The Cromwell Family
After graduating from Bible college in 2009, Judy and I moved to Maine to assist the pastor of a small church. We returned to Chesterton after two years. I took full-time secular employment, served in our church, and we purchased a house: four bedrooms, two car garage, and 2 ½ baths, for Judy and me and a cat! I was reluctant to buy, but God gave me a prayer. “Lord, I’ll buy the house, but You will have to maintain it, and make it a platform for Your service.” Shortly after this, our pastor asked us to relieve a missionary family serving in Mongolia while they took furlough. God’s direction in the home purchase became clear when I told our pastor about the house: the missionaries had five kids and the church had no place to put them.
From July 2014 to June 2015, we swapped houses with the missionaries, leading a twelve-year mission outreach in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for one year and managing the missionaries’ house on that field, while they resided in our home. We came home reluctant to continue full-time ministry, but our home church staff directed me to study the Bible on church planting and fellow laboring. Judy and I were called to itinerant service after studying I Corinthians 3:5-9, I Thessalonians 3, and Acts 16-17.
We fulfill the same requirement which Paul’s party faced in I Thessalonians 3:1-3. Finding themselves violently chased out of Thessalonica, and writing from Athens, the Bible records Paul’s inspired account:
Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; and sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and comfort you concerning your faith: that no man should be moved by these afflictions…
Since 2014, we have relieved and assisted missionaries in Mongolia, Cambodia, Mexico, and Africa, for three months to almost two years at a time. I have been privileged to chair the ordination board for Pastor Togsoo of Straight Paths Baptist Church, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia after the 17-year missionaries were denied re-entry into that country. From 2021 to 2023, I organized the Independent Bible Institute of Zambia, gaining government recognition for this college-level training, and teaching three trimesters before turning the work over to the newly-installed pastor.
Judy ministers to wives of missionaries and pastors, strengthening ministries here in the United States, and overseas. Often, the role of the wife is taken for granted or entirely overlooked. Judy has trained Christian ladies overseas, and in the United States to share the burden of Sunday School and Christian Academy teaching in each of these small works, as well as discipleship among the ladies, as directed by the pastor in each of the churches we assist.
This is an active ministry. We receive two or three requests each year for months-long commitments to assist with mission works or local churches. We know of five other itinerant-service missionaries who took permanent positions as pastors, missionaries, or responsible positions in full-time service. The need is not only for assignment and support to ourselves, but other servants willing to assist in this fashion.