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Celebrating God’s Faithfulness

How do you respond when God changes the direction of your life? Do you see God’s goodness and the perfection of His provision and timing, even when the way is wrought with challenge? After 40 years of ministry, Chris & Diane Marine are retiring from full-time ministry. As they retire, it is good for us to celebrate God’s faithfulness. Their story boldly declares the faithfulness of God.

Chris and Diane grew up in Sebring (Florida) and thought the direction of their life was settled. Chris would work in the family concrete business and Diane would continue her work at the Tax Collector’s office. But, in 1984, they felt God calling them into ministry and so Chris began attending Bible College. Thinking they were now headed into youth ministry, and wanting some preparation herself, Diane joined him there a few years later. It was at college that the Marine’s met Bill Carmichael, a long-time missionary who was teaching missions.

Bill saw Chris’s work around campus and asked if would be willing to go to Mali, West Africa, to fix a generator. Chris’s answer was clear, “I’ll do this, but I’m not going to be a missionary.” Shortly after that, Chris & Diane left their two children with grandparents and made their first trip to West Africa. By the 4th night, Chris was already dreaming of what a great place this would be to live. Diane wasn’t so sure. But, as she prepared a report for supporting churches, God convicted her and united their hearts. In 1989, the Marines joined a mission agency and ultimately headed to Mali as church planters.

Despite months of preparation, their original plan lasted less than a year. God changed their direction. He directed them to the Ivory Coast to serve as dorm parents for 6 months. These would-be church planters were now dorm parents to 26 high school boys. Six months turned into almost 9 years. The ministry was deeply relational; walking alongside the boys and partnering with parents who lived far away.

In 2001, Chris began to sense that the Lord was changing their ministry. Their mission agency asked them to take on a regional leadership role. Despite feeling unqualified, prayer only generated peace and they walked forward in obedience. They hoped to finish one more school year in the Ivory Coast, but again, God redirected them. In September of 2002, civil war broke out in the Ivory Coast, the students and staff were evacuated, and God directed the Marines to Niger.

Throughout their ministry, Chris & Diane have poured into the lives of others, desiring nothing more than to care for fellow missionaries and their families. As regional coordinators they traveled from field to field in West Africa doing whatever missionaries needed -fixing cars, remodeling houses, building schools, fixing toilets, etc. Whether walking through crises with families, or simply offering a helping hand, they were there. But, their ministry did not end with missionaries. They also developed deep relationships with nationals. Both believers and unbelievers grew to love and respect Chris & Diane.

The year 2011 was significant for Chris & Diane. A regular furlough turned into a three-year stay to care for aging parents. Tragically, their mission agency suddenly closed its doors, leaving the Marines and their missionaries without a mission “home.” FBM began in 2011, in large part, to serve Chris & Diane and their team of West African missionaries. Simply put, “You can’t tell the story of FBM without Chris & Diane Marine.”

By 2014, the Marines were uncertain of God’s direction. They prayed and asked God to make it clear. He faithfully answered their prayers and directed them. By early 2015, God had paved the way for them to return to Niger. He clearly wanted them there.

However, just a few months later, God changed their direction again. In August of 2015, while serving missionaries in Mali, Chris was severely electrocuted and was forced to return to the states for medical care. God, once again, proved His faithfulness by directing them through this difficult season and a few months later, they returned to the field.

Unfortunately, the lingering effects of the electrocution couldn’t be ignored and by 2017, Chris felt his “heart was writing checks his body could no longer cash.” The Marines weren’t sure what to do. They felt that God was directing them to leave West Africa. But, they were overwhelmed at the thought of leaving behind all of the relationships that made up their ministry.

Once again, God faithfully directed them. Upon returning to the US, FBM asked them to be Directors of Missionary Care. This allowed them to base in the US, travel to various fields, and maintain the relationships that were so dear. God gave Chris & Diane the desires of their heart and expanded their territory.

Reflecting on 40 years, it is clear that God has directed the Marines every step of the way. He used every one of their experiences to equip them to accomplish His purpose. The Marines chose Proverbs 3:5-6 as their ministry verse many years ago. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Those words are even more precious today!

Here at FBM, we praise God for Chris & Diane Marine. We praise God for their love of people, their model of obedience, and their testimony of God’s grace and faithfulness. May God raise up many more servants just like Chris & Diane.

Upcoming Opportunities

We’re excited to continue to partner with you in ministry in 2024! As we look ahead, we anticipate God continuing to do great things through the FBM family. Please consider the following opportunities.

Ministry Spotlight: Chad Winsor

God equips missionaries in many different ways. No two are exactly the same. They all have different talents and abilities. Some plant churches. Some train pastors. Some translate Scripture. Some provide medical care. Some, like Chad Winsor, are equipped with a comprehensive knowledge of building design and construction.

Chad and Amanda Winsor were accepted as FBM missionaires on February 9, 2021. However, their story begins long before then. Chad was born into a Christian home in New York. As a 9-month old child, his family moved to Niger, West Africa as missionaries. From Niger, they moved back to New York and worked on a farm. Then, they spent time serving the Lord in Nigeria. As he moved into adulthood, Chad lived in Kansas, Wyoming, and Florida before joining the Marine Corps and moving to California. While one might say that Chad “bounced around a lot,” the reality is that God directed Chad to each of these locations in order to prepare and equip him for future ministry.

In 2006, Chad, Amanda, and their two children deployed as missionaries to Niger, West Africa. After years of preparation, training, and support raising, they were excited to engage in full-time ministry. Like many missionaries, they arrived on the field with certain expectations only to find that God had something else entirely for them to do.

Upon their arrival in Niger, Chad was immediately confronted by an abundance of construction needs. While the needs were overwhelming, skilled and experienced personnel was scarce. Chad realized that there were very few individuals on the field with the knowledge and skills that God had equipped him with. So, he rolled up his sleeves and got to work. During their time in Niger, God used Chad & Amanda to either oversee completely or assist with the following:

  • The construction of a 55-bed women’s hospital
  • A massive renovation of one of the major hospitals in the entire country
  • The construction of multiple buildings on the campus of a Christian school
  • The renovation of countless missionary homes throughout Niger
  • Various projects other mission agencies asked Chad to assist with

In Niger, all of the training of Chad’s past came to fruition as God used him in mighty ways. However, in 2017, it seemed like the Winsor’s time in ministry was over. God led them to leave Niger and move back to the US. They settled in Central Florida and bought a house. Chad found work in the construction industry.

But – God was not done with Chad & Amanda Winsor. In 2020, Chad called a businessman who had financially supported the Winsors while they were in Niger. This man had even spent significant time working alongside Chad in Niger. Chad called him with a business proposal. The man said something along the lines of, “Chad, God doesn’t want you to do that. God wants you in ministry. I’m with you and I’ll support you.” That phone call laid the foundation for Mission Construction Collaboration Worldwide (MCCW).

Shortly after that phone call, Chad met with FBM Executive Director Stephen Simpson to discuss the possibility of FBM helping Chad and MCCW. In early 2021, MCCW launched as a ministry of FBM. In the short time since launching, God has used Chad in powerful ways. He has taken numerous trips to assist missionaries. These trips have taken him to Niger, Nigeria, Liberia, Uganda, Mexico, Paraguay, and various places here in the USA.

What exactly does MCCW do?

Often, missionaries and/or organizations contact Chad and ask for his help. He then researches their specific situation and the challenges that they face. This may or may not require him to visit the field. Once he gathers relevant information, Chad makes his recommendations, striving to find the right balance between cost, safety, and quality for each situation. Once the plan is approved, the work begins. Sometimes this involves Chad taking a team of people to the field to work. Other times, local labor is utilized under Chad’s supervision. In each case, Chad works with the missionary to find the best solution.

Chad in Action – Pachuca, Mexico

Near the end of 2023, Chad led a team of four men who travelled to the Walter Gomez Seminary in Pachuca, Mexico. Their goal was to replace a large skylight/roof that had been leaking for years. The original design of the skylight did not allow for easy repairs and so the leaks continued. A complete removal and redesign of the roof structure was needed. While overwhelming to the local personnel, Chad was able to design a solution. His team removed the existing roof, built steel trusses, installed the trusses, purlins, and roof panels. Finally, they sealed the roof to prevent future leaks. In roughly one week’s time, Chad’s team resolved a problem that had plagued the Seminary for years.

Who pays for all this?

Chad and MCCW operate like all of our other FBM missionaries. They set financial goals and invite God’s people to partner with them. In Chad’s case, the financial needs are significant. All of Chad’s and MCCW’s services are provided at no cost to the missionaries. MCCW has a fundraising goal of $190,500 for 2024. We are praising God that ministry partners have already committed to providing over $105,500 of that goal. We are asking God to provide the remaining $84,000. Will you partner with us in meeting this need?

2023 End of Year Giving Update

We are praising God for the tremendous end of year giving that He provided. Last November, we published our End of Year Rope Newsletter and highlighted several specific needs. Since that time, over $65,000 has been given towards those needs. What a mighty God we serve!

Thank you for your generosity. God used so many of you to meet these needs. Thank you for your amazing partnership in the Gospel!

FBM Annual Fund

FBM exists to “Glorify God by obeying the Great Commission and caring for those we serve.” One of the unique ways we care for our missionaries is by keeping our administrative fees low. Our missionaries frequently comment on our low fees. Our Annual Fund is what helps us keep these fees low. We invite you to give to our Annual Fund today. Your partnership will help us with everything we do at FBM.

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