News Articles

Married couple experience life as two-plus-two missionaries

AMMAN, Jordan (BP)–The early morning sunbeams reflect off the white stone buildings, ushering in a new day in Northern Africa. Aaron and Ruth Easton* step outside of the apartment they share with a local Muslim family and wonder what the Northern African people think of them. They are Americans who have been transplanted into a Muslim culture.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary ‘two-plus-two’ missionaries Aaron and Ruth Easton, of Suffolk Va., are living out what they studied not so long ago in their classes at Southeastern.

For the next year and a half, the Eastons will serve as missionaries among an unreached people group in Northern Africa, fulfilling the requirement for the Master of Arts in International Church Planting.

Each day is an opportunity to experience first-hand what most students only learn in classroom textbooks.

Aaron and Ruth study Arabic, the language of the people they hope to someday bring to Christ. They spend three hours a day pronouncing foreign words, dictating sentencing and practicing vocabulary with nationals.

“Learning the heart language is the key to reaching the people,” Aaron said.

While Aaron attends Arabic class, Ruth does her daily shopping in an open-air market. She purchases fresh fruits and vegetables from the street vendors and buys a freshly plucked chicken for the family’s evening meal.

Working in Northern Africa is by no means an easy task, but the Eastons said, “It is a privilege to live in this region of the world.”

The Eastons spend the evening in their neighborhood visiting the locals where Aaron has had several opportunities to share the message of the Christ.

In light of Sept. 11, the Eastons have found that the Arabs are sincerely sympathetic and are extremely hospitable toward them.

“We, Americans, have a wrong perception of Arabs, and Arabs have a wrong perception of Americans. They are not the mystical, magical people I had first pre-conceived. We are all people,” he explained.

The Eastons moved to Northern Africa just weeks before the attacks on the World Trade Center. When the bombings began in Afghanistan, the Eastons were told by their supervisors to stay in their apartment for 24 hours and pack a bag in the event they had to evacuate the country in an emergency.

“Americans must understand that radical, extremist Muslims only represent a small percentage of Muslims,” they said.

“During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, our land owner brought food to us every night which made me wonder, ‘how many times during Thanksgiving do I share my food with my neighbor?'”

For the next year and a half, the lessons the Eastons will learn will not be the result of laborious study of textbooks, but the study of how to love others and bring them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
*The names of missionaries have been changed due to security precautions.

    About the Author

  • Kelly Davis