We are originally from Fitchburg Massachusetts and we were not Christians when we got married in 1963. Both of us were very active Church goers, but did not clearly understand the Gospel. For a long time though, we were both searching for reality in life. Charlie went into the United States Air Force for three years and we lived in Biloxi Mississippi during that time. Jim, a personal friend of Charlie’s, asked us if he could stop for a visit on his way to Florida. An army Chaplain had led Jim to the Lord in Germany. We did not know that he wanted to witness to us about our need of Jesus Christ as our Savior. Jim shared from the Bible for three days. Charlie thought he was crazy and thought if he humored Jim he would soon be gone and we’d go on with our lives. Cherrie had heard the Gospel as a teenager, but no one personally asked if she wanted to become a Christian. She had been under conviction of sin, but as stated before, no one got beside her. So Cherrie knew what Jim said was the truth and while he was there she believed in Jesus Christ as her Savior. About three weeks after Jim left, Charlie was trying to figure out his friend, and decided to look up the verses Jim had left regarding the plan of Salvation. He too put his faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior. Charlie was 17 and Cherrie was 18 when we married and we believe if we had not become Christians there was a good possibility we would not be together today. This past June we celebrated our forty fifth anniversary!
We have three children. Our oldest son Raymond is married to Janelle and lives in Kansas with their two children – Cherrine and Charles. Raymond was born while we were in the Air Force. Our next son Benjamin was born in New Zealand. He married Stephanie (an MK – Missionary kid ) who was raised in the Philippines. They live in Australia and have four children – Jayden, Ashton , Llahna, and Kyan. Esther is our last child and lives in Poughkeepsie New York with her husband Ricky.
After three years in the military, Charlie felt led to go to Tennessee Temple Bible School, a Baptist school located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. While there, we were both challenged for Mission work with unreached tribal groups. After three years of Bible School training, Charlie graduated. Cherrie only went to class part time. In August of 1969 we entered training with New Tribes Mission, finishing our training in May of 1972. Charlie had linguistic abilities and we were heading to work in Papua New Guinea. The leaders of New Tribes Mission knew of a need for a language school teacher at their Missionary & Language School in Sydney Australia. They asked if we would be willing to help out there for two years. After praying, we felt that was what God wanted us to do. We first arrived in Australia in February of 1973. At the end of 1973, the Language School moved to New Zealand for five years. Charlie was to help for two years while another Australian teacher went back to the USA to coordinate the Language School in Australia with the one at Camdenton Missouri. That teacher resigned, though, to work with Aboriginal people in Australia. After much prayer, we believed the Lord wanted us to continue on working at the Australian New Tribes Mission School which eventually moved from New Zealand back to Sydney Australia.
Charlie’s ministries in Australia involved being head of our New Tribes Mission Language School, teaching in their Bible School, and having leadership responsibilities. While there he was invited to also be involved in a teaching ministry in Asia and Central Asia, training pastors and potential church leaders. This ministry was not with New Tribes Mission. Cherrie’s responsibilities over the years involved doing secretarial work in the New Tribes Mission Office, working in the Mission Finance office, being the hostess for Mission guests, working in the library, and of course being a wife and mother. The last few years with New Tribes Mission in Australia we were asked to take on a full-time ministry working in their Personnel Department doing member care and oversight for our Australian, and New Zealand trained personnel. We had been very much aware of this need. A bonus was we had a part in most all of the missionary’s lives and loved and appreciated them. In that new season of our lives we were happy to take on that responsibility. In the Church we attended we were involved with care of our older church members for two years being part time Associate pastor.
In 2006 we were on furlough and could see the Lord orchestrating a big change in our lives. Charlie’s Mother was now in a nursing home in Thomasville Georgia with no family or friends around. We got before the Lord believing Him to show us His direction for our lives. We visited our New Tribes Mission Headquarters and also their Retirement Center here in Sanford Florida. God makes no mistakes, and with our love of member care and the elderly, He gave us both His peace that He wanted us to join the staff here at our New Tribes Mission Retirement Center in Sanford Florida. So we transitioned back to the USA after thirty four years “Down Under” arriving here in June of 2007. It is about a five hour ride to see Charlie’s Mom. She is in a really lovely Nursing Home and we try to see her every four to six weeks, and more often if needed.
Charlie is now the Business Advisor for our New Tribes Mission Retirement Center, and Cherrie is his secretary, and helps in the finance office a little. By being here and taking care of our retired missionaries, their children who are still on the mission field can stay there knowing their folks are being cared for.
We are still living by faith, as do all our Missionaries. We count it a privilege to be part of the team to reach the unreached around the world. We thank the Lord for all the folk that are part of our team that pray personally for us and/or support us financially. They are a vital part of reaching the lost.