"When God called me to be a pastor, he also gave me a passion for world missions. I cannot look lightly on a world that knows nothing about its Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. My 42 years in pastoral ministry always kept missions at the forefront, and we saw phenomenal blessings because of it. My church has allowed me to spend time in over two dozen countries of the world, which vastly increased my burden. For the last twenty years, I have been active on the General Council of Baptist Mid-Missions, and the Lord has granted me the greatest joy imaginable - two of our sons have been called to be missionaries. One is in Costa Rica, and the other is on his way to Romania. This is in the context of many other fine young people from our church who are also heeding God’s call.
"One of those young men is Jim Engle, currently appointed to the hard and needy field of Germany. I have been his pastor since his childhood. He was one of those individuals who always demonstrated a serious sense of responsibility. He is a man of integrity and determination. I have watched him overcome extreme obstacles, never once veering from his course. I remember when he answered God’s call to missions, and I have observed his incredible sacrifice to follow that course. He is a man of high standards and huge compassion.
Our church helped sponsor him on three very significant mission endeavors - one for a missionary apprenticeship program for 11 weeks in Belgium, another, to spend 5 months in South Africa with veteran missionaries, to be a part of the evangelistic outreach in Germany during Baptist Mid-Missions’ Medals for Glory. While in Germany, the missionaries saw how well Jim worked with the German people. He is quiet and thoughtful, but sharp and confident. They hope that he and his wife will return soon to help them.
"His wonderful wife, Sarah, was the secretary to Vernon Rosenau, the Baptist Mid-Missions Administrator over the fields of Europe and Africa. She has proven already to be a great asset to Jim’s ministry.
"If your church is in any position to forward the cause of world missions by faith, I would encourage you to invite this couple to present their burden for Germany to your people. If God were to lead you to take on a portion of their support, I can assure you it would be an investment well placed. Jim has been a faithful worker in Evangel Baptist Church, Taylor, Michigan, and he is well prepared to spread the gospel and to teach God’s truth in Germany.
For the cause of Christ,
Ronald W. Graef