Meet the residents who are serving in our churches.

Fiorella Vargas Montoya

Fiorella Vargas Montoya

IBC Costa Rica

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.  (Psalm 90:14)

Like the verse you just read, one day as a little girl, the steadfast love of the Lord lighted up my heart and that’s how the adventure began. Growing up with a beautiful family – mom, dad, and my two brothers – we had the opportunity to attend camps and other church activities. The Lord gave me the opportunity to experience passion for His kingdom and His name being glorified.

At the age of 15, many opportunities were given to start visiting missionaries, learning, and serving alongside them in indigenous and rural areas in Guatemala, Panama, and Costa Rica. In college, I had the opportunity to study medical emergencies at the University of Costa Rica. After that, I had a great desire to dig deeper into God’s Word and my relationship with Him. God opened a door for me to study at the Evangelical Institute of Greenville, South Carolina, USA. Here, the Lord made His Word a wonderful gift in my life so that I could never compare to anything else.

Growing up, I always had a passion for people and cultures. After graduating from Bible school, I was able to be part of an organization that reaches out to international students with the Gospel in South Carolina. What a gift it was to know and experience God’s true love for every nation as well as experiencing friendships that with time came to know the Lord.

God welcomed me back to my home country Costa Rica in August 2020. It was a sweet gift to find IBC, an international family passionate for the Lord. I am excited and grateful to be part of IBC serving the young adults and youth & children. Full of energy and joy, I am more than ready to see what the Lord has for these new generations.

Naomi Brown

Naomi Brown

International Christian Fellowship, Oberursel, Germany

I’m originally from London and have been living in Germany for the past three years. My husband Matthew and I moved here from the UK because I had a job in Frankfurt as a translator. We also became part of ICF in Oberursel, which we loved! At the start of 2020 my job came to an end, and I wasn’t sure what to do next. Matthew and I prayed about whether we should move back to the UK, and in the meantime we saw several ways I could get more involved at church. There were opportunities to serve with the youth group, on the music team and with our refugee outreach ministry, and I found just as much – if anything, even more – joy in doing those things than I had in my ‘dream job’ of being a translator! After a while it became clear both to me and Matthew that we should stop planning to leave Germany.  I’m now spending this year as a ministerial intern at ICF and I get to spend most of my time doing the things I mentioned before, which I absolutely love. I don’t know what the future holds but I love that the Lord has given us many contexts in which to share and grow in the hope of the gospel. He has called us all to a life of loving Him, finding satisfaction in Him, and giving glory to Him in everything we do!

 
Suanlian Tonsing

Suanlian Tonsing

Berlin International Baptist Church, Germany

Born and brought up in northeast India, Suanlian Tonsing dreamt of serving as a missionary in Europe since his teenage years. After completing his master’s degree in sociology, he moved to Germany to study Intercultural Theology at the Georg-August Universität, Göttingen (2012-2014). He joined Bethel International Baptist Church (now, Multination Church), Frankfurt in 2014 and there, along with the church, he discerned his calling to serve full-time in pastoral ministry, mainly among the international students and young professionals. In 2017 he moved to the U.K, where he continued his theological studies at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University. He was ordained in 2018 as a Baptist pastor by the Evangelical Baptist Convention (EBC), his home church convention in India. He was sent out as a missionary-pastor by the EBC, the first missionary to Europe by the convention. In 2019 he married Ellinor.  They moved to Berlin in 2020 where he is part of the church planting residency program with IBC Berlin.

 

Meet our former residents and read their testimonies.

Marcelo Ruas

Marcelo Ruas

Bridges International Church, Brasilia, Brazil

Marcelo Ruas is married to Alba Bassi Ruas and the proud father of Isabela and Olivia. All of them are born and raised in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, and have been living there their whole life, serving the Lord since their childhood. In 2018 they moved from the church where they were serving to Bridges International Church, in obedience to the direction God gave to them. Marcelo used to be a high-level executive at Caixa, the major public Bank in Latin America, but in 2020 he was compelled by God to leave the bank and follow his calling to work exclusively for the Kingdom of God.
 

 It is really important for the ones who feel the calling for a full-time serving ministry and their respective churches to be part of the Residency Program, as this will improve the chances of a successful ministry in the future.

David McAuley

David McAuley

ICF, Frankfurt, Germany

David McAuley was born and raised in Pakistan. Raised in a Christian family who works for a missionary hospital, he was always blessed to live in a Christian community and receive a scientific education in Christian schools and universities. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree, he moved to Finland to pursue his Master’s degree in Research Chemistry and later moved to Germany to live with his wife Mishal after he was married. After searching for a job for several months in 2019, he was very discouraged when his dream of a successful career in chemistry began to disappear before his eyes.  He began volunteering at his local church and God began to open David’s eyes and prepare his heart for ministry.  He is currently serving at ICF as a ministerial intern. He is motivated to work collaboratively with the local church to grow and work towards a shared vision to disciple and lead others in an intentional relationship towards maturity in Christ.
 
Phillip Vandergrift

Phillip Vandergrift

Immanuel, Wiesbaden, Germany

Phillip T. Vandergrift is married to Monika Vandergrift and together they have 5 children and 4 granddaughters. Phillip is originally from Memphis, Tennessee. He has been living in Germany now for 30 years. He lived a life in darkness and sin for almost 40 years. On 1 September  2017, he came to know Jesus Christ. His life went from darkness to light, from hate to love on that day. Monika gave her life to Jesus Christ in October 2017, and they were both baptized in their home church, Immanuel Baptist Church, Wiesbaden, Germany on 17 December that year. Phillip and his wife have been a part of the IBC ever since.
 

 The IBC Residency Program has given me the opportunity to experience first-hand the calling and path God has placed me on.

Read more here.

The IBC’s Residency Program has been a key part of our church-planting strategy for Paris, France.  Through the program, we’ve been given accountability in the mentoring process for our residents as well as an outside perspective to advise on tough questions.  As a result, we’ve received helpful coaching on how to equip and train residents for future roles in our church plants.  As an added bonus, we’ve been granted financial help to get residents to the field and to other IBC events.  The IBC’s Residency Program has helped us do all the things we were wanting to do, but with a greater level of clarity and thoughtfulness than we could have managed on our own.

K.J. Pugh

Church Planter, Emmanuel International Church, Paris, France