Rich was born in Columbus, Georgia in 1956 but spent most of his childhood in Eastern Massachusetts. His parents divorced when he was young, but his mom remarried an awesome family man who was also a great provider. Rich grew up believing in God but not knowing Him personally. He was athletic with a love for baseball among other sports. Even with an active and “successful” life, Rich was still empty and searching for meaning and purpose in life. As a senior in high school, Rich finally found Christ. Actually, Christ found him and made him a new creation.
Rich didn’t start growing in his faith until his sophomore year of college. After graduation, he wanted to serve the Lord through teaching in a Christian school. The Lord has continued to teach and develop him through many life experiences and isn’t finished with Rich yet. He is excited to serve the Lord on the mission field until His return!!
Jim Elliot once said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot gain to gain what he cannot lose.”
Pamela was born in Kittery, Maine in 1959. She grew up in a Christian family where she was the oldest of 4 children. Pam’s dad was in the air force in her early years. As a result, her family moved frequently. At the age of 5, she remembers going forward in an evening church service and asking Jesus to come into her life and forgive her of her sins. As Pam grew up, she continued to go to church, Sunday school, Awana and youth groups. She wanted her life to count for God and had a desire for her life to be usable for Him. One summer, in between 2 years of nursing school, Pam was a camp counselor for 11 and 12 year-old girls. She thinks that was the summer that she grew up in her faith and it became her own (girls that age have LOTS of questions). Pam was first exposed to missions at the age of 18 when she took a trip to Guatemala with a friend.
Pam and Rich first met at a young peoples’ prayer and praise Bible Study in 1977. They discovered early in the relationship that they were like-minded in that they both desired to be in full-time service for the Lord. They were married in August of 1980 and moved to Springfield, Massachusetts where they lived for 18 years. Rich taught junior high at a Christian School and developed a paint contractor business on the side. God also prepared him for where they are now through other business experiences and ventures: cleaning company, insurance sales, coaching etc. Their early married days were focused on small group Bible studies. It was during this time that they were discipled in their faith. As their children grew, Pam and Rich were involved in teaching Sunday school, working in nursery age groups, and in children’s church. They also started to look for international students that they could have in their home. In their local church, they were involved by serving on the missions board, Christian education board and trustee board. Then one day, the Agnews were challenged to attend a FAMILY mission trip in Reynosa, Mexico. Thus started a series of short-term mission trips to Alaska, Ecuador, Africa (for Rachel), and Guatemala (for Pam). Finally, the connection with New Tribes came when they served as short-term missionaries in Panama for 2 years. After the 2 years, they continued in NTM for training. They spent a year in Canada for Mission’s Institute and a year in Missouri for Language School.
As a couple and family, the Agnews are excited that the Lord has led them here to Mexico to share the good news of salvation with the people of this country.