Our Great Cloud of Witnesses 

Christ extends his kingdom through ordinary, faithful people—and the lives of Steve and Sandy Aholt testify to his sovereignty across continents.

From Message magazine issue "'Come Over and Help Us'"

“Why are you weeping?” Steve asked in the local pidgin language. 

The pilot had not been in Papua New Guinea long when, one September morning in 1995, he flew to the Bundi area and began to practice his new language skills with locals near the airstrip. One woman approached, limping forward on crutches to interrogate the newly minted missionary. 

“Who are you, and why are you here?” she asked. 

“My name is Steve Aholt, and I’m a Baptist missionary,” came the reply. “I’m here to see if you guys want a Baptist church in this village.” 

The woman broke down in tears, explaining: “I’ve been praying for 17 years that God would send a Baptist missionary to our village to start a Baptist church. And you’re an answer to my prayer.” 

Later, Steve did the math. His journey to the mission field had not been straightforward. Yet it had been exactly 17 years since he had first begun to yield to the growing burden the Lord was placing in his heart for cross-cultural missions. Now he understood that he wasn’t the only one in whom the Spirit had been at work all those years ago. 

“When you feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit, be ready to say yes and be willing to go if he wants you to go,” Steve remarked recently. “If he sends you and calls you somewhere, he’s gonna provide for everything that you have need of.” 

That winding journey was not over. 

Steve recounts a fateful phone call one day while working at the airport. “It’s Taylor,” Steve’s brother announced. Their 25-year-old son, back home in the US, had been killed in an accident. 

“[T]he Lord gave me peace right away . . . absent from the body, present with the Lord,” Steve recalled. 

Steve and Sandy Aholt persevered through tragedy and ministered faithfully in Papua New Guinea for 24 years. 

For 2,000 years, Christ has been extending his kingdom through ordinary, faithful people. Their blood, sweat, and tears are the seeds of the global church. The gospel is spreading across the world, saving sinners, renewing nations, and changing everything. 

But today, many in the modern church are weak, torn, and comfortable. 

The Book of Hebrews says we’re surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses watching us from heaven, spurring us on. The stories of these faithful Christ-followers who’ve gone before us are what we need to wake up and return to our first love for Christ’s mission. 

Hear the rest of the Aholts’ incredible story. Tune in to the Cloud of Witnesses podcast, available now, to be inspired, challenged, and encouraged in your own walk of faith. Join host Alex Kocman as he unveils the lives of remarkable individuals who have played significant roles in advancing Christ’s kingdom throughout the century-long history of ABWE. 

Listen now at cloudofwitnessespodcast.com