It was Granville LaForge, the associate missions director of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International that took me to the side in September of 1980. I was a young 22 year old seeking the approval for missions service. Our youth did not speak well for us, nor did the fact that Debbie had just delivered our first child via cesarean just 36 hours earlier. In light of those factors, he wanted to provide encouragement: "Keith, don't be too discouraged when you are turned down. You are young and still have time to go up for approval at a later date."

In light of that, it came somewhat of a shock when Debbie and I were approved to become Baptist Bible Fellowship missionaries to the country of West Germany.

Those men took a step of faith (or maybe they just had a bad day in assessing) and allowed us to begin what has become a true adventure as we seek to fulfill a calling, a passion to see churches planted in Germany.

Today in Cebu, Philippines, the same group has honored us for 30 years of continual service. We are deeply honored, deeply moved. Someday - someday soon - whatever honors we will have accrued, we will gladly lay them down at our Savior's feet.

In my humble opinion, Debbie is due double honor. For while she serves relentlessly in the shadows, no husband has been better served with a partner that completes his personality and gifting. While others might not see what she does, what she means, Jesus knows and I know.

And without partners who make it possible? Unthinkable. Therefore, you know who you are: Thanks. For hundreds of those in Germany that have come to Christ. For a church-planter in Lithuania. For a a family in Aschaffenburg planting a work. Thanks. The impact grows.

The time has flown by so fast. It scares me to think that in just a short period all of my years will be used up. So much to do. So much.

Keith Gandy - GermanyKeith Gandy - Germany

Keith, originally from the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, has been planting a church in Aschaffenburg, Germany for over thirty years. Daughter churches have also been started and missionaries have been sent out of the congregation. Annually, he participates in encouraging other European church-planters and frequently travels to visit them in their respective field of service.

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