Paul & Robyn Kramer | Thailand & River Valley Church
As a District, we’re believing 1,000 people will be called from Minnesota churches and sent to the mission field. At the EQUIP Conference we showed three videos of couples responding in obedience to that call. Peter Breit tells the story of a seed that was planted in his heart as a teenager on an AIM trip to Mexico City with Mike Shields. He and his wife, Delia, have been serving in Mexico now for 13 years. Phil Reed was a computer programmer before God redirected his path. He and his wife, Denise, sold everything they had and headed off to Ukraine. The Kramers had a similar experience that led them to southeast Asia.
Paul and Robyn gave their lives to Christ in 2007. Almost immediately they signed up to go on mission trips with their home church, River Valley Church. Each trip was a transformative experience. Paul was baptized on his first mission trip in Haiti. Robyn was baptized in the Holy Spirit on a trip to Uganda, and they soon became self-proclaimed “mission trip junkies.” Each trip built on the experience of previous ones and on a trip to Thailand in 2011 they felt a strong pull to return on a full-time basis.
Paul was a middle school teacher and Robyn was an accountant at the time. They were in their late forties when they talked to their pastor about what it would take to serve on the mission field. The advice was to sell their house, get rid of their stuff, get out of debt, study the Bible, and become pastors.
They started out as MAs and though it was difficult being away from family and friends, their kids (all adults), were supportive of their decision. The first two years were focused on relational ministry with college students, planting seeds of faith. When they returned to the field as fully-appointed career missionaries, they spent the next four years being part of a church planting team.
“If you hear the voice of God telling you to go into missions, it doesn’t matter if it’s a loud call or the whisper of God, you need to start going in that direction. Keep going until you see a closed door.” – Paul Kramer
Paul and Robyn are currently raising support for their next term to return and help equip rural churches in Thailand. They recently discovered they are number 17 and 18 on a list of people serving in full-time ministry on the mission field out of River Valley Church. Pastor Rob Ketterling and the church are believing that God will send out 500 from within their own campuses. Over 100 have already responded and another 100 are in the pipeline. The Kramers are excited to be part of what God is doing in their church and the Minnesota District.
Paul encourages others to be open to responding to God’s call, saying, “If you hear the voice of God telling you to go into missions, it doesn’t matter if it’s a loud call or the whisper of God, you need to start going in that direction. Keep going until you see a closed door.” Robyn says, “We’re just normal people. We’re just like everyone else. We’re being obedient to what God is calling us to do. So if you’re feeling the same way and God is calling you, be obedient to that.”
In the last twelve months alone, 33 new MAs have been approved from the Minnesota District. In the last five months, 16 current MAs have applied to return to the mission field as fully-appointed career missionaries, with four already being approved. God is doing incredible things in our District and we’re excited to share even more stories like the Kramers’ in future months.