Joel & Stephanie Swanson Toulouse, France
Growing up in a missions-minded family, Stephanie learned about God’s work overseas through missions conferences, biographies, and hosting missionaries. As a teenager, she initiated missions projects in her church and dreamed of serving on the foreign field.
Joel grew up in a Christian home in New Jersey, and was exposed to missions at an early age. In 2007, while teaching English in Ukraine, Joel began to sense a call to missions in non-English-speaking Europe, which led him to serve as a missionary with MTW (Mission to the World, the missions organization of the Presbyterian Church in America) in Ukraine.
Joel and Stephanie married in 2014 and serve together in Toulouse, France, a growing city with aviation, aerospace, and high-tech industries. There are over 120,000 university students and many young professionals. Like much of France, the spiritual climate is resistant, even post-Christian. In France, the Protestant faith was nearly exterminated by centuries of persecution. Working alongside nationals, the MTW team has helped establish three area churches and a fourth is working toward independence. Stephanie and Joel’s creativity and gifts in teaching, music, drama, English, and graphic design help them serve the church in a wide variety of evangelistic outreaches such as children’s and youth ministry, music outreaches, and English clubs and classes. Their goal is to make contacts for evangelism, and disciple the lost generation: children, youth, and their families.
Join Joel and Stephanie in praying that God will bring hope and healing to the spiritually hungry people of France, where only 1 percent are evangelical Christians and millions have never heard the gospel.
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