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Paul and Pat Shingledecker

Retired Missionaries to Haiti
"I Called You to Me"
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, December 2015

During their 40 years of missionary service with World Gospel Mission, Paul and Pat Shingledecker served in Burundi, Haiti, and on the Support Staff.

After God called them both to missions while in high school, Paul and Pat met at Asbury College (Kentucky). Their varied career began in Burundi in 1974, which is where Paul had grown up as a missionary kid. Paul worked as an engineer for Radio Cordac, a Christian broadcasting network. After three years, government changes prevented their return to Burundi. (Radio Cordac had been taken off the air by the government a year earlier.) Paul and Pat were very disappointed, with both having felt strongly that they were supposed to serve there long term.

“We almost thought we were finished being missionaries,” shared Pat. “But God told us both: ‘I called you to Me, not to Africa.’”

They were invited to serve in Haiti with Radio Lumière, and they remained there for 23 years. Paul worked for the radio station in various capacities—director of a regional station on the Central Plateau, director of network stations, and later the network administrator. God brought Radio Lumière through many difficult times over the years, ranging from financial troubles to actual terrorist attacks. Now today 56 years old, the station continues to spread the Light of Jesus Christ to over 90 percent of Haiti.

Through Paul’s technical expertise and mentoring, he was influential in helping Radio Lumière become fully managed by Haitians.

“We saw real racial and cultural barriers being broken down,” Paul said of the transition to all-Haitian leadership. “We didn’t always agree, but we were able to work through it as co-workers and friends. We had to rely on the Lord and in our commitment that this [leadership turnover] was the goal and culmination of what we were doing. God gave us the best people to make this happen.”

Pat taught kindergarten at Quisqueya Christian School, served as mission treasurer, and worked as an assistant in administration at Radio Lumière. Their three daughters, Laura, Lisa, and Linda, grew up and graduated from high school in Haiti.

In 2003, Paul and Pat were asked to transition to the home office, where they served as regional directors for Africa, the U.S., and the Caribbean. Their focus became enabling missionaries to serve, a ministry they found to be much like coaching and just encouraging.

In 2010, a terrible earthquake devastated much of Haiti, and Paul and Pat’s ministry refocused on Haiti. Paul served as a consultant and made frequent trips to help with relief and rebuilding. He also assisted work teams that came to the country to build homes for displaced people.

Through their years of ministry, Paul and Pat held firmly to their roots of faith that went back to their teen years in Burundi and Lubbock, Texas, respectively. Paul’s advice for people who are seeking God’s will for their lives: “Ask not ‘what am I going to do with my life?’ but ask ‘What does God want me to do with my life?’ There’s a big difference. Build your relationship with God to the point where you know His voice.”

The Shingledeckers retired in 2013, but Pat began working in Financial Services at WGM headquarters that same month. She continued in that role until retiring from the department in June 2015.

Paul and Pat look forward to many years of active service both in the U.S. and in Haiti. Paul continues to work closely with the Radio Lumière team and still visits Haiti regularly. He also assists in the Information Technology Department at WGM’s headquarters. Pat volunteers as a student mentor in a local school, at the local Pregnancy Help Center, and at their church. They live in Marion, Indiana.

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