Becoming ‘Wacky Christians’

People often have inaccurate perceptions of missionaries. Ethan was no exception.

From Message magazine issue "To the Ends of the Earth"

Ethan told Laura that if they were to marry, then she would have to drop her dream of missions.

He was never going to become one of those, as Ethan liked to call them, “wacky Christians.”

As a child, Ethan was plagued with vivid nightmares of Satan for two years. He began praying to God, pleading with the Lord to save him from the devil. In the six-month preparation for his baptism, Ethan learned of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and trusted in him as his savior.

Laura was raised in an unsaved family, but she accompanied her friend to a Baptist summer camp at the age of eight. To the confusion of her parents, Laura returned home a Christian. Her parents later became believers when their local church hired a new pastor who preached the gospel. The Epistles opened Laura’s heart to the Great Commission, and ever since she was 17, she has desired to be a missionary.

As Maine natives, Ethan and Laura met at New England Bible College. Once married, Ethan served as worship and youth director at his home church. In 2013, they transitioned to a new church plant in Indiana. Coincidentally, Ethan and Laura had met the pastor and his wife at a conference years before.

Over the next two years, Ethan warmed up to the idea of missions. God shattered the misconceptions from his childhood—that missionaries were arrogant zealots who ventured on “God vacations” with other people’s money. His eyes opened to the biblical mandate of ministry, and he gradually let his walls fall down, starting with a short-term missions trip.

He and Laura joined a team from a church in Maine to help at a Word of Life camp in the Czech Republic. They taught English to teenage nationals, incorporating the gospel throughout their lessons. Ethan was even able to lead worship.

Ethan and Laura pursued serving short term in the Czech Republic, but felt the Lord saying, “No.” After much prayer and advice from a close friend who knew most of ABWE’s Ireland team, they began to take the next steps and found that the needs in Ireland matched their desires for life and ministry. Ethan and Laura hope to move there in the summer of 2020 to begin church planting and life-on-life discipleship.

Editor’s Note: Learn more about the Foss’ ministry here.