By Mark Ellis, Special to ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS – June 17, 2015) — As a teenager, she felt called as a missionary after reading books about the five missionaries killed attempting to make contact with the Auca of eastern Ecuador.
But several unfortunate choices sidetracked her interest. “I made some poor decisions as a young adult,” admits Lorella Rouster, co-founder of Every Child Ministries. She married an unbeliever, but thankfully, husband John came to the Lord five years into their marriage.
For many years, John did not share Lorella’s interest in the mission field. “John loved farming; it was his life ambition – all he ever wanted to do.”
That changed one Palm Sunday morning while John was milking cows on their farm in Indiana. “Jesus came and stood beside him and said, ‘I want you to go to Africa and be missionaries.’”
Later, John sobbed during a car ride as he told Lorella about his dramatic encounter. “I had never seen him shed a tear before in his life – not even when his father died,” she says.
One of the first tests before they could answer the call was to sell their farm, which was heavily mortgaged, leaving them little room to negotiate. In their listing agreement, they specified there would be no bargaining on price.
“The farm sold in 10 days,” Lorella marvels. They took it as a confirmation from the Lord.
When they conveyed their plans to their three children – ranging from seven to 13-years-old – all reacted with excitement and enthusiasm, another small miracle.
In their first three years with AMG International in Zaire (now DR Congo), they lived in an established mission. But their next six years, they lived in a mud hut with no running water or electricity.
Near their hut in Garazim village in Bandandu province, Lorella learned to bake bread in a hollowed-out termite mound.
One night after John and Lorella went to bed, John was laying on his back with his hands folded on his chest. In the inky darkness, John felt something to his side brush his arm. He glanced to the right and was startled as he felt a large snake running over his arm. The snake apparently entered their bedroom through a broken window screen.
It was a black mamba, one of the most deadly creatures in sub-Saharan Africa. One bite from the six to nine-foot snake can cause death within seven hours. It is also the fastest snake in Africa, capable of moving at speeds of 11 kilometers per hour.
Photo caption: Lorella greets kids in DR Congo, 1982
About the writer: Mark Ellis is a senior correspondent for the ASSIST News Service and also the founder of www.Godreports.com, a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions.
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