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From Africa to the Whitehouse By Karie Owens Nathan & Karie Owens “Mommy, are we going to the Whitehouse today?” With expectant eyes, my four-year-old daughter beamed with excitement. “Yes, Victoria, we are going to Whitehouse to hang door hangers and to tell people about Jesus.” “Yeah…I want to go.” Victoria's brothers chimed along. “I got the water and the tracts.” “I have the door hangers…can I wear my sandals?” “No!” I said with a smile, “the fire ants will get you.” We moved to Texas in March to restart a church in the city of Whitehouse. After serving in Cameroon, Africa, as missionaries and coming back to the States for health reasons, I was still acclimating to the idea of church planting in the United States. However, our family was excited that God would use us to reach people in our own country! The opening Sunday was set for May 18. Each of my children had a part in preparing for the Grand Opening of Victory Baptist Church as we sat around our kitchen table morning, noon, and night stuffing door hangers. We cherished the time we shared. Sometimes when my sons would spend more time reading through the book of Romans with illustrations than stuffing, their sisters would get on them and make them get back to work! “Okay guys, let's be careful to put the Romans in first, then the flyer, then the tract,” I explained. “Mom, I need more bags.” “Look, Mom, I did this whole stack!” Little did I realize as I prayed over the bags that many tracts and invitations would reach individuals whom God loved and in whom He wanted to abide. “Is everyone ready?” My husband was giving a final boarding call. It was eight o'clock and already close to eighty degrees. We had a full day ahead hanging flyers and soul winning. Upon arriving to the Tyler area surrounding Whitehouse, Texas, I ashamedly thought to myself, “Why are we starting a church here again?” Everywhere were so-called Baptist churches. This is the Bible Belt, I mean, we are in the South, right? As we started speaking to people, we realized there was a need for the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ in Whitehouse, Texas, and a good church. It was then that I settled in my heart that it did I decided not to let Satan not matter where God led our family to start a church; distract me with the God showed me that the Great Commission has more to “where.” My focus became do with obeying and following Christ no matter where reaching “whosoever” the He leads. I decided not to let Satan distract me with the “where.” My focus became reaching “whosoever” the Lord Lord brought in our path. brought in our path. I found myself falling in love with going out door knocking as a family! Nathan would usually take the three boys, Nathan, Daniel, and Jeremiah. I would take our three girls, Elisabeth, Summerly, and Victoria. Children have an uncanny way of breaking the ice and warming the hearts of people all at the same time. We had a system: the children would knock and if someone answered, I would invite and 8 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2015