Who Are the Ernsts Anyway?

Dave’s Heart For Missions

By God’s grace I grew up in a Christian home with parents and grandparents who loved to serve, teach, and actively share God’s Word with people around us.

As a family we visited retired missionaries. We heard first-hand stories of God’s amazing provision for them during their years of service.

During college I jumped at the opportunity to serve in China for a summer, sharing the Gospel with children and teaching English. Since then, life has taken unexpected twists as I changed courses and careers.

Many closed doors felt disappointing at the time. For real, I got laid off a lot. But God used this period to prepare me as He developed my skills and gave me varied work experience in visual and communication arts that are all foundational to this ministry He has called me to.

Three years ago, I received a call from a former student. Yes, my call to ministry was a literal phone call. Dave Hare and his wife Stacey now live in Cameroon, Africa where they are translating the Bible for the Kwakum tribe.

Dave and Stacey asked me if I would pray about joining their missionary team in a new role they termed, “Visual Translation.”

Years after my youthful enthusiasm for missions was sparked, God has us on the cusp of using my visual arts talents for growing His Kingdom in full-time ministry.

Man Sketching in the Grass
Field Sketches in Cameroon
Illustration of Kwakum Girl
Kwakum Girl by Dave Ernst
Man in Kwakum Village
Dave In the Kwakum Village

Amanda’s Heart For Missions

Woman with Kwakum children

I grew up in a Christian home that was very mission focused. My parents sought every opportunity to host missionaries, whether for a meal or to stay overnight as they traveled. My mom often declared, “God didn’t equip me to go to the mission field, but He did equip me to support those whom He has sent.” My mother also fostered a heart for missions in her children. She read missionary biographies to us. She surrounded us with maps, prayer cards, and stories of those who gave their lives on the mission field.

Rather than a famous singer or actress, Amy Carmichael, pioneer missionary to India, was one of my earliest heroes.

I have long desired to serve in missions, but every opportunity I pursued ended in “No, not now.” At long last, in 2021 we were given a green light by our church and mission agency to pursue full-time missions with the Kwakum people in Cameroon, Africa. For me, this is a long-sought answer to prayer.

Kwakum children learning to read.
Kwakum Children Learning Their Brand New Alphabet
Woman with Kwakum Students
Amanda Writing With the Kwakum Children

Last April we spent two weeks visiting Dave and Stacey Hare in the Kwakum village where they live and work. On April 22nd we were officially invited to join World Team Cameroon. We have great peace in our souls about serving alongside Dave and Stacey. The tremendous need for the visual translation work that David will be doing was very clear to us. We also realized that this highly technical work can only be done here in the United States—where we have reliable internet and electricity and can transfer large data files—so we won’t be moving. We are pursuing a new and exciting ministry right here in Oklahoma. This ministry is groundbreaking in many ways and we are so excited to see how God uses it.