Testimony of Salvation
I grew up in a Christian home where I went to church and heard the gospel for my entire life, yet it was not until I was thirteen that I realized my need for the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. On May 24th, 2009, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
At the age of fourteen, I got involved in my local church ministries. I was mentoring younger teens in the sound ministry, sang in the youth and adult choirs, and taught in children's church. Then, the LORD provided an opportunity for me to travel with Evangelist Jerry Purtell with Child Evangelism Fellowship. For four years I learned from him and preached the gospel under his supervision. One year we preached the gospel to over 15,000 people all over the US and in Jamaica. On another occasion he had to leave due to his mother’s health. That day I had the opportunity to preach from 11 am to 11 pm, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life!
Just before I turned eighteen, I was asking God where He would have me to go to receive further training for the ministry. He sent a missionary named Paul Taube to my church. He was with Vision Baptist Missions, and he encouraged me to go to the Our Generation Training Center (OGTC) which was something that I had been praying about, and the LORD used him to confirm. I trained at the OGTC for 3 ½ years and took a six-month internship to South Africa. There I had the opportunity to learn some of the language, adapt to the culture, and study ministry under Missionary Mark Coffey.
Jens Looney - Birthday April 20
Personal Call to Ministry
I had an older brother named Owen who was going to be a missionary but the LORD called him home in July of 2009 before he had finished Bible college. At his funeral, I stood at the foot of his grave and told God that, if He would have me, I would be willing to be a missionary. As life continued, I had begun to follow my own path of pursuits in life doing what I wanted to do. One day, when I was about fifteen, while reading my Bible, I read Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” As I closed my Bible I said, “If I really believe the Bible, this changes everything.”
Upon returning to the U.S. the LORD began to press upon my heart the country of Indonesia, and in December of 2019, I began deputation as a missionary to Indonesia.
Testimony of Salvation
Gina Looney - Birthday April 18
Before going to college I served in the the children's programs in our home church, including nursery, Sunday School, children's church, and Patch the Pirate Club. I also helped with the nursing home ministry, and was a leader in the Youth Group. When I went to college, I served in and eventually lead a Bible club for several years, I helped in the Master's Club ministry as well as in children's Sunday School and nursery. For several semesters I served as a prayer leader in the dorms. During this time in college, I also took several missions trips to Romania totaling six months time spent working in that country. In 2019 after finishing at the Our generation training center, I took an six-month internship to South Africa. Before the internship and upon returning, I have been teaching and helping in our children's Sunday school, children's church, and nursery. We also have an amazing discipleship program called, Foundations, that I have had the privilege to use to teach a few of the girls I have meet.
We met in 2018 when Gina moved to the Our Generation Training Center. However, shortly after she arrived, I (Jens) left for my internship in South Africa. Six months later, as Gina was preparing to leave for her internship and I was returning from mine, we learned that we would have a few hours of a layover together in London. We had lunch together while we were there which provided us with the opportunity to catch up and learn more about each other. We did not speak to each other much during her internship, but when she returned we had dinner together. Although we both enjoyed the meal, we did not pursue a relationship until several months later. I was already on deputation, and she was serving in the missions board office and planning to do a survey trip to Argentina, but then Covid-19 cancelled all of our plans. This actually brought us together, and we soon began building on a friendship that turned into a relationship and has brought us to where we are today. We were married on January 30, 2021, and now together we seek to serve the Lord as missionaries in Indonesia.
I grew up in a Christian family and made a profession of faith when I was six, but I did not truly understand what I was doing or what it meant to accept Christ as Savior. It was as a young teen that the Lord started giving me great unrest. I knew that I was not a Christian even though I knew how to live like one. Evangelist Mike Pelletier came to my church for a revival, and it was through his preaching that the Lord opened my eyes to my need for Him, and that He alone could save me. It was that night that I truly accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.
My Heart for Missions
After finishing high school, I attended Pensacola Christian College to obtain a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Between my sophomore and junior year that I took my first missions trip to Romania. During that first trip the Lord broke my heart with what I saw. The first week, I had the opportunity to be involved with a group that had little gypsy boys, I saw these boys being rejected by others around them, and I soon learned that gypsies are still looked down upon because of their heritage. I had the opportunity to share Hungarian tracts with these boys, and although I did not see them accept Christ at that time, it burdened my heart to see that people are considered "unlovable" and "not worthy" of knowing about Christ.
In the second week though, the Lord broke my heart even further. The first week we had seen many professions of faith, but the second week, it appeared as if no one cared about the gospel. We saw few professions of faith and everyone seemed distracted by and content with just having fun. I remember crying at the end of that week because we had the opportunity to share Christ with all those souls, but so few saw their need for Him.
It was during that first missions trip that I told God that wherever He would have me go, I would go so that others would know about Him. After that summer, I returned to Romania repeatedly for a total of six months. I learned some of the language and had extended opportunity to work with the gypsies and Romanians alike to share the gospel with them. After finishing my Master's degree, I came to the Our Generation Training Center to learn more specifically about serving on the mission field. After receiving some training, I spent six months in South Africa on an internship where I was able to see first hand how it is to serve and live day-to-day in another country, and the Lord used that time to solidify even more missions is where He wanted me to be.
Anniversary - January 30