By Carrie McGuffin
According to Courtney and Britt Hester, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel Carson and Laura Foushee have always been welcoming strangers and doing relational ministry. From her first days at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, Courtney shared, she felt the warmth of welcome from each of them, even as a newcomer halfway through a year.
“They had no reason to talk to me,” said Courtney, “but they were two of the most welcoming people at McAfee.”
Courtney now serves as a CBF-endorsed oncology chaplain at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Fla., where her husband, Britt, serves as the minister of youth and Christian education at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church.
“Carson and Laura are amazing people,” said Britt. “They love anyone and everyone, and really made me feel included as a first-year student at McAfee.”
The four became friends and connected both individually and collectively as couples. They stayed connected once Carson and Laura graduated and moved into professional settings, which were still in the “CBF world” at CBF of Georgia and McAfee before they began their journey as CBF field personnel in Japan.
“When they became missionaries in Japan,” Britt said, “Courtney and I felt a conviction to support them, and we’re grateful that we have.”
Supporting the Foushees’ ministry monthly is not only a great way to support their work directly, Britt added, but a way to remain connected to them across the globe.
The decision to give to the Foushees was one prayerfully considered by the young couple as they examined their tithing as a family and the ways that they were giving to the mission of God in the world. While they couldn’t invest a large amount each month, Britt said that they knew any amount would be helpful and significant.
“As Carson and Laura were beginning to raise funds for their work, we talked about investing in their efforts as a part of our tithes and commitment,” Britt said.
This friendship and commitment is one that is also special to the Foushees, who have had support from Britt and Courtney since day one.
“Since we felt the call to serve in Japan, Britt and Courtney have been there every step of the way with us as prayer and financial partners,” said Carson and Laura. “The relationships we built at McAfee are special, and to be able to continue to support each other in our current ministries is even more special. We are so blessed to call Britt and Courtney not only friends and colleagues, but partners in ministry.”
While the couple started out with a small amount given each month, their gift has increased throughout the years.
“We knew we wanted to support them more when we could,” said Courtney. “We feel like they are called to be there.”
Britt and Courtney feel a distinct connection to the Foushees’ ministry through the reports that Carson and Laura provide about their work, as well as the opportunities to connect with them when they are back in the United States.
“When they came back to the States on furlough, we got to catch up with them and hear about their plans for the future,” said Britt. “Hearing them talk about how much our contributions have impacted them meant the world to us. It makes us so grateful that we became monthly contributors.”
While serving as ministers themselves here in the U.S., Britt and Courtney understand the call to serve as field personnel abroad is a special one that requires an abundance of support. For them, supporting the work of field personnel is a way to be a part of CBF Global Missions, and the Hesters recognize that giving to support the Foushees’ ministry in Japan is a part of something bigger—the larger CBF family.
“It feels good knowing that we are not only helping to spread the Good News,” said Britt, “but knowing that people like Carson and Laura who have impacted our lives are impacting others in Japan. We can know that we’re giving to something that is truly life-changing.”
One hundred percent of gifts to the CBF Offering for Global Missions sustains the life-changing long-term presence of field personnel like Carson and Laura Foushee; but each and every field personnel also raises their own programmatic support through a network of friends, family and members of their Encourager Churches.
If you would like to learn more about the programs of CBF field personnel around the world and see where your passions connect with their missions, visit www.cbf.net/fieldpersonnel, and consider a gift today.
Carrie McGuffin is Communications Specialist for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
For more information on how your congregation’s gifts can impact the missions and ministries of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship around the world, visit www.cbf.net/give or contact Martha Perusek at [email protected].
Read more stories of ministry and missions in the Summer issue of fellowship! magazine, the quarterly publication of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Subscribe for free here. Learn more about CBF at www.cbf.net.