Valerie and Aaron Osterbrock of Hamilton, Ohio, were endorsed on December 13, 2016, by American Baptist International Ministries (IM) to serve at the Sabah Theological Seminary in East Malaysia.
The couple will be the only IM global servants currently serving in this Southeast Asian island country. They will be teaching at a multinational, multidenominational seminary with over 400 students.
After the couple has raised the needed financial support and has been commissioned, the Osterbrocks will teach theological education at the seminary with an emphasis on the Master of Divinity and Bachelor Degree programs.
“I am very excited to see that this gifted couple is preparing for service as global servants in theological education in Malaysia,” comments Leslie Turley, IM area director for Southeast Asia and Japan. “It is evident that God has been preparing them for this special work and I know that they covet the prayers of his people as they begin this part of the journey.”
Valerie Osterbrock, 32, was born in Boston, but grew up in Singapore and Australia. “I’m a cultural mongrel,” she explains. “I trained as a high school and middle school English and Humanities teacher. I had also read biographies of missionaries. I was eager to respond to God’s call.” She holds a Master of Divinity degree (2014) and a Master of Theology degree (2015) from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
When asked why she feels called to this ministry, Valerie Osterbrock said, “God has given me both the passion and the training for this. I am excited about what God is doing to grow his church in the developing world, and I love being able to come alongside local leaders and playing a part in equipping and encouraging them.”
Aaron Osterbrock, 34, is an ordained American Baptist Churches pastor. He grew up in Ohio and has attended an American Baptist church since age 10. Before attending seminary, Aaron participated in mission trips to Africa and Thailand. “The Lord had stirred my heart to serve,” he recalls, “but I didn’t know what that would look like.” He now holds a Master of Divinity degree (2014) and a Master of Theology degree (2016) from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
After Aaron and Valerie Osterbrock married in December 2012, they spent a semester teaching classes at Central Africa Bible College in Malawi. Currently, their home church is First Baptist Church in Hamilton, where Aaron serves as associate pastor.
“I am excited about helping students develop in their understanding of the Word of God,” said Aaron Osterbrock. “Ultimately, I desire to see students grow in their relationships with the Lord and see my relationship with him grow in the process.”
Once they have raised the funds to get their ministry off the ground, Valerie and Aaron will move to Sabah, Malaysia, with their children: 18-month-old Theophilus and a second child due to be born in May 2017.
The Osterbrocks will be using English, the Malay language and possibly Mandarin Chinese in their ministry in Malaysia.
American Baptist International Ministries works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation. Find IM on Facebook.