Meet Field Team Member — Danny and Frances Kennison

October 21, 2015

Danny and Frances

Prior to our involvement with MCWA, Frances and I had prayed for and supported missionaries, but didn’t understand missions the way we do today. Our understanding had a radical change in the spring of 1989 as a result of hearing Don Richardson speak about our God as a missionary God, and that it has always been His desire for the nations to know Him. The direction of our lives was changed seeing God’s promise to Abraham to bless the nations in Genesis 12:1-3 repeated throughout the word of God, culminating in the scene described in Revelations where we see people from every tribe, nation and people group worshipping Jesus. If God purposes to bless the nations through the seed of Abraham, that is Christ, then we as His followers should take that very seriously. As I read through two of Richardson’s books following the conference, God impressed upon me that He wanted my family to be involved at a different level, and He began to direct my thoughts toward relocating to another part of the world to be involved in reaching what some refer to as an “unreached people group”.

At that time I owned a small construction company in Baton Rouge. One of the board members with MCWA asked me if I would be interested and willing to go to Cameroon to build a hospital. That invitation was our introduction to MCWA and began a series of conversations about the work they hoped to do in Cameroon. Frances did not share my enthusiasm for relocating and even less for working among Muslims. She began to pray that God would change my heart, but instead, He changed hers.

In August of 1989, we moved to Columbia, South Carolina, to attend Columbia Seminary for a one year program. The next year we returned to Baton Rouge to raise our prayer and financial support and then moved to France after that to attend language school. We moved from France directly to Cameroon in October 1992 and began construction of the hospital six weeks later. While my initial responsibility was to oversee construction of the buildings (residences and hospital) and Frances homeschooled our children our first year on the field, we each worked in many different areas of need. We both had a desire to reach out to our neighbors and were always looking for opportunities to be involved in village life. For several years Frances managed the pharmacy which involved placing orders in Europe. She taught the children of missionaries for three years. Her greatest joy, though, was during our last term (2008-2013) when she had opportunities to mentor MBB ladies. Even though the hospital began seeing patients in December 1994, construction continued one building at a time for most of the years that followed, even to the present. Most of the men on the construction crew had no construction experience, so one of my goals was to teach them about the various crafts such as electricity, plumbing, cabinet work, and materials management which meant planning ahead. I also served as field director for a couple of years as well as hospital director during our last five years on the field. One of the things that I enjoyed most about directing the hospital was mentoring the hospital administrator who is the man now handling the day-to-day activities. Also during that time, God was very gracious in allowing me to mentor two MBB men which was the fulfillment of a desire I had from the beginning.

Danny Frances

Our years in Cameroon have changed us. First, our notion of sacrifice has changed radically. We had the privilege of serving our Lord overseas, fleshing out the gospel to unreached people by living with them and loving them day in and out. Although there were precious people back home whom we missed terribly, we received far more from God than we ever “gave up” for Him. Next, we can say with Paul, although we weren’t nearly in his shoes, that we have learned contentedness wherever we are with what He provides. A third change happened as we worked together every day with a small community of believers, each doing different tasks but focused on one purpose. We got to see up close and personal the workings of the body of Christ, appreciate the value of different gifts and love each other through the good and inevitable bad times. Our joy has been made full.

"Our years in Cameroon have changed us. First, our notion of sacrifice has changed radically. We had the privilege of serving our Lord overseas, fleshing out the gospel to unreached people by living with them and loving them day in and out." - Danny Kennison

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