"In my wildest dreams, I would never have imagined the possibility of working at IM, where I get to live out one of my greatest passions and serve as a global service representative to some of my greatest heroes of faith..."
Sharon Morgan is no stranger to PAOC International Missions. She was willing to share her journey to the world of short-term missions and show how God uses those available to serve to help strengthen and support the work of global workers making a difference to communities in need.
JH: How did you come to work at the International Office, and what are you responsible for in your current role?
SM: In 2011 I accepted a new job opportunity that included a promotion and a move to Ontario. I knew this move was part of God’s plan for my life, but after three years, there was a major downturn in the industry. I sensed it was time to move on, and I heard of this position at the PAOC. In my wildest dreams, I would never have imagined the possibility of working at IM, where I get to live out one of my greatest passions and serve as a global service representative to some of my greatest heroes of faith—but here I am! I have been at the PAOC for three and a half years, and I look forward to what God has in store.
JH: It’s obvious that you have a passion for missions work through your various short-term mission (STM) trips. Where have you travelled in the past and most recently?
SM: As a young girl growing up in Newfoundland, global workers such as Cavell Rowsell, Roy and Avis Rideout, and others would visit our church. I remember how excited I was to hear their stories and see their pictures. As far back as I can remember, I’ve had a passion for missions but never really knew where that passion would lead me. My first missions trip was to Liberia with a team led by Rev. Marie Miller. We ministered at a youth conference; it changed my life, and I have been travelling ever since. I’ve also been to South Africa, Malawi, and many times to Kenya.
JH: What was the purpose of your latest STM to Kenya?
SM: Well, it was not your typical missions trip invitation! Deborah Sirjoosingh, our global worker in Turkana, northern Kenya, requested that I come and assist her with the 2018 operations budget for the health centre. (My background is finance/HR, and whenever God provides the opportunity, I desire to use the gifts He has given me.) I enjoyed sharing in the daily staff devotions each morning and then assisting Deborah throughout the day with various activities. Deborah also invited Jordan Huston, a skilled videographer and PAOC global volunteer, to come along to capture some planned events and to produce a promotional video. I spent a week assisting him. We were blessed to be there for a ceremony on April 6, 2018, celebrating the opening of the male, female and pediatric wards. Guests included the chief, representatives from the ministry of health, and many community elders. The new wards mean that patients now considered critical will no longer have to be transferred to other health-care centres or lie on mats to receive treatment.
I also spent a few days in Nairobi with global workers Janice Foss and Helen MacMinn. I visited a school in whose feeding program Janice is very much involved, and it’s always a delight to spend time with Helen as she talks with much passion about the Transformational Church Leadership program at Pan Africa Christian University (PACU).
JH: What was a memorable experience for you in Kenya?
SM: When I first arrived, I met three children who were being treated for kala-azar, a disease transmitted by sandfly bites. They were very weak, anemic and malnourished. These children had walked for 88 kilometres, a three-day walk, in harsh conditions under the hot sun, to receive treatment. They had to stay in a nearby village while they received a daily injection for 17 days. By the end of my trip, I was able to spend some time with these children and their families. They were laughing, smiling, and feeling so much better when they were discharged and given some water and food for the three-day journey back. I have thought of them often since returning home. It was thrilling to see their health improve, but what impacted me most was that not only had they received care and treatment from compassionate staff at the health centre, but also that they had been presented with the good news of the gospel. Seeds were planted, and I believe these seeds will impact generations to come in Turkana.
JH: The focus of this latest STM was to assist Deborah Sirjoosingh. How did it impact you, and what were you able to take away from it?
SM: I met Deborah during my first year in Ontario. Up to that point I had only heard stories about this global worker who lived in the desert, built a road by hand, and killed snakes and scorpions while bringing the love of Jesus to people in northern Kenya. Since travelling several times to Turkana, I have seen first-hand how Deborah’s faithful ministry and selfless love have impacted countless lives through mentorship, educational training, medical and food aid, water supply, and community development. It’s amazing to hear of how many individuals Deborah has sponsored and mentored throughout the years who are now working in high-ranking positions in Turkana’s health centres and churches. When reflecting on Deborah’s ministry, I think of the passage in Matthew 25: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36). Her latest initiative is the construction project to transform the current Namoruputh Dispensary into a health centre that is projected to double its service to reach over 50,000 people! I admire Deborah’s close relationship with Jesus, her dependence on the Holy Spirit, and her love for people. When being recognized for her accomplishments, she is quick to give all glory to God.
I am blessed to have the opportunity to visit and build relationships with global workers and to experience first-hand the impact they are having on the people God has called them to minister to. My desire is to serve them with excellence, ensuring their needs are well cared for. Together, we are fulfilling God’s mission, all for His glory.
Jodey Hutchings has served as the partner relations and print communications manager for PAOC International Missions since 2013.
Photos © International Missions. Photography by Jordan Huston, a PAOC global volunteer.” Top photo - Deborah Sirjoosingh addressing parents and children in Turkana, Kenya. Remainder photos: Sharon Morgan in Turkana with local children.
This article appeared in the July/August 2018 issue of testimony, the bimonthly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.