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Ken and Carolyn Wade

Retired Missionaries to Kenya
"“We were made for this work”"
By Alex Gergely, Staff Writer, July 2019

Ken and Carolyn Wade began working with World Gospel Mission in 1994 when they were recommended to WGM by a former seminary professor. They were approved as career missionaries only a year later, and in December of 1996, they left for Kenya to begin a new chapter of their lives.

But Ken and Carolyn’s story begins much earlier than that. At age twelve, Carolyn knew she was called to be a nurse and a missionary when she took care of her father, who was ill with cancer. Ken felt God calling him to the mission field after hearing a missionary speak at his school while he was a freshman in college. “This calling by God held us steady through the years,” Ken says.

Ken and Carolyn saw their passions come together at Kenya Highlands Bible College where Carolyn, a registered nurse, opened the campus dispensary and Ken, a teaching pastor, taught classes. It was there that God strengthened their skills, prepared them to lead, and challenged them to begin a new ministry.

In 2005, Ken and Carolyn started the Africa Gospel Church Enhancement Ministry, which they led faithfully until 2019. Through this ministry they were able to create strong interpersonal relationships, strengthen the church, and share Christ’s love with countless Africans. Concerning what they loved most about their ministry, Ken says, “Certainly, we would say the wonderful opportunity to work out among the people of Kenya.”

Ken reflects on the various ministries through which he and Carolyn served during their time with the Africa Gospel Church:

Radio programs, school ministries, rural church services and special meetings with children, youth, men, women, and couples, with the opportunities to show compassion physically, teaching and preaching were wonderful aspects of our service. Many lifelong friendships were formed. Fellowship in homes was always fulfilling. We felt like these experiences were the apex of our years of ministry and effectiveness, fruit, and fulfillment. Carolyn often said that we were made for this work. I often told people we got tired doing the work but never tired of the work.

In the midst of all this “work,” they now see that God was doing more than they could ever imagine. “We realized for ourselves how God is always working…often behind the scenes.” Their experience on the mission field has taught them, perhaps most of all, that “It is God’s work—we simply make ourselves available to Him to work through us.” Ken and Carolyn’s life-passage, Proverbs 3:5-8, speaks to this ability to see God as the director and perfecter of their life, rather than themselves:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones. (ESV)

“We adopted these verses in 1972 when we married,” Ken says. “These words have been a guiding light and stabilizing factor that has produced faith and perseverance down the years.” Ken and Carolyn will retire in 2020 and plan on relocating to Fort Wayne, Indiana in order to spend more time with family. However, they also know their work is never done. They plan to continue ministering to others through their Facebook ministry, by producing radio content for Kenya, and through downloadable online resources: “We will let God fill in the details of His will for us to continue serving Him as long as He enables and allows us.” Just as God blessed Ken and Carolyn during their full-time ministry, He will continue looking after and challenging them in this next important phase of their life.

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