student loan repayment program

Bringing Meaning to Life - 2019 Spring Vision Dinners

“I’m not the one with passion to go deep into parts of the world…Those are the ‘arrows’, but Mike and I are senders, the ‘bows’. That brings meaning to my life.”

Laura Gouveia wrote this after attending the first of two Spring Vision Dinners in March 2019. For Laura, this ministry is more than a great cause; it is something that brings meaning to her life. The GO Fund is one way that Laura is obeying The Great Commission, it is her way to invest in eternity. Why? So that the unreached would hear the name of Jesus!

Laura and Mike Gouveia at the 2019 Spring Vision Dinner in Redlands, California.

Laura and Mike Gouveia at the 2019 Spring Vision Dinner in Redlands, California.


Five years ago, Claude Hickman shared a powerful metaphor at the first annual Vision Dinner. Those who go are the “arrows” and those who send are the “bows” that launch them into ministry. Founder and Executive Director, Luke Womack, reminded the 2019 guests that we still need many bows and arrows to accomplish the task of bringing the Gospel to unreached people groups. Laura and her husband Mike are two of these “bows”, and they see their role as vitally important.

Founder and Executive Director, Luke Womack, addressing guests at the 2019 Spring Vision Dinner in Redlands, California.

Founder and Executive Director, Luke Womack, addressing guests at the 2019 Spring Vision Dinner in Redlands, California.


Laura writes, “Here’s what happens… Young, bright, passionate people go to college, get their degree and then desire to go to the ends of the earth to tell people about Jesus. However, along with their degree comes A LOT of student loan debt. So, naturally, they start working, next they find a spouse, next comes the kids and so on goes life while they chip away at loan debt. Next thing you know, “life” has gotten in the way of that passion to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and while the yearning to go burns on, so does their debt. The dream, the calling, the passion gets set aside and we lose the opportunity for Jesus to be known.”

Laura and Mike see the problem and they feel the weight of the issue. However, they have found the solution: The GO Fund!

The 2019 Spring Vision Dinners brought in a total of $230,092, funding 45 years of missions work! That is the solution. Champions like Laura and Mike have made it possible for missionaries to go and remain on the mission field. The burden of student debt, or as one applicant put it, “the only barrier I have right now,” is the one thing keeping most missionaries from the field. That does not have to be the case. The GO Fund exists to remove this barrier so that the gospel can be heard in every tribe, tongue and nation.

The first GO Fund missionary partners, David and Emily Rimestad, shared with guests that the only reason they are on the field today is because of The GO Fund. After five years of living among the Malayali people in Papua New Guinea, David and Emily are close to fully comprehending and speaking their language and will soon begin creating a written language and Bible for the Malayali people. The gospel will soon be heard for the very first time. Champions, “bows”, have made this reality possible.

Justin Pardee interviews David and Emily Rimestad at the 2019 Spring Vision Dinner in Redlands, California.

Justin Pardee interviews David and Emily Rimestad at the 2019 Spring Vision Dinner in Redlands, California.


At the second Spring Vision Dinner, Keynote Speaker, Brooks Buser, shared his story of his time in Papua New Guinea. While Brooks has been able to see the gospel flourish in a place that had previously never heard the name of Jesus, he reminded guests that there are still hundreds of people groups desperately asking for a missionary to come share “the talk” with them. The task is still vast, and it will take many bows and arrows to accomplish it.

Keynote Speaker, Brooks Buser, addresses the guests at the 2019 Spring Vision Dinner in Santa Ana, California.

Keynote Speaker, Brooks Buser, addresses the guests at the 2019 Spring Vision Dinner in Santa Ana, California.


Laura longs to see the task accomplished and writes, “I loved hearing the vision all over again. How important it is to re-visit why we focus on the things we focus on, isn’t it? They gave us a little wooden chip at the end of the night as a reminder to keep praying. Mine is taped into our budget book so that every month I keep the vision alive so that I may be faithful to what God may provide to continue supporting this organization.”

Laura and Mike are just one example of the bows that are helping to launch missionary arrows onto the field, and that brings meaning to their lives.  

Will you join Laura and Mike in bringing meaning to your life by sending missionaries to the unreached?

A Dream Of the solution

As Scott* lie down to sleep one evening, he asked God questions about the future. He asked about his family, where they should go and how the Lord might use them. They wanted to go into cross-cultural ministry but weren’t sure how they’d get there. That’s when he saw it.

He imagined a scene as clearly as if he were watching a movie. He saw of a group of people who came together to raise money and use it to pay off the student loan debt of those trying to move to the unreached.

In awe, he went to see his supervisor and he shared the vision of this team that takes the burden of debt for missionaries. Excitedly, his friend responded, “I was just talking with someone from an organization that does exactly that earlier today.”

He was referring to The GO Fund. Scott and his wife Amy are members of a church whose vision is to see the Kingdom spread and Gospel shared among the unreached of southeast Asia. It matches perfectly with The GO Fund’s goal to pave the way for those who are sent.

Scott and Amy are now in their final weeks of preparation before they move to southeast Asia. Years before they decided to go, they knew they were not going to make that final leap until they could rid themselves of their student debt.

It has been their church’s vision to send 500 missionaries to southeast Asia in the next 20 years and it became both Scott and Amy’s burden to be a part of that vision in a long-term way. They even visited with their son on a vision trip for a few weeks and they fell in love with the people there.

Their son bonded quickly with the locals who sat outside of the hotel where they were staying, and he would excitedly run to them every time he saw them. The couple saw how their family could be welcomed and given opportunities to create relationship. They knew they were called to move their family to southeast Asia, but they hated asking their debt for permission to do what God was leading them to do.

Their ultimate desire was to be obedient to the Lord in whatever their circumstances, but the distance between moving and paying off their debt seemed insurmountable.

Once they connected with The GO Fund, applied and were interviewed, they knew they could be affirmed in their decision to leave for the mission field without the bondage of debt.

Scott and Amy’s long-term goal is to see a self-sustaining, local church planted. Because of how God used The GO Fund, a dream and a vision will come to striking reality as he brings many more into his kingdom.

*All names changed for security.

Is It Really That Simple?

As Jasper lay in his hospital bed, he knew he was taking his final breaths. He looked to Charlie and asked, “Is salvation really that simple?”*

Charlie was taken aback, completely stunned. He had been visiting his new friend in the northern Canadian hospital for some time now and did not think he would get to present the gospel this way. Knowing Jasper loved stories, Charlie responded by sharing scripture with Jesus’ words. “When a group of people asked Jesus what they must do to perform the work God requires, Jesus responded ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.’” Charlie wanted to take the focus off what we as humans think we can do and on what Jesus has already done for us. What saves us is God’s work to give us faith in his Son.

Jasper’s view of Christianity up until this point was a result of severe trauma inflicted when he was young. As a boy, he and many other First Nations People were taken from their families and placed in Indian Residential Schools. While there, he was forced to stop speaking his native language and only use English. He was malnourished. He was beaten physically and abused sexually. All his pain was caused by men who called themselves Christians.

Jasper had not known the true gospel and how Christ came to save and redeem all nations, tribes and tongues. He saw, turn the Indian into a white man because that’s what God wants.

By God’s immense grace and love, in that hospital room, as Charlie shared more of God’s truth and the gospel of Jesus, Jasper heard and understood. One week before he passed away, he accepted the gift of salvation.

After hearing his father’s decision, Jasper’s son asked to meet with Charlie to read through the scriptures. Last month, he was baptized. God is moving through this tightly-knit community of First Nations People. Charlie and his wife Joanna are there to see it happen, but this was almost not the case.

People of this secluded town are wary of foreigners. They rarely see them and prefer to trust the community in which they were raised. The way Christianity was portrayed by those who abused their families left deeply-rooted hurts and tarnished the legitimacy of the gospel.

When Charlie and Joanna were first introduced to the town, it was because a native elder from the community had visited their church to present the needs of the people and how they needed to hear who Christ is. Charlie and Joanna knew where the Lord was telling them to go.

Their student debt would have precluded them from moving for many more years. They could not have known it at the time, but this would have been too late for Jasper.

They partnered with The GO Fund and this allowed them to leave unhindered and able to focus on the difficult tasks ahead.

Three years have passed since the family first arrived and much of their ministry has grown in ways they did not expect. They’ve learned the Native language of their community and Charlie has established summer camps where kids can learn activities like swimming, archery, rock climbing, and crafts. He is also able to share Bible stories in-between busy sports.

While teaching and caring for their three boys at home, Joanna has started a cake-decorating business. What began as one, widely-loved cake has turned into weekly requests for cakes of all shapes, sizes and themes. This allows her to enter local’s lives and foster relationships that otherwise may have taken longer to cultivate.

The couple prays to see a self-sustaining and reproducing, Native-led church founded on the gospel in their new home. It has not and will not be easy, but they continue to hope in the one who provides our faith and desires to see all peoples, nations and tongues know and worship Him.

*All names changed