Jeff and Elizabeth each had the privilege of being raised in a Christian home where they were faithfully taught the Bible from a very young age. When he was six, Jeff understood his need for salvation from his sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. Elizabeth was saved when she was five one night after family devotions.
Jeff's introduction to missions came very early in life because his parents were missionaries in Niger, West Africa. The Lord used those early years of living on the mission field to burden his heart for the spiritual needs of people in other parts of the world. After moving to the U.S., the Lord continued to work in his heart and lead him toward foreign missions. It was during a missions conference in ninth grade that he dedicated his life to missions.
Following high school, Jeff attended Piedmont Baptist College where he received an education focused on the Word of God, at the same time receiving technical training in missionary aviation. While at Piedmont, the Lord continued to lead Jeff towards service on the mission field. During his missions internship to the country of Papua New Guinea the Lord burdened his heart for reaching the people in remote mountainous regions of that country. In September 2009 Jeff began his ministry alongside the Randy Smith family in the village of Kiari, Simbu province. His first task was to use a bulldozer and coordinate village workdays to carve an airstrip out of the mountain in order to exchange the dangerous, 10-18+ hour drive to town for supplies every 6 weeks for a 15-minute flight via small plane.
While attending Bob Jones University, Elizabeth began thinking about the possibility of becoming a missionary and was able to go to Zambia with a team from Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. After the summer team, she pursued going to Zambia but the Lord changed her direction. She went to Papua New Guinea instead as a short-term missionary schoolteacher, arriving Kiari in June 2010. Little did she know the tremendous blessings the Lord had in store for her in PNG! As Jeff and Elizabeth served alongside each other on the Kiari missionary team, the Lord knit their hearts to each other and to the ministry in Kiari. They returned to the States for their wedding on July 23, 2011 and went back to Kiari in August 2011 to continue their ministries and oversee Kiari Baptist Church during the Smiths' furlough. Jeff and Elizabeth are blessed with two children, Lydia Grace and Jonathan Duane.
With the completion of the airstrip at hand and the closing of Joy Christian School due to lack of teachers, Jeff and Elizabeth plan to devote their time to evangelism, discipling believers at Kiari Baptist Church, and learning Siar-ha, the village language, in order to be able to minister to Kiarians in their heart language. Jeff also preaches and continues to serve the team through the physical aspects of the ministry, such as construction and maintenance. For more information on their ministry, see their website: www.owenspng.com.
To view Jeff and Elizabeth Owen's photo gallery, click the picture below.