Steven and Debbie Kissling
I became a Christian in March 1970 while serving in the U.S. Navy and stationed in Charleston, South Carolina. A friend on board ship invited me to a revival service at Northside Baptist Church. That night a personal worker showed me the Romans Road and I accepted Christ as my personal Savior.
After I was discharged from the Navy, I returned to my hometown of Indianapolis and began to attend Indiana Baptist College in the fall of 1972. While in college, I met my wife-to-be, Debbie Shaw. We were married in December 1973 and graduated from college in 1976.
We felt the Lord calling us to be missionaries to children with Child Evangelism Fellowship. Debbie and I served in this capacity from 1976 to 1981. For the next few years, we worked in teaching and printing ministries. When the printing company I worked for closed in 2002, the Lord began to stir my heart to become a military missionary. Because I had become a Christian during my time in the Navy, I felt a burden to reach men and women in the military for the Lord.
Debbie and I joined Baptist International Missions, Inc. (BIMI), in June 2003 and began deputation. We took a survey trip to Germany in 2005. A second time we spent several weeks with Chuck and Susan Sligh in 2007 at Grace Baptist Church in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Then in November 2008, we returned to serve along with them at Grace Baptist Church. I served as the assistant pastor.
Dr. James Kennard asked us in 2011 to pray about moving to Sasebo, Japan, to serve at the Lighthouse Baptist Church near a Navy base. I made a survey trip in 2012 to Sasebo, Japan, to meet the church family at Lighthouse Baptist. Shortly after that visit, the church asked me to come as their pastor. In the fall of 2012, we moved to Japan. Debbie and I served the Lord at Lighthouse Baptist Church for six and a half years.
The Lord began to deal with our hearts about turning the ministry over to a younger couple and returning to the States. As we waited on the Lord’s direction, He led us to contact Jeffery and Andrea Wright about coming to work in Japan, and they felt the Lord leading them to Sasebo. In August 2018, they arrived and began serving with us at Lighthouse. The church voted Brother Wright in as their new pastor in October 2018.
Desiring to be used of God in military missions, we sought out the opportunity to join the ARM Personnel program of BIMI. We look forward to seeing how the Lord will continue to use us in military missions around the world. As relief missionaries with BIMI’s ARM program, we would like to assist military missionaries who need short-term furloughs.