Alan & Carolyn Furst
Where we have come from . . .
Carolyn and I both felt persuaded to be involved in international mission work from our teenage years. After graduating with a BA from a mission-oriented college, we joined WEC International to serve in Spain in the capacity of church planting and evangelism during the 1980s. We experienced many wonderful things . . . but also unexpected experiences that left us hurting deeply. Our wounds crippled our ministry and resulted in us looking for help but not finding a listening and understanding ear. We returned to the US with the single aim of finding help and getting strong to serve well.
The journey of healing and strengthening for service has profoundly affected us spiritually, physically, relationally and emotionally. Our experience became fertile soil for a question to take root in our souls: what about those people sincerely serving God in global locations without someone who can listen well and speak into their lives for help and healing?
God permitted us to listen to the stories of hundreds of global workers. We listened to stories of loneliness, frustration, relational breakdown, embarrassing sins, unresolved matters of the soul, stress, trauma, disillusionment, severe sadness, shame, grief, guilt and more. The soul needs of missionaries was much bigger than what we ever anticipated. We pursued more education and I was personally mentored by Dr. Lois Dodds of Heartstream Resources in the area of member care. The more I learned and counseled workers, the more I realized I had much more to learn to serve and love well. Currently I am enrolled in the MA program in Member Care through Redcliffe College (University of Gloucestershire, England).
What we offer . . .
"It takes a soul to develop a soul." --Dr. Curt Thompson
Carolyn and I are available to listen well, point people in the direction of skilled help, provide pastoral care, and come alongside to strengthen resilience in life and service.
Workshops and Seminars
Member care training
Mentoring and coaching
A little more information . . .
We are members of Bethlehem Baptist Church (North Campus) in Minneapolis. Alan leads inductive Bible studies with men and couples at their home in Ham Lake, Minnesota. "I am particularly interested in helping the irreligious discover the Gospel and kindle faith in Christ." Carolyn serves missionaries who are stateside for home assignments, reassignments, career changes, or whatever reason brings them back to the states. Everyone who knows her recognizes her adventurous spirit and compassion for the hurting.
We have three adult sons, one daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. They all make us proud and make us smile.
Alan is a creative person and enjoys painting in watercolor and "putzing." Of course, there's all the reading and research involved in his studies. He is also the family's chef in residence where he puts his creativity to use in the kitchen. He has owned a design studio and also a senior homecare agency.
Carolyn enjoys gardening, attracting birds and butterflies, and avoiding wood ticks. She is very much interested in medical things and has many years invested in medical sales.
Why support the Fursts . . .
Our experience has shown us that only the larger mission agencies have staff dedicated to member care. There is a significant segment of smaller agencies and independents that do not have the resources, understanding or manpower to provide the skilled care missionaries need to address the needs of the soul. As a result, global workers do not budget for nor have funds available for help when needed.
Your support makes it possible for us to serve missionaries without burdening them with bearing the cost. We use funds to travel to the fields where people serve, for ongoing education, ministry materials and for our own living expenses.