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.
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be the bait on the fishhook? After our latest Bible Club, I think I have an idea of what it would be like.
This Bible Club was in one of the poorest areas where we have done a Bible Club. Most of the people who live in this area have moved to Kumasi from the northern part of Ghana and have no family helping them and have very little money. So, they find unoccupied land and build small houses out of pieces of wood, corrugated metal, tarps, and whatever else will work. They are hardworking people who know how to live on very little. Many of their children do not go to school regularly, and very few of them can speak English.
Also, these children had never seen a white man in person before, and they were very curious! When I would talk to them in Twi, their first reaction would be surprise, but their second reaction was to come and touch me. They wanted to see if my skin felt different than theirs! Almost all of them wanted to come to Bible Club because they wanted to spend more time with the white man! As I walked from their homes to the Bible Club, I had up to five children clinging to each of my arms! This is why I think I know what bait feels like!
We had a great club. Every week children were saved, and at least 20 different children and teenagers came to our church because of the club. Many of them are still coming.
April 25–29 will be our 3rd S.M.I.T.E. camp. During S.M.I.T.E., we train the campers on how to witness to children and how to do Bible Clubs. Much of the training will be done by three Nigerian men associated with Mark Holmes’ ministry, but I will be teaching the first-year campers how to witness to children. Please pray these campers will get excited about soul winning and will go back home and continue to use what they have learned. Please also pray for many children to be saved in our Bible Clubs that week.
Fruit to Your Account
“Bro. Micah, they wasted our time,” my teenage soul-winning partner complained. I was inclined to agree, though I didn’t tell him so! We had spent much time giving the Gospel to a group of children, who, as it turned out, couldn’t understand the Gospel because they didn’t care enough to pay attention.
As we left the area, I tried to encourage my partner that we don’t know what God will do with our labor. I pointed out to him that while we were witnessing to the children, a young man named Clifford had walked up to look at some shoes that were for sale. He had asked what we were doing, so I invited him to church. He said he would come, so I got his phone number. Such occurrences are common, and most often the people never come to church. Nevertheless, I told my partner that maybe God would use our time that day to be a help to Clifford.
I myself doubted it would be the case, but it turned out to be true! Clifford has visited our church three times, and although he needed to hear the Gospel three times, he has put his faith in Jesus for salvation. Please pray for Clifford’s growth. Time spent serving God is never wasted!
Yours for souls,
Bible Club in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Kumasi