On October 12, 1997 while spending three months working with my cousin in Portugal, I met a girl with a plan. She was going to Mozambique to be a missionary and she made it pretty clear, nothing and no one was going to get in the way of God’s plan for her. In one of our first conversations she asked me why I had never considered being a missionary. To me the answer was obvious, I wasn’t a preacher, teacher, doctor or nurse, so clearly that wasn’t God’s plan for me. I liked computers, fixing things and building stuff. Then she introduced me to Richard. Richard and his family were also on their way to Mozambique to be missionaries, but he was a computer guy. Computer guys can be missionaries? And so was my introduction to world of support missions, helping others be more effective in the ministries God has given them through alleviating everyday stresses that they may not have the time or be equipped to deal with.
There was another family living in Portugal at that point on their way to Mozambique and soon it seemed like everyone’s mission to make Jon see that he could fit into missions, not just with computers, but also “fixing things & building stuff”.
To make a long story shorter, they did their jobs & I saw I could fit into missions. The girl who wasn’t gonna let anyone get in her way did eventually make it to Mozambique with a short delay back in the States to marry me and get used to life together before going to Mozambique together. I am not sure if Richard really knows the impact he had on our future that day, but a couple years later I got to work with him at a conference in South Africa fixing computers for missionaries.
On February 29, 2003 we finally arrived in Nampula Mozambique ready to serve and see how God would use us to help the missionaries working there. I then began working with Dave Preston. To say that Dave & Leah Preston affected the way we viewed serving others on the mission field is a bit like saying the iceberg affected the Titanic’s course. They went above and beyond to make sure people knew that someone had their back if they needed help. The foundation of SAMSON is built on the principles Dave taught me. God can use what each of us has to get the whole job done, we don’t need to know everything or be able to do everything, but have a willingness to try and ask others for help or advice as needed. A very large portion of the tools we will be carrying as we go from place to place are tools that Dave sold or gave to me over the years. There is no doubt the Prestons will be a part of this ministry for years to come if not only in attitude, but also every time I pick up a tool with “Preston” engraved into the side of it.
Over the last 13 years here in Mozambique we have seen how problems that would be considered a minor nuisance to someone living in the developed world can be a major drain to someone living in the bush where repair services are not available. While serving here I have been able to travel to several locations to help with various projects, but since a family can’t always make room for another family of five in their home, our family hasn’t always been able to join me.
As we look into broadening our reach from northern Mozambique to all of southern Africa, we prayed God would reveal a way for us to serve as a family without being a burden on those we go to serve. By purchasing “Samson”, a heavy duty motorhome, we will be able to travel into a region with all of our tools, construction equipment, portable studio and sound equipment to help in any way we are needed and have our house with us. Having Samson will also allow us to continue doing homeschool on the road without having to worry about where we are going to set up to teach the boys at each location we arrive at. Having all my tools with me all of the time will help avoid a common frustration I have when visiting places. Many times people will have a house or vehicle issue that I could have easily helped them with if I had the right tool, but that tool is usually back home since that wasn’t the purpose of our trip. Being able to be spontaneous and do a recording or other project just because we have the equipment with us will be a huge help in supporting the work God is doing in Southern Africa. We look forward to seeing how he can use us in ways we haven’t even thought of yet.
To read some of the endorsements we have received from potential partners please click here or the Endorsements tab at the top of the page. If you would like to donate to either the general ministry SAMSON or help with the purchase of the vehicle, “Samson” please click here or the Donate tab at the top of the page.