Alumni Spotlight: Jim Flora
Jim and Teresa Flora didn’t plan to be missionaries in Africa. Actually, the plan was to become missionaries in India. Several short term mission trips to India helped to spark this desire in the Floras. God, however, had a different plan for their lives.
As a student at WBC, Jim was not unlike many other non-traditional students. He attended classes majoring in Christian Ministries, served as pastor of Black Rock Baptist Church and spent his free time in the outdoors or at baseball games with his three sons: Jim, Jason, and Josh.
After graduation from WBC in 2000 Jim and Teresa moved to Braymer, MO where Jim again served as pastor of a church and attended Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jim knew that he would graduate and move to India to serve on the mission field, but he soon found himself out of seminary and pastor of Hamlin Memorial Baptist Church in Springfield, MO.
While in Springfield, Jim and Teresa adopted three daughters, Grace from India and two sisters, Anna and Rebekah, from Haiti. It was not long after this that the Floras once again began to feel the call to the mission field. They have since been appointed by the International Mission Board to serve as career missionaries in Mokhotlong, Lesotho among the Basotho people.
Lesotho is a mountainous country that is completely surrounded by the country of South Africa. The Floras are currently learning Sesotho the official language of the Basotho. Jim recently wrote in his blog http://jflora.wordpress.com/ about his desire to reach the Basotho people by helping them fight the crises of HIV/AIDS. It is estimated that as many as 50% of those living in the mountainous regions of Lesotho are infected with the virus.
One of the ways that the Floras hope to fight this disease is through a “milk goat ministry.” The milk goats will serve as an alternative to mothers nursing their children since formula is neither available nor affordable to the people in this region.
The Floras plan to use this ministry to nourish the people and to share Christ with them. “When we are teaching the people how to build a shelter for their goat, we will teach them about the importance of a good, solid foundation. We plan to relate this to the solid foundation found in Jesus. When we teach them how to care for their goat, we will tell them about the One who cares for us. When we teach them how to use the milk to provide nourishment for their children, they will hear the story of the Provider of all things.”
“Williams Baptist College Alumni: Higher Learning beyond the classroom. Higher Purpose beyond ourselves.”