Biking on their Trike for JAARS

By Rachel Greco

Only God. Only God could have brought Bruce and Pamela Culler from Ohio to serve at JAARS twenty years ago.

In 2000, Bruce and Pamela heard a radio announcement about a JAARS Missions at the Airport event at the Kidron Airport—about 45 minutes from their home. Intrigued, they decided to attend.

When they entered the check-in tent at the event, emotion overwhelmed Bruce. A large picture of Chief Tariri, a DC-3 plane, dominated the area. Bruce had flown in this aircraft several years earlier while on a three-week short-term mission trip to Goma, Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

The couple was drawn to the Vernacular Media (now International Media) informational booth. The Cullers spent about half an hour listening to the demonstration and asking questions. Before they left, they exchanged names, addresses, phone numbers and emails with the presenters, whom they had connected with. According to Pamela, “I had a desire to get to know more about them and the JAARS mission.”

At another booth, Bruce and Pamela learned that the CAM department (Construction and Maintenance) at JAARS was building a Counseling Center on the JAARS Campus. This interested Bruce, since he’s a “jack of many trades and master of most.”

That night in bed, Pamela remembers asking the Lord to move on Bruce’s heart if he wanted them to check out the JAARS campus. The next day, Bruce asked if Pamela wanted to go to JAARS on her next vacation. “I was so excited,” Pamela recalls. “God had answered my request so quickly!”

When the couple arrived at JAARS, they biked around the campus to look for the counseling center under construction. Due to permit delays, construction hadn’t begun, but Bruce was able to help set the sewer system for the new building, and he has fond memories of his time.

Pamela served in the cafeteria. She loves cooking and preparing food, and “I was amazed by the kitchen and its operation. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my dad about it. He also loved to cook since he was a cook in the Army.” Before they even knew what JAARS advocates were, the Cullers were beginning to advocate about JAARS mission and vision.

The next winter Pamela’s parents traveled to JAARS in their fifth wheel and stayed for a few weeks at the RV Park while volunteering in the kitchen. Over the next 10 or so years, they traveled to JAARS for the winters, usually for 2-3 months until they could no longer make the drive.

Pamela’s father  volunteered at JAARS for many years

After a few visits, Bruce and Pamela switched to working in housekeeping, where they hope to continue serving as long as JAARS will have them. Now that Bruce is retired, they’ve been volunteering twice a year.

A TV interview with Jim Elder, Grace Townsend Goreth, and the Cullers

Not only do the Cullers volunteer on campus, they continue to support JAARS when they’re on the road and back home. Last year they became a part of the Advocate program. They have already presented to their Sunday school class, helped at a Missions at the Airport event in Ashland, Ohio, and set up an interview with Jim Elder, a partner relations representative, and Grace Townsend-Goreth, one of Cameron Townsend’s daughters, on their local Christian TV Program.

Bruce and Pamela on their trike

On a trip to Montana last year on their trike—a three-wheeled motorcycle—they had quite a few opportunities to share with people about JAARS mission and vision. On their way home, they shared with seven people at a bed and breakfast some of their experiences at JAARS. “We’re not sure what impact these casual encounters will [have for] these people. We always leave that up to God,” Pamela says.

The Cullers’ favorite part of JAARS is serving Christ and helping get his Word to all people groups—all who have a need for God and a need to be loved. “Although we are not on the front lines, it takes many people to support the work the Lord has commanded us to do.”

How are you supporting the work the Lord has commanded us to do? Go here to learn how God could use you at JAARS.