There’s no such thing as a “mission to Africa.” Just ask Marty and Louise Koonce.

The continent of 54 countries is home to more than 1.2 billion souls and more than 2,000 languages.The Koonces, 1990 graduates of Harding University in Searcy, Ark., spent a combined 22 years serving as missionaries in two African nations — each with its distinct people, languages, culture and customs.

In 1997 they joined the church-planting Togo Evangelistic Mission team in the slender West African nation east of Ghana. In 2008, they moved to the East African nation of Rwanda, where a 1994 genocide claimed more than 800,000 lives. They served as part of the Africa Transformation Network, focusing on discipleship. This June they began another difficult transition — to life back “home” in the U.S.

The Warrenton Church of Christ in Virginia has dutifully supported their work from the beginning. The Glenwood Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas, became a cosponsor in 2008, and churches in Delaware, Illinois, Colorado, Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma have helped along the way.

The Koonces have four sons: Tucker, Taylor, Tanner and Trevor. After graduating from high school, each moved to the U.S. Marty Koonce spoke with The Christian Chronicle about his family’s years in Africa and their transition to the U.S. Read more…

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