Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

Missionary Spotlight – Steve Hydanus

Steve HydanusIt’s Missionary Monday and today I am spotlighting Steve Hydanus. Steve served on several missionaries ministry teams before becoming a missionary. He knows the joy that comes from serving on a ministry team and would encourage you to contact your missionary and offer to serve in the same way. See how he responded to one of the blog articles. I have not had the pleasure of personally meeting Steve although I hope to meet him in the near future.

I asked Steve some questions and below are his answers:

What area do you serve?

An area called California Golden West. Basically it is Los Angeles and the four surrounding counties in Southern California. I am the Church Care Missionary, and I share the area with Don and Debi Isaacs.

How long have you been an Awana Missionary?

I have been on the field for just under 4 years

# of churches under your care: Approx. 330

Fun Facts: Favorite food, favorite sport, something interesting people don’t know about you, etc….

My favorite food is something only a California native will understand: my favorite food is In-N-Out Burgers. They are a Christian, (Bible verses on the cups and wrappers) locally based burger chain. They are on many top 10 “you got to have one of these” burger lists.

When it comes to sports, I am a NASCAR fan (favorite driver is a moving target but mostly Smoke (Tony Stewart)) and a life long Angels baseball follower.

I enjoy reading about our nation’s spaceflight history and as part of my secular job prior to becoming a missionary, actually touched hardware that is rolling around on Mars today. The company I worked provided a simulated environment to test the robotic arms on the MER Rovers. During our missionary training I took some teasing about it taking a rocket scientist to be an Awana Missionary, but I tried to explain that I was not a Rocket Scientist; I just make throw weight for them. In addition to testing the arms, my main job was doing reliability testing of satellites.

Why are you an Awana Missionary?

Being a missionary is really all about the Gospel and a passion for reaching the lost and bringing those who do know Him to a greater knowledge of Him. I was raised in the church and attended regularly. Through this time my mindset was that I was just hearing a bunch of stories about dead guys and I walked away from the church at the age of 13. I was reached with the Gospel at the age of 24. Within a very short time I was serving as a leader in an Awana club. After several years, my wife (Karen) and I were asked to join the local missionary’s ministry team. We served under several missionaries over the 12 years or so we were ministry team members. One of the things that grew during this time was an ever growing passion to reach out to children and make God’s Word the living and active thing that it truly is. We came to the point in our lives that we would have been in disobedience to not follow God’s calling to spread the Gospel through the ministry of Awana. Awana does a wonderful job of reaching out to those who are lost, but does an equally wonderful job in discipling those who know Him and teaching them what is expected of a Christian. That two pronged method of evangelism and discipleship are the reasons we are missionaries. I really do not want kids to wait until adulthood to start serving the Lord as I did.

Share something God is doing in your ministry

The area we live in is very rich from an ethnic standpoint. I know that God looks at hearts and not skin color, but God is doing amazing things in our Korean churches here in Southern California. While many would not be surprised to hear that around 10% of our 330 churches are Hispanic, many would be surprised to hear that 15% are Korean. Korea holds a dear spot in our hearts, we were team leaders for an Awana MIT team and spent a couple of weeks in South Korea, one of His ways of preparing us for the churches we are serving today. We do hear of many decisions for Christ as we travel through our area, and we are thankful to be a small part of that, in our role as trainers of leadership and support of what local Awana leaders are doing in the direct contact with the clubbers.

How can we specifically pray for you over the next month?

We will be traveling to visit many churches in the next several weeks. Pray that when I am offered the opportunity to present the Gospel, I am clear in what I say, and that there are receptive hearts. We do live in hard economic times, and our ministry account has taken some hits. Please pray that we find ministry partners to fill the void of those who are no longer able to support us.

Ministry website:

Awana missionaries are 100% faith supported. They receive no commission on products sold, they rely solely on gifts and support from individuals and churches. To learn more about Steve and his ministry and to see how you can support him, click here…

To learn more about Awana Missionaries and their roles, click here…

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