Posted by: calloftheandes | July 4, 2011

Summer Interns Apply Skills in Mission Work

Volunteering his engineering skills this summer in Ecuador, Michael Stück is cognizant of the legacy his relatives have left to him in this small South American country.

For decades Ecuador has witnessed a persistent presence of the Stücks, serving as evangelical missionaries with Avant Ministries (formerly Gospel Missionary Union). Introducing himself, Michael surely prompts further inquiries on his ties to the Stück family lineage.

Michael Stück

Stück is among the 25 college student interns serving at six sites in five countries (Ghana, U.K., Ecuador, Spain and U.S.) with HCJB Global, including six in the Latin America Region. None are salaried. Instead, they have raised the funds needed to go. Churches and individuals have funded the interns’ travel and living expenses.

When another student intern, Brandon Cole, stepped onto the tarmac, he set foot onto Africa, a continent where his late grandfather, Dr. John Slater, and his great uncle, had served through medical missions.

Decades of missions tradition had come down to Brandon from both his father’s and his mother’s side, a reverent aura perhaps as palpable as the sweltering heat of Accra, Ghana that enveloped him in early June. The interns are there in the hottest of months, according to Dr. Steve Nelson, who together with his wife, Dorothy, are assisting with the Ghana internship this summer.

“We’ll trust that the Lord can manage to put a positive spin on the heat and the sweat,” wrote Nelson.

Brandon’s twin brother, Bryan, is spending his summer at the HCJB Global Ministry Service Center in Colorado and their parents, Curt and Karen Cole, are directing spiritual formation for the Ghana team. Curt is one of the mission’s vice presidents of international ministries.

“I know Brandon has wanted to be a doctor since he was small because of his grandfather being a doctor in Africa. That has deeply impacted him,” said Curt. “He sees this as an opportunity to serve and learn about medicine in Ghana and learn a bit about his grandfather’s passion.” Now a medical school student in Kansas City, Brandon grew up in Ecuador where the Coles served before Curt’s work took them to the mission’s international headquarters.

It was on the African continent where the Coles first met in 1976 as students at a missionary school in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). Now they travel back periodically to conduct workshops and seminars.

This is the mission’s first summer medical missionary program, even though students have traveled for decades to assist with medical work in Ecuador. The Nelsons traveled from Ecuador where they both began in missions some 30 years earlier at HCJB Global Hands’ Hospital Vozandes-Shell.

Meanwhile at the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, Ind., Brian Roscoe wrote to donors that inconsistent electric voltage poses a risk to ministries. “There are many products available that protect equipment from harmful power, but the cost of these devices is far too great for most ministries to purchase,” said Roscoe, one of seven interns helping at the center. “Our goal is to design a device to protect equipment at a much lower cost.”

Also at the center, Shogo Matsuki finds his horizons expanding not so much geographically as in understanding how he might fit into a missions career. “I used to think that being an engineer, building houses and facilities, may be the only way to use my engineering education for Christ,” Matsuki wrote to donors. “However, the HCJB Global Technology Center is full of technologically savvy missionaries. Their skills are used in many media-related technologies such as antennas and radios.”

Caleb Pinter (left) is one of seven interns at the HCJB Global Technology Center. He and Mark Kerk show a high voltage cable termination kit for an HC100 transmitter

The center has served as a mission assignment for Dan Anderson and his wife, Barb, whose daughter, Emily, is spending the summer serving in the missionary personnel office for the Latin America Region. Others heard of the mission through relatives too. One is Rachel Brown whose great uncle is former HCJB Global President Ron Cline.

Brown’s dream of becoming a nurse practitioner was being furthered on the morning of Wednesday, June 29. Later the same day, however, she had assumed a different role at Hospital Vozandes-Quito—that of a patient as she was wheeled into the emergency room and checked out thoroughly after a bout of vomiting. Within a couple of days, she had recovered her strength and was back at work on both the spiritual formation and the day to day work that goes into seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ go forth into all the world.

Five student interns are also working in the Europe/Eurasia Region based in Leeds, England, where HCJB Global-UK is working in partnership with Radio Worldwide (a ministry of WEC International) which offers a radio training course. The team, led by David and Cathi Uhles and Roger and Carey Basick, is involved in discipleship, media/technical training, cross-cultural experiences and witnessing opportunities. In addition, one student is also helping at the North Africa/Middle East Regional Office.

Rachel Brown in Ecuador with young friends from Lirio San Jose


  1. […] of not knowing what to expect but planning to apply the education they have received, eager to see how engineering/medicine and missions would look like […]

  2. God Bless your work there. May these student interns have the experience and excitement of sharing Christ. I pray for their health and safety. Thanks for all your efforts.

    • On behalf of the interns, thanks for your prayers, Greg. -rvk

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