ANKENY, Iowa—For many, missions trips are opportunities to minister to unbelievers. But for Amber McCool and Dana Kincaid, a missions trip to Malta was an opportunity to minister to believers, as the young ladies worked with missionary kids.
Missionaries to Malta with Baptist Mid-Missions annually attend a European Enrichment Conference; however, many families have been unable to attend in the past, since no childcare has been available. Amber and Dana wanted to help change that. As parents were attending the conference, their kids, ages 3–11, attended VBS led by Amber and Dana and three others. The club met twice a day—in the morning and evening—for week.
“I had so much fun with the kids!” says Amber. “They were so active and yet obedient and eager to learn.”
Amber McCool and Dana Kincaid are juniors at Faith Baptist Bible College, Ankeny, Iowa. Amber is a member of Maranatha Baptist Church, Grimes, Iowa, and Dana is a member of First Baptist Church, Elyria, Ohio. They first heard about the trip through Amber’s missions professor, who had been contacted by a BMM representative asking for help ministering to missionary families.
Both girls love working with kids. (Dana is an elementary education major; Amber is majoring in Biblical studies and counseling and is considering full-time missions in the future.) So both readily agreed to participate in the trip.
“Coming into this trip,” Ambers says, “I had no idea how impacting our work would be on the children’s lives. Not only did our VBS program allow the parents a chance to relax while their kids were being taken care of, but many of the parents came up to my team and told us how much of blessing it was for their kids to be a part of a group with other believers their age, since that is a rare occurrence on the mission fields where most of the families are located.”
Cleaning and Outreach
On the last three days of their trip, Amber and Dana spent time with missionaries Joe and Jenny Mifsud, who have started a church plant, Bible Baptist Church, in Malta. The girls helped the Mifsuds in various ways, whether that meant picking oranges from their orange trees to give to people at the church, talking to the college students around the area, or cleaning the church building. They also walked the streets of Malta and went door-to-door, giving out tracts and information about Bible Baptist Church.
“The Maltese people are generally very kind and open to talking, and it was neat to see the gospel message clearly presented time and time again,” Dana says. “It will be exciting to hear how God blesses the outreach ministry as the seeds are being planted all throughout the island!”
On Sunday, Amber and Dana taught the children’s Sunday school class. The kids were excited to sing, thoroughly enjoyed doing a craft, and were attentive as the two girls presented the lesson (being especially amused by their “funny accent”).
Participating in the church’s College Student Fellowship was also on Amber and Dana’s to-do list. Only one university is on the island, and Bible Baptist Church sets aside time every Friday night for the students to play games, fellowship, have a Bible study, and enjoy free pizza.
Students come to the University of Malta from many different locations—Lebanon, England, France, China. Amber says, “It was fun to interact with various students of all different cultures! A lot of the students were so excited to practice their English on Dana and I since we were two college students from America. God has really been blessing this ministry, as a handful of students are eager to hear from the Word and are starting to invite their friends to come and join.”
Hope for the Future
Amber and Dana are both excited to see what God has planned for them in the future. Dana says, “I loved being able to work with the kids and I already miss them. I know God has given me a gift to work with kids; it is now waiting to see where and how that will happen in my life.”
Amber says the trip has given her “a greater desire to serve the Lord with whatever job or situation I am placed in.” “God has opened my eyes to the serious need for younger missionaries to take action and serve. At this point, I am willing to go wherever God leads, and my desire is to stay in His Word and follow His plan whatever that may be! . . .
“God is so good and has blessed me by allowing me to interact with so many wise believers who have given me many practical tips and words of encouragement that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It makes me excited to see where God will lead me after I graduate from college.”