pastors and workers how to develop Children’s Ministries so that the next generation is reached across Ghana and beyond.
In addition to leading the Children’s Ministry at Fundamental Baptist Church International, I am excited about teaching in Hyles-Anderson College of West Africa and Fundamental Baptist Academy. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to mold the lives of pastors, pastors in training, and the young people of our Christian school.
We are excited that we are about to go back to Ghana! We have had a very busy furlough, and while we have enjoyed being with family and friends again, we are ready to go home.
We have had meetings in Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Indiana, Arizona, and South Carolina. At each of these locations, we were able to see family and to spend time with supporting churches or new churches, presenting the work that God has done in Ghana.
Spending time with our siblings and watching our children play with their cousins was enjoyable every time, but it was a special blessing that we were unexpectedly able to meet up with my sister’s family for the first time in over five years. My sister and her family are missionaries in the Philippines, and they were not originally planning on taking their furlough at the same time as we were. However, plans changed, and they got to meet my children for the first time!
I also greatly enjoyed getting to meet up with two of my friends from college who are now pastoring. I was so encouraged to see old friends staying faithful to the Lord and the ministry.
I was also encouraged to see one of the teachers at our Christian school in Ghana start a new Bible Club on one of our church’s bus routes while we are gone. This picture is of two children who visited church after attending that Bible Club.
Please do pray for us as we get ready to go back to Ghana and as we get settled back into our house and routines. We are flying out on November 14!
Fruit to Your Account
I will be honest; I have missed soul winning in Ghana. People are so receptive to the Gospel there. However, God has reminded me that there are receptive people here in America too!
I was out soul winning on a weekday morning. Most people were not home, and those who were home had not been open to talking about the Gospel.
We were getting close to the end of the street when we knocked on Jason’s door. This young man readily admitted that, no, he did not know he was going to Heaven and, yes, he did want to know.
I was able to explain to Jason how Jesus alone gets us to Heaven, not our good works, and he put his faith in Jesus. Jason was as open to the Gospel as any person I have met in Ghana, and he was easier to witness to, as well.
In Ghana, most people are well rooted in believing that they must do good deeds to get to Heaven, and we have to work to uproot those false beliefs so that they can trust Jesus alone. Jason was not strongly rooted in any belief, so it was easy for him to accept Christ. I haven’t been able to go so quickly through the Gospel with someone in years!
Yours for souls,
Two children who visited the church after after attending the Bible Club that one of our Christian school teachers started while we’ve been on furlough