Wendell & Priscilla Stoltzfus
Priscilla (nee Saint) and I met as adults at a camera shop in Hong Kong in 1990. At the time I was teaching English as a Foreign Language in China, and Priscilla the same in Taiwan. We grew up in the same church in Lancaster County, southeastern PA. When I was nine my parents, who were both ex-Amish, had been sent by that church to plant churches in Germany. I spent ten years in Germany, culminating in my graduation from Black Forest Academy.
Returning to the States, I had attended Gordon College. One year after graduating I went to China, where I spent six years teaching English and studying Mandarin—this setting up the “chance” encounter with Priscilla in the camera shop in Hong Kong. When, a few years later, I came back to the US, so did Priscilla (who had been studying Mandarin in China by that time as well), and we saw God’s providential handwriting on the wall. We were married.
After we married I enrolled at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia; I received and M.Div, and Priscilla her Ph.T. (putting hubby through). Following that I serve in pastoral ministry for 15 years in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
A trip with an ELI instructor to Africa re-ignited the desire to serve the church, and her Lord, overseas. Witnessing there first-hand something of the “spontaneous expansion of the church” (the title of a groundbreaking book written over 100 years ago by Roland Allen); plus seeing how so many pastors there serve faithfully, but with little training; and discovering that I was equipped to serve them through biblical training—God used those to induce me to join ELI in this strategic ministry. I look forward to what he has in store for us, but more importantly for his church in the world through faithful local church leaders we are privileged to train with ELI, in the years to come.