Joel Huyser ex'74
Transforming People and
If you connected the dots
of where Joel Huyser ex'74 has been over the past seven years, you would
trace a line from Michigan to Costa Rica to Nicaragua. For 14 years, the
native of Sully, Iowa, worked as an attorney in Grand Rapids before shifting
gears to begin missionary service. He, his wife, Jeannie, and their children
Chris, David, and Micah, moved to Costa Rica in 1995 to learn Spanish.
One year later, they settled in Managua, Nicaragua, where he started the
Nehemiah Center for Transformational Development.
"Our work with the people
here focuses on training church, school, business, and political leaders
with a biblical world-and-life view," says Huyser, director of the Nehemiah
Center. "We encourage them to work together as they transform their communities.
"Jeannie and I sensed that
God was calling us to use our talents and gifts in another role," he remembers.
"We were particularly interested in Latin America, mainly because Jeannie
Huyser's work invokes memories
of one of his favorite Trinity professors. Though he took the class more
than 30 years ago, the impressions remain as vivid as yesterday's lesson
"Every day, I am reminded
of the basic principles from Philosophy 101 with Dr. Calvin Seerveld,"
he says about one of the College's original faculty members. "I count him
as one of the persons who influenced my life the most."
Because Huyser works with
people at the grass-roots level, he is afforded several opportunities to
see the fruits of his labor. Establishing a different mindset is a radical
change, but its results bring him great satisfaction.
"My gratification comes from
seeing national leaders develop and blossom," he states. "We depend on
God for every aspect of our work, and only He can transform people and
communities. It's good to see how He works through us."
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