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Jeff and Elizabeth Owens

Status: On the Field

Location: Oceania
Field: Papua New Guinea
Ministry: Church Planting



Jeff and Elizabeth each had the privilege of being raised in a Christian home where they were faithfully taught the Bible, and both decided to follow Christ from a very young age. Jeff's introduction to missions came early in life - he was born in Niger, West Africa, where his parents were missionaries. Elizabeth's family often had missionaries in their home, and then during her college years she was further influenced towards missions and was able to travel to Zambia on a summer mission team. 

Jeff attended Piedmont Baptist College where he received an education focused on the Word of God, at the same time receiving technical training at their Missionary Aviation Institute. He desired to return to West Africa, but he was unable to do his internship there and ended up going to Papua New Guinea instead. The Lord used this to burden his heart for reaching the people in remote mountainous regions of that country.

In September 2009 Jeff began his ministry in PNG as maintenance man for an existing team in the village of Kiari, with a vision to begin an aviation ministry as well. In the meantime, Elizabeth desired to return to Zambia, but she was also redirected to PNG. She was encouraged by a quote from Mrs C.H. Spurgeon, "It is a blessing that our lives are not left for us to plan, but that our Father chooses for us. Else might we sometimes turn away from His best gifts, and put from us the choicest and loveliest gifts of His providence."

When Jeff made the arduous trip on the bush road to pick up the new teacher in June 2010, little did either of them know that she was his future wife! Needless to say, they are both supremely grateful for God's loving redirection in their lives. They returned to the States for their wedding in July 2011 and went back to Kiari the next month to continue their ministries and oversee Kiari Baptist Church during their coworkers' furlough. Their own first furlough coincided with the arrival of their first child, Lydia, in May 2013.

Since their return to the field the following year, their focus has been evangelism and discipleship using simple chronological Bible teaching. Church ministries, individual and group Bible studies, and religious instruction classes in the government schools are the formal avenues, but ministry also abounds in day to day life with people who come to sell produce, sharpen their shovels and axes, help in the garden, or just "story" at the gate.

The Lord has blessed them with seven children (Jonathan, Caleb, Joel, Stephen, Lydia, Joseph, and Micah), who provide greater connections with people. Aviation has not turned out to be practical since the team is able to charter another mission's helicopter much more simply and inexpensively, but the Lord has superceded Jeff's love for aviation with an even greater burden and desire for personal ministry to his New Guinean friends. What a joy it would be to see them walk in truth! The Owenses count it a true joy and privilege to work alongside Karen Hall, who also arrived in 2010, this time as a career missionary after a couple of previous short term assignments in PNG; and Jeremy and Caroline Dion, who arrived with their family in 2019. 

To view Jeff and Elizabeth Owens' photo gallery, click the picture below.