The Brian and Christy Ward family will begin their Papua New Guinea (PNG) ministry adventure in November 2015. PNG is a rugged and remote place where many people do not read … including pastors and ministry leaders. The Wards are excited to address this need by providing culturally appropriate ministry training. Brian hopes to utilize his experience in education and technology to develop effective and sustainable solutions for the low-literacy situations of PNG.
The older Ward children (Grace, Jenny, and Jonathan) will be key members of the team. Using their creative and technical skills, they will develop audio or video-based training, record sermons and indigenous praise & worship music, and create audio Bible stories and other resources that can be shared via the solar-powered audio players or mobile phones used by the ministry leaders of PNG.
Christy will continue to manage this active household and homeschool the children. With her gifts of love and hospitality, she will reach out to our neighbors, other missionaries, and the PNG ministry leaders we are here to serve.
In 2006 the Wards joined MAF, leaving the world of higher education where Brian was involved in teaching, developing online learning, and managing information technology teams. This also meant a move from the wilds of Virginia to Nampa, Idaho, where MAF is based. Brian helped manage MAF’s Learning Technologies team and worked with ministries from Africa to the Middle East to Latin America. Now, with this move to PNG, the family finally gets to minister alongside him.
Growing up in a Christian home in east Tennessee gave Brian an appreciation of the outdoors and recognition of his need for a savior. While attending the University of Tennessee, he was shown by the students and staff in CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) how to live for God and disciple others. Since then, Brian has loved teaching Gods’ Word and seeing other grow in their walk with God.
At age 14, Christy came to know Christ as her savior. Godly friends, teachers, and her church in East Tennessee, encouraged Christy to grow in her faith. Of course, meeting Brian in high school was also an encouragement. Christy also got involved with CRU at the University of Tennessee where she was equipped with a heart to share the Gospel with those around her. It was in college that Brian and Christy’s relationship grew, and they were married soon after Brian started graduate school at Virginia Tech.
For decades the Lord has used MAF and other mission groups to reach the remote areas of Papua New Guinea. Their work has been fruitful. Now, indigenous pastors without biblical training struggle to minister in these difficult places. Often, if these pastors have an opportunity to go to seminary or Bible school for training, they do not return to their churches. The Wards are excited to bring vitally needed biblical training and resources to PNG. Their prayer is that the many isolated pastors and church leaders will grow in knowledge and wisdom through this training, and then learn to create their ministry resources.