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Missionaries | Sam and Laura Witwicke

Sam and Laura Witwicke felt called to missions even before they were married 21 years ago. In the time leading up to their first term in Paraguay, they served as youth and children’s pastors and helped Laura’s parents plant Friendship Assembly in Braham, MN. “Twenty years was a long time to wait for our missions dream to come true,” Laura shares, “but there was purpose in the waiting. God knew when the time was right!”

Sam heard the Lord’s call to missions while he was in MN Teen Challenge but admits that he didn’t know what that would look like or how he would fit. “I never really felt like a ‘missionary’ and couldn’t picture myself preaching or planting big churches. We were serving in ministry, but Laura was the one with the Pastor title, and I was a behind-the-scenes person. I worked as a maintenance technician and helped with more of the administrative side of ministry.” In his free time, Sam took up the hobby of smoking meat, and for the last 15 years, he has been perfecting his own recipes and BBQ methods.

Paraguay is a challenging mission field, and the Witwicke’s first term had many ups and downs as they took on the challenge to learn the language and to build relationships. It didn’t take long to realize that sharing meals is central to Paraguayan culture. What is the most important thing on the menu, you ask? – Meat.

Ninety percent (90%) of Paraguayans are culturally Catholic, and many will never step foot in a church – but they will come to your home for dinner. So, the Witwickes began inviting people over for some classic American BBQ. Laura commented, “It was such an open door! Each week we had 5, 10, then 20 people over for dinner and prayed that God would do whatever He wanted with our time together. Those dinners became a time of prayer, worship, Bible study, and good honest conversation as people’s walls came down and God’s presence filled the room.”

Now preparing to head back as Career Missionaries, the Witwicke family will join a small church planting team. They pray for the Lord to send more workers. With a ministry theme of “Come to the Table,” they will focus on discipleship through hospitality. Thank you for your prayers and support!