The LONGER version
We are Lance & Mindy Hines. By any standard, we are pretty ordinary people. I grew up in a pastor's home in Texas; Lance grew up on a farm in Colorado. We attended Southwestern A/G University from 1988 to 1992. When we were at SAGU, Lance led a mission's prayer group. When we were dating, he said he wanted to do something exciting like "smuggle Bibles into Russia." I thought he would grow out of that. He didn't...in fact, we both grew "into" a full-fledged call to missions.
We married in 1991, and within our first four years of marriage - we had three children! The early days were CRAAAAZY! Today, those three amazing kids of ours have all grown up and left home. Our oldest son, Tyler is married to Nicole, and they have three beautiful children; Brexlea, Asher, and Levi. Our younger son, Austin, teaches school and coaches Football. Our youngest, Baylea, teaches kindergarten. Our kids all love Jesus and serve him faithfully. We are grateful to God for his grace in our kids lives.
We're pretty amazed at how God has taken our lives (flawed and imperfect as they are) and used us to build his kingdom in some of the darkest places on earth. We have known him to be a good and faithful God - it has been our joy to say, "YES" to his calling.
When God first called us to Africa, we were filled with mixed emotions. We wanted to be part of God's plan to redeem and transform lives, families and communities. We were willing to go wherever the need was greatest. Back then, it was hard to imagine what life and ministry would be like in an African context.
We leaned into our calling in 1999 and applied with the Assemblies of God World Mission's Department to be missionaries. In 2001, we began our first missionary assignment in Zambia. The rest is history.
God has been faithful to us in every trial. Lance has been carjacked. In our first 18 months, I had malaria 9 different times. Over and over again, we have seen that heartache and opposition often precede miraculous victories and uncontainable joy.
As we walk with and work for Jesus - we should never expect that life will be carefree and void of pain. Jesus was our great example and he made the ultimate sacrifice.
It has been a joy and privilege to participate was Jesus builds his church, to bear witness as he transforms lives, and to marvel as he heals the broken. It has been an honor to work with and learn from; African pastors (many of whom are our mentors and heroes) great leaders and other missionaries for one purpose - so that all can hear of Jesus and his great love.
Our desire is to continue to be useful in HIS hands. We remain works in progress.