MARVELLER & STEWARD OF GOD'S CREATION
Staff Story: Matthew Burnett
"If I can't walk outside for the day then I am in the wrong line of work."
Put on your good walking shoes, a hat, and grab your binoculars! If you're visiting Matthew Burnett, of TWR West Africa, you'll need to be ready to spend lots of time outdoors!
Meet Matthew Burnett. He may have grown up with missionary parents, but isn't your typical missionary. Matthew is active, practical and loves the outdoors. He is a short term (one year) missionary serving at the TWR transmitter station in West Africa. He began his mission in January 2013 and will be there until the end of 2013.
Meet Hannah Pops
Hannah Pops never imagined herself as a missionary. She didn't think it was something she could do. "I mean, I'm not educated as a pastor. I'm not Amy Carmichael. I'm not that great with apologetics. Actually being a missionary always seemed a bit daunting," says Hannah, who moved from Edmonton, in Alberta, Canada to join TWR in their Africa Regional Office in September.
Hannah is a missionary with a twist; she has joined TWR as assistant graphic designer. "I work in an office and design stuff! It's awesome. I love the impact TWR has in Africa, I love what I do and who I work with and most importantly: Who I'm working for."
This talented young graphic designer embraced the challenge of raising her own financial support to move to South Africa. Only 22 years old and one of nine children, Hannah's desire is to touch people's lives with the love and the goodness of God.
Waldo is one of those guys in the office who can speak "machine." While the rest of us bang our heads on our keyboards when things go wrong, he swoops in and negotiates a cease fire and gets everything back to "normal" for us. He says that the best part of his job at TWR is, "to see the relief on people's faces when things get fixed for them!" My face has been one of those faces!
One of the coolest places TWR has sent Waldo has to be Cape Verde, an island off the coast of West Africa. As a qualified international trainer, he went to teach a group of volunteers how to produce radio programmes. While he was there he heard about a listener in one of the remotest parts of Cape Verde, who gets up every morning to listen to TWR because his life has been changed through the programmes. That's the kind of stuff which keeps our spiritual batteries charged at TWR – knowing someone so isolated is being reached right in his home!
Waldo is a classic South African guy. He loves rugby and meat! His favourite rugby team is the Sharks (from the KwaZulu-Natal province) and of course, the Springboks, South Africa's national team. Waldo is also plugged into his church and is constantly involved. When he's not reading big thick text books on networking (paper weights for us non-technical types), he likes to play computer games, or go fishing.
It was the year after high school. Garth really liked Fiona. There was a "problem" though. During their courtship, God called Garth into full time missions. So with great trepidation, he sat down to write Fiona a letter. At the time she was in Thailand as an exchange student. So, he wrote this monumental letter, confessing his missionary calling and wondering how it would impact this relationship he cherished so dearly. Little did he know, Fiona, sitting in Thailand, was doing the exact same thing! Their letters crossed paths mid-air and a great sigh of joyful relief was expressed on the two continents – Africa and Asia!
Brought together by divine scripting, Garth and Fiona, along with their two children, have been in West Africa for the past six years. We caught up with them recently and asked them a few questions.
A listener from Eritrea writes:
"I am the second of seven children and am turning 17 soon. My dad works to earn a living for the family. Mom stays at home to take care of the house and the children. It is hard to stretch Dad's earnings to meet our needs. He also had the habit of spending time and money with his friends after work. This made the problems we had even worse, and life for us was so miserable and full of suffering and difficulties.