A local husband and wife team are trying to teach others about the importance of ministering in lands far, far away.
In January 2010, doctors Joseph and Peggy Rayman founded the Coastal Georgia School of Missions with co-founder Dr. Richard Woodward as a way to try and reach out to those looking for a purposeful life.
The Raymans are also the founders of AOF Missions Inc., a ministry the couple started 15 years ago in Virginia Beach, Va., as a way to help train local church members in missionary work.
“It is about helping the average person in the pew,” said Joseph Rayman, who led a Monday evening class. “I think this year we’re really going to push stronger. It’s not a Bible college; it’s a discipleship course. That’s our focus and helping to develop the vision.”
In the past 15 years, the couple has gone on 20 combined missions trips.
The CGSM grew out of the AOF Missions Inc. and currently has five teachers to host the classes to raise missionary awareness for believers of all denominations.
The school’s program — broken down into eight-week semester systems — is focused on producing disciples to tell the gospel in other nations where the Word has not been preached, the Raymans said.
Full college degrees are also offered through CGSM as the school is an affiliate with the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology.
To the Raymans, it is clear as day what they have been called to do with their lives.
“A lot of people go to church, but they don’t use the talents they’ve been given,” said Joseph Rayman. “The idea of discipleship isn’t a Sunday thing, it’s an everyday thing.”
When it comes to telling others about what they can experience if they go on a missions trip, Joseph Rayman said there are no words to accurately express the feeling.
During a trip to Kenya, Rayman said he and other missionaries got a group of 900 people — including two tribes that had been warring for 100 years — to come together and worship under the same roof.
“It is just a feeling of satisfaction and knowing that there are people who know who Jesus is now who never knew before,” he said. “It was like seeing a slice of heaven. Nine hundred people praising God in their own language, their own custom, their own ways.”
Students will then be certified to attend missions trips, whether with the Raymans or with their own churches. Most mission trips are planned during the summer.
Eva Nedd, who is 80, is currently enrolled in the classes and is planning to take her first mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Throughout class, she quietly mouthed Bible verses that she had learned the week before.
The biggest satisfaction the Raymans get comes from seeing students, like Nedd, grow in their knowledge of faith.
“We’re not there to build up what we’re doing, but to see them realize that they have a calling on their lives for what Christ has called them to,” Joseph Rayman said. “People can see Christ in us.”
The classes, called certificate (audit) classes, cost $160 for the eight-week program. Registration for the next semester will end this week. For more information, visit www.cgsmissions.webs.com.