BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
NORTH SALT LAKE — Members of Abundant Life Assembly of God will hear about the impact of their support of missionaries in Zimbabwe during a Missions Sunday service on January 27.
Missionary couple Dean and Peggy Galyen will share what they see God doing in that south African country, during the 10 a.m. service at the church, 410 N. Main, North Salt Lake.
The Galyens have been serving as missionaries in Africa since 1991, first in Malawi and then Zimbabwe, where they have served since 2003.
The couple is involved in tabernacle building and helping to drill wells to provide clean water.
Tabernacles are metal structures, which provide churches with the pillars and a roof under which the congregation can meet.
Church members can then continue to finish their church in their own way and in their own time as they are able, said Julie Laub, missions director at Abundant Life. The Galyens have raised funds for more than 100 of these structures.
Abundant Life is one of several churches in the United States that support the Galyens.
“We come to the states every four to five years and share what God is doing in Zimbabwe,” Dean Galyen shared in an e-mail.
The couple live in the capital city of Harare and travel throughout the country on a regular basis, ministering in local churches.
Galyen said citizens of Zimbabwe are open to hearing the word of God.
“There are many churches working in the country, and the Bible is taught in government schools,” Galyen said.
Statistics from the Central Intelligence Agency show 50 percent of residents are Christian, and another 25 percent follow traditional African religions. About 24 percent of the population is Muslim.
“There are less material things to enjoy, but we find that people are the same the world around,” Dean Galyen said.
He and his wife find it interesting to learn about other cultures and to share their lives with the natives.
Both Dean and Peggy had pastors as fathers. They both attended North Central University, in Minneapolis, Minn., and Dean Galyen went on to earn his masters degree at Southwestern University in Waxahachie, Texas.
They were in ministry in the United States from 1967 until 1991, serving in several congregations.
They were very involved in missions when they served in the United States, Galyen said. They took several short trips to help in several countries, including some in Africa.
“It was during those trips that God confirmed his desire for us to do missions full-time, he said.
The congregation at Abundant Life has participated in Missions Sunday since the church was organized in the 1980s, Laub said.
Missions Sunday, a missions weekend or a missions convention is a tradition in the Assemblies of God.
During such an event, the congregation hears about missions work and individuals may make a financial commitment to missions.
Mission work in the Assemblies of God differs from missionaries in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in that the majority of missionaries are career missionaries, who devote their lives to their work, Laub said.
In the Assemblies of God, missionaries live in an area for four years then return to the United States for a year to visit family and friends and travel to churches that support them, “sharing what God did and the lives that were touched while abroad,” Laub said.
Generally, the cost for a mission family to live and the costs of various ministries is covered by donations from members of American churches.
On a monthly basis, Laub said, Abundant Life supports 46 missionaries, 18 in the United States and 28 in foreign countries.
“The money often meets felt needs like education, food and medicine for the poor,” Laub said. “It is given in the name and love of Jesus.”