I had the great privilege to be born into a faithful pastor’s home. I grew up in a godly, Christian environment being exposed to the Gospel at a young age. I was saved as a six-year-old boy when after a junior church service I realized that I wasn’t saved even though I was the Pastor’s son. I went to my father’s office between the morning and evening service and asked my father how I could go to Heaven. He showed me straight from the Bible how to be saved and I received Jesus Christ as my Saviour that day.
I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Maine, and I am a fourth-generation ‘Mainiac’. I was given the privilege of growing up in a good godly home, where my family attended church anytime the doors were open.
At the age of 5, I made a profession of faith, but I was not truly saved until the age of 14. I struggled with doubts about my salvation for many months until a Wednesday night in September of 2008 after teen soul-winning. I humbled myself by going to my youth pastor, and in his office, I settled my salvation.
I experienced a burden for missions from a very young age as we had missionaries regularly stay in our home. Getting to know missionaries on a personal level and being able to see their love for the Saviour and heart to reach the world impacted me greatly as I grew up. I was called to preach as a teenager and went to Hyles-Anderson College to train for the ministry not sure where in the world the Lord wanted me to serve. However, as I continued my training I became convinced that God wanted me to serve as a missionary and as time went on I became even more convinced that God was calling me to serve in Nigeria.
It was an amazing thing when I first started dating Emily, who would become my wife. I told her at the very beginning of our relationship that I would be going to Nigeria to serve as a missionary, and she revealed to me that she had the desire to be a missionary in Africa since she was a little girl. I was so awed that God would bring into my life a helpmeet with a vision so much like my own.
God has been so good in calling us to Nigeria. He has prepared both of us by allowing us to serve in soul winning and bus ministry from when we were young. God has given us both unique opportunities preparing us for Nigeria. God allowed me to work with our missions agency, Fundamental Baptist Missions International, for 7 years as a volunteer, intern, and staff member giving me invaluable insights and training on the work missions. Also, my wife had the opportunity to work in the medical field after graduating from Bible college giving her great skills and knowledge that will assist us once on the field.
“Always on the move” seems to be the Christiansen motto recently, as we are currently in Texas and getting ready to make our way to California for some meetings. We praise God that He has kept us all safe and healthy. We are still without a traffic accident or major illness. The worst that Emily and I have had is some mild food poisoning. I guess that’s the price of living and eating on the road all the time. Thank you all for praying for us. God uses your prayers to keep us safe, protected, and healthy.
The highlight of this last month was the chance to teach missions at a church’s summer camp. A church in Southern Illinois asked me to teach a group of children and teenagers who had come to their camp from several churches in the region. It was a joy for me to share one of my favorite topics with the campers.
Early in the week, I was able to walk everyone through some of the basics of what missions is, what a missionary is, and what a missionary does. Next, Emily and I both got to talk about how the Lord led us each to be missionaries. Then throughout the week, I was able to teach through the life of one of my favorite missionaries, John G. Paton. It was so much fun showing them someone who did extraordinary things for God in the past and how they can do amazing things for God themselves. Plus, we had all of the usual exciting activities and games of camp with everyone. Emma had a great time spending time and playing with all of the “big kids.” We all had a blast, and we can’t wait to see how the Lord will continue to use these children and teenagers in the future.
Moving day is getting closer! We are at almost to 80% of our support now and are making moving preparations in earnest. Would you please pray with us as we take steps to get ready for Nigeria? Those steps include getting required vaccines for tropical diseases, shipping items overseas, getting our visas approved, etc. Many of these are very involved and complicated, as well as expensive, so your prayers for navigating these are very much appreciated.