Kyle and Rebecca Sukanen
Serving in CIS | Eurasia
In Tillamook, Oregon there are two Nazarene churches: one of about one hundred people near the center of the town and the other with about thirty in a rural area. Becky attended the larger of the two and was very active in the youth group and missions trips that the church offered. Kyle went to the smaller church and enjoyed the closeness that you come to have with a small congregation. Growing up Becky and Kyle were rarely more than a half an hour’s drive from each other, but never met.
In middle school, Becky prayed that God would reveal to her what she was to do with her life and God called her to missions. She didn’t really know what a missionary did at that point, but she put her life on a path to become one from that point forward. Becky went on to attend Northwest Nazarene University and earned a degree in Christian education.
Growing up Kyle had his heart more geared to construction, fabrication, and sports while still attending church on Sundays and the occasional youth event. A turning point in his faith came at the age of 15, when his father passed away from cancer. This was something that God helped him through on a personal level and is when Kyle really came to know God personally. Kyle went on to attend Oregon State University, receiving a Bachelor’s in Construction Engineering Management, with a minor in business.
On the summer after Kyle’s junior year in college, he traveled to southeastern Alaska to work as a carpenter for a friend. As soon as he found the small fishing village where his friend Lee worked as a charter boat captain, Kyle found Becky who was working on the boat. She was also a good friend of Lee’s and was a deckhand for him. From that point forward Kyle and Becky spent most every hour together that they didn’t spend working. After three months, they were engaged and after a year they were married.
The two of them had planned very different courses for their life before being married and they now found it difficult to make the two paths into one. Becky was going to be a missionary and Kyle wasn’t sure about missions, but he was sure about Becky. Their compromise was to look for an international construction company that Kyle could work for and through which they could work as self-funded international missionaries. That led them to Bechtel Construction where Kyle would work for the next five years. While working for Bechtel, the couple spent two great years in Houston, Texas and three on the east coast of Australia. Through these years their involvement in the church, their love for God and their passion for His commission grew greatly. In addition, during this time they were blessed with two sons, one a Texan and the other an Aussie. God had other plans in store for them still that He was yet to reveal to them.
Their former pastor Scott Rainey from Living Word Church of the Nazarene, in Houston, Texas had moved with his family to the Ukraine to work as missionaries. Becky and Kyle heard about this and made plans to use their annual leave to travel there to spend some time with them. Through that time and through much prayer God made it clear that Ukraine and other states of the former Soviet Union would be where they would serve together as full time missionaries.
Going Where the Church is Not Yet
Today there are over 4.3 billion people who live in areas where there is little to no gospel witness. 4.3 billion people who have not heard the message of the gospel, who have never heard the name of Jesus. We believe that everyone deserves to hear. God continues to call the Church of the Nazarene to spread the message of the gospel, to preach holiness, and to bring good news to the poor all over the world. The task is enormous; far too big for anyone to do alone, but together we can go where the church is not yet and see people, communities, and nations transformed. Reaching these people begins with one step, a step of obedience and faithfulness that says yes to God’s call. Take your first step and start your journey toward serving in missions today.