VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/28/12)—Becky and Larry Stanton from Murphysboro, Illinois have been endorsed by American Baptist International Ministries (IM) to serve in Liberia, West Africa at the invitation of IM partner, the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention.
The couple will serve at the Ricks Institute, an English-speaking K-12 boarding and day school operated by the Convention. Larry will serve as Maintenance Supervisor overseeing the maintenance of the building and grounds of the campus serving 625 students and 135 staff. Becky will serve as English teacher in the elementary division and will conduct weekly Bible studies on the campus.
The couple’s home church is Pate Chapel Baptist Church, Murphysboro, IL. They have five children, Caleb (19), Patrick (15), Ruth (4), Maggie (2) and Brandy (3 months). The three youngest will be going to Liberia with their parents. Larry, retired in 2005, was a Plant Maintenance Engineer and Fire Safety Officer at Illinois Youth Center, and is currently owner/operator of Able Dry Cleaners. Becky is currently employed as a high school Language Arts teacher.
“We are excited to join the IM family of missionaries and let God lead us to places he has already prepared,” said the couple. “We know we will be changed, discipled and transformed as much as we hope to work with our Christian brothers and sisters in Liberia.”
Becky and Larry met each other on a volunteer mission trip to Mexico to serve with IM missionary Chuck Shawver. They fell in love and married a year later. Larry returned to Mexico a few years later with his grown son, Caleb. He also participated in tsunami relief work in Japan with IM missionary, Roberta Stephens. Larry learned about the openings in Liberia through an online IM newsletter and the opportunities listing on the IM website. Becky recalled the moment: “There were two postings right next to each other: one was for a maintenance supervisor, the other for an English teacher. The job descriptions were exactly what we did in our secular job experience! This was a call from God that we could not ignore.”
The couple attended the IM Call Retreat and World Mission Conference in May 2012, asked questions and met other missionaries and their call was confirmed.
“We are excited that Larry and Becky have been endorsed by IM for missionary service to Liberia,” commented Dwight Stinnett, executive minister, the Great Rivers Region of ABC. “The Stantons will join others who have been ‘raised up’ from our region and are already serving across the world. We rejoice with Pate Chapel Baptist Church and their pastor, John Pitchford, as evidence that God is still at work within their rural church of less than 100 people. We look forward to working with the Stantons as they raise support to make this dream a reality.”
As endorsed missionary candidates, the Stantons will be working in the months ahead to build their Partnership Network. They will be inviting individuals, groups, and churches to partner with them by committing to share the spiritual, relational, and financial support needed for them to enter their ministry in Liberia. They are now establishing their Missionary Partnership Team (MPT), the small group of volunteer coworkers who along with IM staff will assist them in building their Network. When their Network has demonstrated commitments of sufficient financial support, the Stantons will be appointed and commissioned as missionaries and shortly thereafter will depart for Liberia.
Please join IM in celebrating this new endorsement and praying for Larry and Becky as they invite others to join them in an active “partnership in the gospel” (Philippians 1:5). You may send words of encouragement and communicate directly with the Stantons firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Baptist International Ministries (IM) was organized in 1814 as the first Baptist international mission agency in America. It began its pioneer mission work in Burma and today works in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas serving more than 1,800 long-term and short-term missionaries. Its central mission is to help people come to faith in Jesus, grow in their relationship with God, and change their worlds through the power of the Spirit. It works with respected partners in over 70 countries in ministries that meet human need.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.