Rusty and Brenda Carney returned to Japan on June 8, 2019, after sharing how God has worked through them during the last term in Bihoro in eastern Hokkaido, Japan. The couple has a passion to see many Japanese come to know Christ through Japanese Christians being strengthened, discipled, and empowered to share their faith. To that end, they will spend this term in Tokyo. While working in Good News Chapel (with Donnie and Ruth McDonald and Shannon Little) they will look for creative outreach opportunities hoping to reach larger audiences with the gospel.
Rusty, son of Randy and Rhonda Carney, was saved at the age of four in Thompsonville, Illinois. His father led him to the Lord at home one Sunday afternoon. From an early age, he sensed God’s call on his life to be a missionary. He graduated from Ezra Christian School in West Frankfort, Illinois, in 1998. He answered the call to missions at age 19 after attending a service at Pittsburg FWB Church, in Pittsburg, Illinois, in 1999. He then went to Free Will Baptist Bible College where he met his future wife, Brenda Wendlandt, who also felt led to missions. He graduated from Welch College in 2003. He and Brenda were married on April 17, 2004.
Brenda, daughter of Dale and Joyce Wendlandt, was saved at an early age in Stigler, Oklahoma. It was at Eureka FWB Church Camp that she gave her life to the Lord and where later she answered the call to missions. March of 1996 she rededicated her life to the Lord at her home church, Lafayette FWB Church in Stigler, Oklahoma, and in June of that same year answered the call to missions. After that, she enrolled at Welch College and started attending in the fall of 1996.
Rusty and Brenda ministered at Unity Free Will Baptist Church in West Frankfort, Illinois, where Rusty’s father, Randy Carney, served as pastor. They were youth leaders and were involved in teaching children’s church, teaching a teen class, music, and missions projects. They received final approval for missionary service to Japan from the Free Will Baptist International Missions Board on April 24, 2007.
Rusty and Brenda arrived in Japan in January 2009. They lived in Sapporo while in language school, then moved to the city of Ebetsu where they finished out their first term working with pastor Hirabuki in the Koinonia church. They remained in Hokkaido throughout their second term. They lived in the town of Bihoro and worked with Japanese Pastor Ishii and his family. With teammates Nathan and Linda Snow they endeavored to encourage and strengthen the Bihoro and Abashiri churches. Both Rusty and Brenda taught English classes at the Bihoro church. Rusty also participated in a preaching rotation at both the Bihoro and Abashiri churches.
The Carneys have three children: Grace Anne, born February 3; Kelton Roy, born August 28; and Katherine Joy, born July 27.
Rusty—Unity FWB Church in West Frankfort, Illinois
Brenda—Lafayette FWB Church in Stigler, Oklahoma
Updated June 17, 2019
- Thank God for answers to prayer!
- Katherine is now potty trained!!!
- We are getting to know more of the people in our community.
- Pray as Grace is finishing out the school year doing “distance learning” from home.
- As a result of COVID-19 Kelton and Katherine are unable to attend their Japanese Kindergarten for another month. We have been trying to utilize this time by going through a phonics course with Kelton.
- COVID-19 has changed the scope of many things we were doing. English classes have been halted for the time being, and we are currently making videos for our church services each week. As a result, many who would not normally come to church are viewing the videos as we have been sharing them online. Pray the seeds that are being planted would take root in many people’s hearts!
- Praise God for Mr. “O’s” decision to follow Jesus! Pray for his spiritual growth, development and discipleship. Also, pray things will settle down with COVID-19 as he would like to be baptized.
Updated May 15, 2020