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Missions: From Start to Finish – An Accountant Finisher

Who Said It…Jim Reapsome

Jim Reapsome, at 77, has just completed a stint as interim pastor of Western Springs, IL Baptist Church.

That follows retiring from a journalism career: public relations director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, editor of The Sunday School Times and Evangelical Missions Quarterly, and managing editor of Christianity Today. And oh yes, he’s pastored a Pennsylvania congregation.

Jim also gardens, golfs, and roots for the Phillies.

What He Said…An Accountant Finisher

Howard and Marilyn Schmidt represent a host of Christians (called “finishers” in missions lingo) who’ve chosen missionary work as their second career. In 1966, Howard took a year of leave from his managerial job at U.S. Steel, and went to Nigeria with their three children. There he served as a field auditor for Charlotte, NC-based SIM International, traveling among SIM’s bases of operations reviewing their financial books.

This short-term experience was so successful that it proved to be a long-term turning point for this family. Howard stayed with U.S. Steel long enough to qualify for a minimum pension (about the same as SIM’s allowance for a missionary couple). By this time their children had finished their college educations, and the Schmidts were free to rejoin SIM in 1981, bringing their own support.

The Schmidts 21-year second career took them all over the world for SIM. He installed financial systems and trained missionaries in a number of countries.

Adapted from World Pulse (8/6/04)

Prayer for the Week: Prevent me, sovereign Lord, from placing age or place restrictions on my readiness to serve You.



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