From Minnesota to Micronesia
Trading the lakes of Minnesota for the beaches of the South Pacific, Alyssa Levy has picked up her life and moved to Micronesia for the sake of the gospel. Alyssa serves at Harvest Christian Academy in Guam, a U.S. territory in the South Pacific, where she teaches kindergarten and piano to children from across the islands of the region.
Alyssa graduated from Faith’s Elementary Education program in 2012. She was first drawn to Faith because of the school’s accreditation, and knowing that God could place her anywhere in any school, accreditation was a big factor for her. When she visited Faith as a senior in high school, she received a scholarship to study at Faith, and her plans were set.
While in school, Alyssa participated in a variety of activities and ministries. From handbell ensembles to summer camp teams, she loved serving in the ministries at Faith. She even went to Peru on the ¡Arriba! program after she graduated.
After returning from Peru and accepting a teaching position back in Minnesota, Alyssa started making summer plans for after her first year of teaching. She remembered Harvest Ministries visiting Faith during her junior year, so she applied and accepted a position with their summer camp ministry. Because of that summer opportunity, Alyssa is back in Guam teaching full-time at Harvest Christian Academy and serving at Harvest Baptist Church.
“I am so thankful for all the teaching and Bible training I received at Faith,” Alyssa explained. “My education classes prepared me to teach core subjects, and my Bible classes prepared me to live my Christian life and impact my students’ lives. I am thankful for my professors and their investment in me and for preparing me to teach the next generation of leaders!”
Harvest Ministries consists of Harvest Baptist Church, Harvest Christian Academy, Harvest Baptist Bible College, and Harvest Family Radio. Harvest’s school has over 1,000 students ranging from K3-12th grades from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, while the Bible college offers ministry training to adult believers from nearby islands.
“In my classroom alone, I have children from 7 different cultures; but the amazing part is that we can be united as part of the family of Christ.”
Life on Guam is definitely something new for Alyssa, but she enjoys the differences and loves the change. She can often be found on the beaches during the weekends while she reads for her classes, as well as enjoying an occasional snorkeling and paddle boarding adventure. When asked about major differences between Guam and the mainland United States, Alyssa commented about the temperature change, not only in climate but also in culture. She says the culture is “warmer” than on the mainland, and people are friendly and welcoming.
As Alyssa is teaching, she is working toward completing her master’s degree in education. Because of her time in Peru, she would love eventually to return to a Spanish-speaking country and teach. We are excited to see God work through her life as Alyssa takes the Word to the World.
A Different Kind of Youth Ministry
Sometimes it's easy to focus on gospel ministry all over the world while neglecting the needs right in our own community. Chad Fincham, a 2012 Faith alum, recognized the need in Iowa and is making local efforts for an eternal impact.
Chad is serving the Lord as the chaplain at the State Training School in Eldora, Iowa. The State Training School is a rehabilitation facility for young men, ages 12-18, who have been court-ordered on criminal charges.
Chad got his start at the training school through a summer internship. When the school basketball team took a ministry trip to the facility his sophomore year, Chad got connected into the internship program. That summer he served under the chaplain at the facility, doubling as college credit toward his degree.
“That summer was the best one of my life and the greatest ministry experience I had. Yet, at that point I wasn’t certain where God was leading for vocational ministry,” Chad explained.
When Chad stepped into the children’s director role at his church in Des Moines during his last year of school, he and his wife had no intention of leaving that ministry any time soon. However, God had other plans. After some time serving there, Chad learned that the chaplain at the State Training School where he interned was retiring. It was then that he was contacted about stepping into the position.
“Through specific things communicated by my wife, counsel with pastors and family, and a memory of one particular student I had worked with as an intern, God made clear that He was calling us there, even if the timing was unexpected.”
Chad’s goal is for every young man who comes through the school to hear the gospel during his stay. Last year more 80% of the students had that opportunity. Chad especially enjoys the opportunity to connect with students through his love of basketball.
“Going to the gym is one of the most effective ways to meet new students, establish rapport with them, and continue building relationships,” Chad said. “And I still love basketball, so it’s a win-win! God used my years of playing basketball to shape my character, break down pride, teach me how to live selflessly rather than selfishly, and lead other men in pursuing Jesus and His view of success.”
Although basketball is great, there is one joy, Chad explained, that nothing else compares to—seeing a person grasp the truths of the gospel for the first time.
Chad says his training at Faith was crucial to his current ministry. From a deeper love of God to spiritual disciplines, Chad’s time at Faith was used to shape him for this ministry.
Chad and his wife, Rachel (a 2011 Faith grad), have two boys, Emmett and Silas. The Finchams live in Iowa Falls.
Ready to Return to India
Wesley Chatla had an active, fruitful ministry in India for many years, but he sensed the need for seminary training to enhance his effectiveness in ministry. The Lord led him to Faith Baptist Theological Seminary in 2011, and he graduated this past May, ready to return to India.
1. Tell us about your parents and siblings and the ministries your family has initiated in India.
My parents, Dr. and Mrs. Chatla Devasahayam and Suguna, have been serving the Lord with Baptist India Ministries since 1975. I am a third generation Christian, and God blessed me with godly parents, three brothers, and four sisters. All of my siblings are believers, and five of them are serving the Lord in different parts of India. My grandfather started Baptist India Ministries in 1950 which has grown to include church planting, an orphanage, a Christian school, Mount Zion Bible School, gospel TV ministries, and widow care.
2. What kind of ministries did you have in India prior to coming to FBTS?
I worked in South Korea for three years and returned to India in 1999 to work as a general manager for Baptist India Ministries and director of the J. Frank Davis High School from 2000 to 2011. My wife, Sonia Chatla, worked as a school principal for ten years in the same school.
3. How did you hear about FBTS and how did the Lord lead you here?
I came to know about Faith through Dr. James Maxwell III, when my Dad met him in Bangkok, Thailand, during an IPFBM conference. I visited the United States in 2010 to participate in a leadership conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. During that trip I visited other schools and finally came to Faith in August 2011. Through my short visit and other circumstances, the Lord led me to come to Faith. I arrived at Faith on February 16, 2012.
4. When did you come to FBTS and what was involved in the transition? Tell us about your family and share how your family had to wait a while to come.
What I saw on February 2011 was quite different from my visit in August 2010. It really felt cold, and Dr. Maxwell sent me a big, thick coat to bear the cold, which I had never experienced in my life. Fortunately that was a mild winter and I really adjusted well. During this time, my wife and children applied for renewal of their passports, which took four months. Then they had to submit more paper work, but they finally got their visas to come to the United States. The whole process took seven months. It was hard on me being away from my family for seven months, but God taught me to lean on Him and wait for His time.
5. What were some of the challenges you faced here at FBTS?
Though there are many challenges ever since my arrival here, God in His sovereign grace met our every challenge during our stay at Faith. It has been a huge transition for my kids and wife, but we thank God for His faithfulness and meeting and providing our needs and equipping us for our future ministry.
• I struggled in the first year to pay my school bill. We were praying until the last day, and as an answer to my prayer, a friend of mine took care of the bill for me. I praise God for the scholarships and employment from FBTS from my second year for which I am so grateful. I came to Faith by faith and God once again proved His faithfulness.
• A couple in our church gave us their car to use for 15 months, until we got one of our own. Someone anonymously sent us $5000 to buy a car. Praise the Lord!
• One of the big challenges for me was cold weather, but thank God I made it. But for my wife, it was a childhood wish come true. She enjoyed walking on a snowy Christmas night with beautiful lights around.
6. What church were you a part of here in Ankeny, and how have you served in that church?
We were part of Community Baptist Church in Ankeny. I enjoyed Dr. Schmidt’s preaching and the loving people at CBC. Because of my frequent travels to churches, I was mostly involved as a substitute in all areas where there was a need. I am thankful for the opportunity to complete my internship at CBC by serving in teaching, preaching, outreach, children’s club, and youth group.
7. When do you plan to return to India?
We are leaving on June 9 to return to India. Our main goal is church planting and training the nationals who are already in the field. Down the road my desire is to establish orphanages and mission schools to reach the younger generation as 40% of the population in India is under the age of 25.
8. What role will your wife play in your ministry as you return to India?
I am so grateful to God for my wonderful wife. She has been a tremendous blessing to me in the ministry, and she will help me in every way possible in whatever capacity God places me. She will render her services in children’s and youth ministries.
10. How did your studies and teachers here at FBTS prepare you for more effective service for Christ?
It is a huge blessing to be under the teaching, training and guidance of FBTS faculty, who are well qualified, dedicated, and committed to train us with sound Biblical doctrines without any compromise. Their passion was to equip me to preach the Word and help me understand how people are being misled by incorrect doctrines. They not only teach, but they also live by the Word and I am grateful for their love, care and passion to train men and women for the service for the Lord. I have to admit that working with the Hebrew and Greek languages was like a “fine form of torture,” but I learned a lot through language studies and I am quite comfortable to use languages in my sermon preparations.
We wish Wesley and his family God’s richest blessings as they return to India, ready to serve the Lord more effectively.
Proclaiming Christ Where He Is Not Heard
From tropical forests and rich agricultural lands to majestic mountains and vast seas, true beauty is displayed in the land of India. It is a land that is highly populated and yet desperately needy for the gospel. Hinduism is not just a popular religion in India—it is the culture of India. Millions are blinded by its worship, temples, and idols, never knowing the gospel of Jesus. This is where freshman Hanna Enosh calls home.
Hanna comes from Devanahalli, a town located in South-Central India. Here her family is actively serving Christ and making His name known in India.
In July of 1994 Hanna’s father began their church-planting ministry in Devanahalli. At the time there were no Christians, only the strong influence of the Hindu religion and its followers. Hanna’s father started reaching out to the 275 villages in the district.
“All [the villages] were unreached during the church planting ministry,” Hanna explained. “My father, Pastor J.D. Enosh, started street preaching as the time permitted. He also started screening the JESUS Film and distributing the Gospel of John to all village people.”
After six months of tiring work and seeing no fruit, a Hindu priest accepted Christ in response to hearing the gospel, and worship services began with three people: Hanna’s parents and the former priest. The church has been growing ever since.
From the start of the ministry, the Enoshs’ lives have not been without opposition from Hindus. Hanna attended the local Hindu school in Devanahalli where the Hindu teachings, prayers, and chants were taught daily. She was saved at a young age, and from a child knew that she followed Christ and not the idols that blinded her schoolmates. Because Hanna openly rejected the Hindu teachings, she was hated and looked down upon by her fellow classmates and teachers.
“My mother and father taught me to trust in the Lord in all circumstances,” Hanna said. “In spite of down-looking, hatred, and struggles, the Lord strengthened me and gave patience to complete my studies in front of all the heathen people.”
From breaking and entering to burning belongings and Bibles, Satan has tried to stop the family’s ministry. However, through God’s strength and grace, the Enoshs have not ceased to boldly preach the gospel. God has enabled Pastor Enosh to help start hundreds of churches in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and other Indian states. Although Hanna’s home church, Faith Baptist Church, is surrounded by many Hindu temples and different castes, God has blessed this church with 10,000 people from 220 different communities.
Hanna and her family now minister to over 500 orphans, widows, prisoners, and pastors throughout various villages. She is actively involved in helping orphans both in their schoolwork and in teaching them the Bible. She also visits youth groups each week in various houses in different villages.
When Hanna finished school in Devanahalli, she began studying nursing in Bangalore, a nearby major city. During her schooling in Bangalore, God was slowly directing her to consider another path of ministry—Bible college.
“The Lord has given me a peace in my heart go join Bible college. When I spoke to my mother about my decision, my mother prayed very much about my joining Bible college.”
It was around this time that former Faith president, Dr. James Maxwell, and several colleagues were visiting Faith Baptist Church in Devanahalli for a pastors’ conference. When Hanna discussed the possibility of going to Bible college with her parents, Dr. Maxwell encouraged her to come to Faith Baptist Bible College, and it was decided that Hanna would come to America to study at Faith.
Coming to Faith was Hanna’s first time ever coming to America—new people, new school, new country, and new culture.
“There are a lot of differences between America and India—the culture shock, the language. Here it’s very quiet, but in India you see many people talking, walking, and it’s crowded all over. That is a big change I found when I first came here. It was really quiet,” she said with a laugh.
Adjusting to the new culture is no challenge for Hanna. She has made some great friends, enjoys the church she is involved in, and loves the classes she is taking. The professors are one of her favorite things about Faith, and even President Tillotson has played a big part in encouraging Hanna with the new adjustments.
Hanna is studying missions at Faith to better equip her for ministry. The Lord has given her a passion for serving in India, especially among the women and children. She explained how necessary it is to do ministry in India and expressed how vital the ministry needs are. God has given Hanna a burden and a gift for ministry, and she intends to use it for His service.
When asked if she had anything she wanted to add, she simply asked, “My request is to please pray for our ministry. Uphold us in all your prayers.”
The Lord has blessed Hanna and her family with a fruitful ministry in India. Please pray for Hanna and the Enosh family as they follow the Lord in ministry and seek to proclaim His name where it is not known. We are excited to welcome Hanna to our Faith Family, and we are eager to see how God will grow her while she is here.
More Precious Than Gold
“That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).
Faith alums Dan (’06) and Ann (Walker ’08) Barnett have experienced a year of testing like few other young couples have faced.
Dan and Ann were high school sweethearts from Creston, Iowa. Dan graduated from Faith in 2006 and Ann in 2008. They were married after her graduation in First Baptist Church in Creston, their home church.
In 2011 the Barnetts moved to Bethany, Missouri, where Dan started his career as a patrolman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Ann began teaching kindergarten.
On January 6, 2014, Dan suffered a stroke while at home. He had worked a late shift that night, and around 4:30 in the morning he woke up with no feeling on the right side of his body. At the time Ann was seven months pregnant with twin boys.
Dan was sent straight to Saint Luke’s hospital in Kansas City. Doctors discovered a blood clot on the left side of his brain that had caused the stroke. After removing the blood clot, another clot formed in the same location within hours.
The second surgery led to bleeding in the brain, causing Dan to lose speech and mobility temporarily on the right side of his body. While still in the hospital, Dan was able to work with many therapists. He was walking and had regained most of his speech before leaving Saint Luke’s.
On February 22 Dan and Ann became parents to Jason and Clinton Barnett. Ann was able to deliver in Saint Luke’s where Dan was staying. All four were released on the same day—February 24!
Since leaving the hospital almost a year ago, Dan and Ann have been learning to balance caring for twin boys, Dan’s therapy, and Ann’s teaching. The boys will be turning one soon and are doing well. Dan works tirelessly at regaining more and more use of his right side.
Both Dan and Ann are thankful for the support they received during this time. Communities, churches, employers, and many more individuals have helped and prayed for them. A special blessing is that Dan and Ann’s mothers are able to alternate spending the weekdays with the family to help care for some of their needs.
Dan and Ann know that God planned this circumstance in their lives for a reason. They commented that “God is good and faithful in our trials, even when we are not. There is good in our circumstances and the outcome will be good too." In fact, the outcome will be something “more precious than gold.”
Faith Chorale Spring ConcertMarch 17
The Faith Chorale will present its annual spring concert March 17 at 7:00 pm. This concert will be held in the Nettleton Center.
Refresh ConferenceJanuary 31–February 3, 2017
A conference designed to refresh Christian leaders and their wives. Registration open.
Read about the latest updates about our new seminary building from one of our student writers. Read More
Faith is pleased to welcome Miss Kim Tanner back to our faculty. Read More
Jordan Sauser has joined the Faith Family as the director of financial aid and coach of the men's soccer and track and field teams. Read More
We invite church work teams to help us renovate the former music building into our seminary building. Read More