Christiana and Julian have been married since 1981. From the time they began dating, she has had a very significant role to play in their gospel ministry together. Christiana has been a pastor’s wife since 1995. Now she has a new, yet similar role as a missionary, as well as the wife of the team leader for MTW Bahamas. In her own words, Christiana gives her sensibilities regarding relocating to a new mission field – the place of her birth.
When asked to describe her feelings on such a big move, Christiana speaks of how overwhelmed she felt before she left Dallas, having to sort, pack and ship household items – all while being a full-time teacher. She was deeply concerned about leaving her students in mid-stream. However, she knew that the Lord was with her, and this was manifested in several ways; the class was not difficult, the staff was very encouraging, and principal was very supportive. Most of all, Christiana is so grateful to God for sending such dear sisters as Annie Roberson and Nancy Rudd into her life, and the life of her family.
“Once I landed on December 22, I began to discern that life would be very different for Julian and me. I was no longer visiting. We had made the move, and now I had to become a resident, and not a family member on vacation. I began to have mixed feelings – all the excitement of being with loved ones, yet not being settled in my own personal “space”.”
“Getting started in Nassau proved to be more daunting than we first realized. It became apparent that Julian and I are more culturally different than we had initially thought. 22-plus years in the USA does that to you. I began to realize that we needed to “slow down” to the pace of where the people are. I iimediately assumed the roles of “advisor”, “peace-maker”, and “good listener” in order to better support Julian’s and my re-entry into life in the Bahamas.”
“I was surprised by the amount of friends and relatives who expressed both excitement to see us back “home”, yet wondered out aloud, “Why did you come back?” While I pondered that question, I have seen the Lord use those encounters for me to share our story, our sojourn as missionaries to the USA and now to the Bahamas.”
“Admmitedly, I continue to have mixed feelings – having left the comfort, the stability, and the pace of these last 23 years, (not to mention our grandchildren – Judah, Naomi, Isaiah, and newborn Elijah). However, I am so delighted to be part of a team that has been summoned by God for His wise purposes. I am so grateful that He still has work for Julian and me. So I draw on His past faithfulness, His future promises, and His present help. The world needs the Gospel! The Bahamas is no exception.”
Christiana has begun a ministry to the teachers and students at C.W. Sawyer Primary School in the Yellow Elder neighborhood in Nassau. She wants to assist the teachers in raising the reading levels of those from Kindergarten to 3rd grade. Pray that the Lord would send the right people and the necessary resources to help Christiana facilitate this most important strategy for getting to know the residents, and stakeholders of Yellow Elder at a deeper level. (Here’s a photo of Troy Dixon and some of his colleagues from Baylor University, taken at the entrance to CW Sawyer).