Story by Karen Weaver, photos by Sam Nutter and Jamie Derringer
“I don’t think you can use me. I’m not a carpenter. I’m not handy in any sort of way. I can only do one thing. I’m an accountant.” When Gil Turley spoke these words on the phone, he did not expect the overwhelmingly positive response he received.
Less than a year previous to this conversation, Gil and his wife Kara had been preparing a program for young children at their church. For a fishing game, they needed the names of people who had served overseas. An online search not only gave the needed information for the game, but it subsequently led Gil and Kara to reading many missionary biographies. The more they read, the more their interest grew.
After nine months, they realized they needed to act on this newfound interest. They called an old friend who directed them to a person who knew of the great need for accountants and was enthusiastic about Gil’s potential for service overseas. This representative from the personnel office was even more excited when he learned that Gil’s wife, Kara, had many years of experience in teaching middle school English, another much-needed role.
Recently Gil and Kara completed the last bit of their training and orientation and they are happy to begin their roles in Papua New Guinea, helping in any way they can. Gil explained, “I wasn’t motivated to sell my house and move around the world just to do accounting. I already had a good accounting job in America. What motivated me was the opportunity to support Bible translators, literacy workers, and church planters. They are my heroes.”
Gil is just one of many who have thought, “My skills certainly can’t be used overseas.” But he found out that he was greatly needed. Maybe the talent you think is not useful could be an area where someone overseas is waiting for help. Perhaps God has a wonderful surprise in store for you, too.