Honoring Faithfulness: Carl & Lois Sexton

For Carl and Lois, a call to church planting in Argentina launched a career of Spanish-speaking ministry.

From Message magazine issue "Ukraine Through Missionary Eyes"

When Carl and Lois answered God’s call to missions as young adults, they began a 35-year journey that has impacted lives for Christ in both North and South America—and their faithful service continues.

Q: How did your journey to missions begin?

Carl: I was on my knees calling out to God in prayer during a missions conference in my first semester of Bible College, when God made it clear to me that he wanted me to be a missionary. Seven years later, I met Lois. We were amazed to discover how God had been preparing both of our paths to intersect at just the right moment, in dedication to missions.

We married and soon began our missionary service as church planters in Argentina, where we served for the next 15 years.

Q: What is a highlight from your ministry in South America?

Lois: When our two boys were young, we were buying fruit at the market and began to pass out flyers for a Children’s Day event at the church. A few weeks later, Children’s Day arrived and there was Miguel from the fruit market. That day, we began a relationship with him, and he later accepted Christ, was discipled, and baptized.

Several years ago, we returned to Argentina and spent time with Miguel. As we reminisced, I realized that the boy who had received the flyer to come to church 30 years ago was now a man serving God with his family, winning others to Christ and training to be a pastor.

Q: More recently, you’ve served in North America as missionaries. How did your time as missionaries in South America shape your ministry here?

Carl: When we returned to the United States, our love for Hispanic people led us to build several ministries around that passion. We began by planting a Spanish-speaking church in Florida. Then, we became a part of EveryEthne, helping churches to cross cultures without crossing borders. We also began leading Hispanic Ministry Summits and Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship trainings, inspiring churches to renew their passion for evangelism and discipleship.

Q: What is something you experienced as a missionary that you never imagined?

Carl: I had the privilege of serving for 13 years as a Spanish chaplain for the Miami Marlins. In this role, I had many amazing opportunities to share the gospel and disciple players, umpires, and staff through chapels and personal conversations often right in the baseball stadium locker room, where few people are allowed to enter.

I’ll never forget when one player put his hand on my shoulder, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, “I want you to know that my wife and I have decided to trust in Jesus Christ as our one and only Savior and Lord.”

I had been waiting for more than two years to hear those words.

Q: After serving as missionaries for more than 35 years, you now serve as coaches to missionaries just starting out. What is that like?

Carl: Just the other day a missionary told us, “If it weren’t for your help, I don’t even know if I’d be a missionary right now!” In this role, we are privileged to come alongside missionaries, encouraging them and sharing practical ideas for success in their fund-raising journey. This allows them to quickly begin serving full-time in the ministries where God has called them.

Q: How have you recently seen God at work?

Lois: I serve as a presenter and the scheduler for ABWE’s Heart, Mind & Soul: LGBTQ seminar.

God is using the seminar to change lives! After a recent seminar, one attendee shared, “I have many LGBTQ students. I want to stop avoiding interactions and deep conversations with them. I want to start listening to their stories.”