Upcoming move to Belgium in progress
Justin Evans, a member of the T.J. Jones library staff and former faculty member, is moving to Brussels, Belgium to teach Old Testament and Hebrew at Continental Theological Seminary. Evans and his family plan to leave in January, if fundraising continues advancing.
Evans was called to missions when he was a freshman at North Central, and his wife Jessica was called to missions when she was eight years old. Missions is a passion for Evans as a result of his non-Christian background. Evans ran with a bad crowd in high school. He often tells the story of vandalizing a church bus on church property, only to be unwittingly brought there by a classmate less than six months later. The seeming coincidence was enough to convince Evans that God was real.
“I was radically saved at the age of 17,” Evans said. He applied to North Central and got in at the last minute, majoring in cross-cultural studies.
Evans is currently raising funds in order to allow his family to move to Belgium with financial stability. A North Central student helped them fundraise in a bit of an unusual manner by donating a moped, which brought in funds at $10 per ticket.
Fundraising has been a bit of a challenge for the Evans family, as it takes time to build the necessary connections with churches. Evans said that one of the most important things to him is meeting the needs of the church, not only gaining their support.
“Something that is important to us in this process is figuring out how we can serve and bless the church in their vision for missions all over the world,” Evans said.
Evans will be teaching at the seminary while his wife, Jessica, hopes to aid refugees, possibly through an organization called Convoy of Hope, which is headquartered in Brussels.
“The best work for us is to train and prepare local leaders in the church,” Evans said. “It’s just one piece of the puzzle, but it is something God has uniquely trained and prepared us for.”
He desires to rise up a new generation of ministry leaders in Europe, where there is a severe shortage. Even though Evans studied for a year and a half at Edinburgh University in Scotland, living overseas long-term is a new endeavor for the Evans, including their two young children, Toby and Savannah.
Evans was an adjunct professor at North Central from 2008 to 2010, teaching Old Testament and Bible classes. He is currently a member of the T.J. Jones library staff, a position where he has “worn many hats.”
“Working in education can become addicting,” Evans said. “One of my greatest thrills is working with students and seeing them have their own unique callings, their passions and doing something with it. I can play a small role in encouraging them.”
Evans emphasized the fact that this is a family endeavor, not simply his own calling. He fell in love with his wife during a missions class they took together, and their mutual passion for missions led them to this moment.
“God has called us, together—not just me or my work—but God has called my entire family to go there as a family,” Evans said.