Introducing Rob & Hilary Bartholdson

Rob & Hilary Bartholdson with their children

In the well-known and loved passage of Hebrews 11, the author chronicles the lives of many individuals who, “by faith,” took steps of obedience to God and His Word. It was by faith Abel approached God, bringing an acceptable sacrifice. Abraham took literal steps of faith as he left his home, trusting God would keep His promise. Believers today find encouragement in these stories because we, too, have the opportunity to take steps of faith. One of our favourite quotes on this topic is from Mike Sullivan, a teacher at Ethnos360 Bible Institute. He says “A life of faith depends on God and His certain Word.”

The testimony of Scripture tells us God’s heart is for people to know Him. Through God’s Word, we became convinced that He desires to work through the Church to spread the gospel message. As we prepare to serve among the Inuit in Arctic Canada, we can look back on our journey into missions as one small step of faith followed by another.

Having grown up in Christian homes, we heard and understood the truth of the gospel from a young age. Our home church, Edgewater Alliance Church, in Edgewater, Florida, is passionate about sharing the Good News. Growing up, we heard of God’s faithfulness from missionaries serving around the world. After completing high school, Rob worked in construction and served in the United States Army. Hilary studied Elementary Education and taught at a public school for several years.

After getting married in 2012, we took a small step to grow in our faith and received intentional discipleship from loved ones within our church. It was through these relationships and studying God’s Word that we were challenged into missions. This led us to take another small step of faith.

We served for a year in a support role as teachers at an International School in Asia. Although our time in Asia was short, the Lord used it to show us the need for well-trained labourers. We returned to Florida and the Lord gave us two of the greatest gifts, Theo (6) and Jude (5). It wasn’t long before the Lord once again used discipleship and His Word to prompt us to take more small steps of faith. Having more fully understood man’s hopeless and helpless state before God and the need to tell of His gracious provision in Christ, we decided to get equipped for the task.

In 2018 we moved our family to Jackson, Michigan to attend Ethnos360 Bible Institute. Following Bible school, the Lord had some bigger steps of faith for us and He miraculously made a way (during the pandemic) for us to attend Ethnos Canada’s missionary training program. It was during our time in training that we decided to serve in Arctic Canada. Currently, our step of faith is trusting the Lord will provide a support team so we can share His story. Each step of the journey God remains faithful and true.

We don’t know what other steps of faith the Lord may have us take in the future – but we realize that for the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 and for us, our steps are secure because God will keep His promises, including His promise to build His Church (Matthew 16:18). What steps of faith may God have for you to engage with the Great Commission?