Rescued From Legalism, This Missionary Couple Is Taking to the Skies

After healing from negative church experiences, this couple surrendered to God’s leading into missionary aviation in Africa.

From Message magazine issue "2020 Candidate Issue"

“I wonder if that person over there knows the Lord.”

Charity’s father often mulled on this thought in public spaces, compelling him to perform street evangelism in downtown Chambersburg, Pa. Charity routinely accompanied him on these outings, starting at 12 years old. No matter their social class or standing, her father treated each person with equal dignity, teaching Charity the sacredness and value of every image bearer.

Groomed by her father’s zeal and her mother’s hospitality, Charity grew up loving to serve people. That’s why when she met Jason at church. His passion for evangelism attracted Charity.

As a child, Jason thought Christianity was something to be achieved through service, so his boyhood aspiration revolved around becoming a missionary pilot. He earned his pilot license, but instead of going into missions, Jason joined the Navy. However, complications forced Jason to leave the military at 21, and he took up welding.

Jason then decided to take Christianity more seriously. He started reading his Bible and reached out to a mature believer at his church who ultimately led him to Christ.

Jason and Charity were married in 2001. Over the years, they sensed a calling to receive formal Bible training and go into full-time ministry. But their church leadership at the time discouraged their ambitions, so instead they focused their efforts on the home front—discipling congregants, forming Bible studies, and organizing outreach events. After 20 years of feeling repressed, Jason and Charity left the church for a more missions-centered congregation— only to meet more closed doors.

“I talked to a director of the denomination’s mission for a possible opportunity, but nothing was open,” Jason said. “I was convicted that we wouldn’t be prepared even if one came.”

They started marriage counseling to heal wounds and divisions created by the previous church, sold their house to pay off debt, and Jason got back into flying.

Despite growing up less than an hour from ABWE’s International Headquarters, Jason and Charity had never heard of it until they met Ron Washer, who asked them to consider aviation ministry in Togo. Today, they are currently taking steps toward leaving for Africa by August 2021.

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

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