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.
It all started with a boy named Jedidiah. He is one of our school’s kindergarten students, and he came to me right before school and asked, “Bro. Micah, how can I go to Heaven?” Because I knew that Jedidiah would understand the Gospel best if he heard it in Twi, I asked Daniel, one of our Bible college students who helps me with Bible Clubs, to come witness to Jedidiah during nap time. Jedidiah understood the Gospel and got saved.
Daniel saw an open door of witness in our two KG2 classes, and he kept going back to witness to these children in small groups. Over the last couple of months, Daniel has been able to give the Gospel to 35 of our kindergarten students, many of whom have under-stood the Gospel and trusted in Jesus for salvation. It has been an exciting couple of months in our kindergarten!
It is such a blessing to be able to influence young men like Daniel. I went soul winning with Daniel for the first time a little over a year ago. I watched him witness to two children, and he did an adequate job. However, over the last year, I have seen him grow. Daniel joined our children’s ministry and Bible Club ministry, and I recently watched him give the Gospel masterfully to over a dozen children, resulting in six of them putting their faith in Jesus! It has been fun watching Daniel grow in experience and skill.
In Ghana, children are one of the most challenging groups to lead to an understanding of salvation. They are thoroughly indoctrinated in salvation through works. They often lack the logic skills to see that the Bible contradicts what they have been taught. Please pray as we train soul winners. Please pray for more laborers to impact the next generation in Ghana with the Gospel.
Fruit to Your Account
For the past few years, I have been working on learning the Twi language. My progress has been slow, but I am so excited that I have finally been able to use Twi effectively while giving the Gospel!
In early July, I was witnessing to Seth in English. However, Seth was having trouble understanding that it is not faith and works together which saves us, but rather it is faith in Jesus alone. I could tell the language barrier was the real problem, so I switched to Twi, and with God’s help, Seth understood! After that point, I switched back to English, but that was the first time that I was able to effectively use more than an occasional Twi phrase in my soul winning!
Two weeks later when I went to visit a boy from Bible Club, I met Kofi, the boy’s teenage cousin from a different area. Normally, he would not be at the house I visited, and even when he is there, he would normally be working. It was by “accident” that he was still at the house.
I had started the conversation in Twi, and I found that Kofi speaks very little English. I had Gideon with me to help as a translator when needed, so I decided to try giving the Gospel in Twi. Sometimes I had to switch to English. Gideon usually had to tell me what Kofi had said, since there are still many Twi words I do not know. My Twi was often garbled, so Gideon had to make the concepts clear. Nonetheless, it was faster than having English translated the whole time; and, praise God, I believe Kofi understood the Gospel and got saved! Please pray for my Twi to continue to improve so that more souls would be saved!