Since joining NCEM as career missionaries, Timothy & Laura Block have been serving full-time at Big River Bible Camp. Here they tell us a bit about how the Lord led them into ministry, and what it’s like for them:
Please tell us about your growing up years.
Timothy: I grew up in a Christian home as the second youngest of five kids in the city of Saskatoon. I attended a Christian school for most of my years before heading to a public high school. I really appreciate and am grateful for the foundational teaching and instruction I got during those years that is now being built upon as I continue growing in my faith.
Laura: I had a great childhood growing up in a Christian home with four siblings on a traditional farm. I was involved in competitive archery and AWANA growing up. AWANA and AWANA camp played a huge part in my spiritual growth, and I am really grateful for that.
How did you come to be a Christ follower?
Timothy: I asked Jesus into my heart at a young age, and my faith really continues to grow as God directs me as a spiritual leader to my wife and children.
Laura: I accepted Christ in my early childhood as a result of feeling conviction for my sin based on what I had been taught about salvation by my parents and Sunday school teachers.
Your first interest in missions?
Timothy: It was around the same time that I began taking seriously my role as a spiritual leader in my family that I became interested in missions. As I submitted to God and asked His direction for me and my family, He led me into missions.
Laura: I’m not sure I exactly remember when I first became interested in missions, but I think it may have been when I was reading a book about David Livingstone when I was eight.
I particularly remember being struck by his popular quote: “Many a morning have I stood on the porch of my house and, looking northward, have seen the smoke arise from villages that have never heard of Jesus Christ. I have seen, at different times, the smoke of a thousand villages – villages whose people are without Christ, without God, and without hope in the world.”
I was also very inspired and challenged by reading of the faith, ministry and work of Mary Slessor, early missionary to Nigeria.
Your first connection with NCEM?
Timothy: My first connection was through Laura. She has a relative who is an NCEM missionary, and often visited her and her family growing up. After we got married, this couple continued to be in contact not only with Laura, but with us as a family.
Laura: My first connection to NCEM was in my childhood through Jon & Evelyn Siebert who would visit our family and tell us of the mission work, and especially about Key-Way-Tin Bible Institute.
Is there such a thing as a typical day in your ministry? What does that look like?
Timothy & Laura: During the summer a typical day is the Bible camp schedule, but outside of that, our days are less typical. But we do have typical weeks. Each week is full of leading AWANA clubs, other local church ministries, Camp ministries and facilities projects, and more. Each day is different, but each week has a familiar flow to it.
How does having three young children of your own fit in with all the children and teens you minister to during summer camps and throughout the winter?
Timothy & Laura: It’s a challenge at times for sure, but our kids love being a part of what’s going on here at camp or at AWANA. They are very much a part of the ministry, no matter the season.
We have realized that we need to be setting aside time to be specifically investing in our kids and each other, just as a family. However, the children and teens seem to enjoy having our kids around and really do well at bringing them into their community and making them a part of the fun that is going on.
What is your favorite way to relax?
Timothy & Laura: Typically, when we have time to relax, we try to spend time together as a family. Sometimes it’s fishing on the lake, or a game of “Go Fish” at the kitchen table. Our focus is on being together.
What is one of your biggest challenges as a missionary?
Timothy & Laura: Knowing how to best meet the needs around us with the time we have.
What would you love to see accomplished through your life and ministry?
Timothy & Laura: That our lives would reflect and bring God glory. That youth, kids and all ages would come to know Christ and live strong for Him, in turn bringing those around them to know Jesus.