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Former VFCC Photographer Follows God's Call to Zambia

by Office of Marketing | October 02, 2011
In January 2004, VFCC welcomed Jerry Ireland to the family. As a Teen Challenge graduate, he had a strong desire to continue being discipled in his walk with Christ. And as a former professional Navy photographer and photojournalist, he had just the talents needed to work as a photographer with the Development Office.
In January 2004, VFCC welcomed Jerry Ireland to the family. As a Teen Challenge graduate, he had a strong desire to continue being discipled in his walk with Christ. And as a former professional Navy photographer and photojournalist, heFormer VFCC Photographer Follows God's Call to Zambia had just the talents needed to work as a photographer with the Development Office. For three semesters, Jerry brought the campus alive in pictures and made life-long friends. 

But when the girl of your dreams is a missionary to Zambia, some times God leads you in a different direction. Jerry met Paula as he was graduating from Teen Challenge and she had just finished her first term as a missionary. The following summer, Jerry went to visit Zambia for the first time. When he came back he prayed, "Lord, if you would let me serve here, I would love to." 

Three years later, the newlyweds flew back to Zambia as appointed missionaries. For the first year, they worked to build relationships with the community-oriented Africans, while continually praying, "God, we want you to burden us with the things that burden your heart." 

Soon, God began to unfold some needs and burdens. Jerry and Paula began to serve in a brand new Bible school, and got involved in youth ministry with the teenagers in the churches they visited each Sunday. Paula developed Bible Quiz materials specific to the African youth and gained the support of Zambian pastors to keep the program going. She also continued to work with Community Health Evangelism (CHE), the organization with which she served on her original term in Zambia. 

Toward the end of their term, Jerry was asked to help with a new initiative called AG Care (africaagcare.org), a ministry that is intentional about ministering not only to the spiritual development of the Africans, but to their physical needs as well. He serves as the editor for AG Care's magazine, Embrace

The Irelands returned to the States in the fall of 2010. That November, they adopted their daughter, Charis. 

Jerry and Paula will leave again for Africa in the summer of 2013. In the meantime, Jerry plans to make a few trips back to Zambia, get AG Care off the ground, and finish his PhD in Theology and Apologetics from Liberty University.