Meet Jean Stenzel

Jean Stenzel is the advisor for the leadership team of FLAME. We love her! And want to share a bit about her so you will all know why. Dave and Jean just exude love when you are with them; to meet them is to know you are with someone that loves the Lord God so much that it fills them up and spills over to everyone around them.
Where is Jean from?
Jean was born in Stuart, NE. She was raised on a ranch 20 miles north of Stuart with her brother and 2 sisters. Her parents were Jim and Sarah Allyn. Some of you may remember Sarah. She attended Faith Community sometimes, in her later years, and was also a member of the O’Neill Presbyterian Church.
Jean went to UNL and while there she met David Stenzel. They married and began their adventure together. Jean taught journalism, speech, forensics and drama at Seward high school. Dave taught at Waco, NE. While they lived in Waco, their first son, Tim was born. They returned to Lincoln, NE where their second son, Steve, was born. While in Lincoln, Dave was working for Encyclopedia Brittanica films. Encyclopedia Brittanica company was exploring ways to use media in teaching. Dave and Jean had an opportunity through that job experience to meet and work with many deaf people and teachers of the deaf. Dave was also teaching classes at UNL.
They moved to Michigan, where Dave taught music at a community college.
God begins to move the Stenzels in a new direction.
When Dave went on to Michigan State to study for his doctorate, God began to change their lives in dramatic ways. Jean had become a Christian as a child at Cleveland Bible Camp. Dave became a Christian at Michigan State. They began to attend bible studies that the Navigators were hosting. It became more and more clear to Dave that the lost were really lost. It was so real to him that they were not going to heaven but to hell and it touched him so deeply that he developed a deep passion for sharing the gospel with everyone around him. They lived in married housing and Dave started to invite every person in every apartment around them to an evangelistic bible study. Dave and Jean would meet with a group for 4 weeks and then encourage those that made commitments to Jesus to join a growth bible study. They would invite another group of young people and begin again. The Stenzels continued to do this the entire time that they lived at Michigan State.
“Graveyard of missionaries…”
A missions conference was held at their church. It was impressed upon Dave’s heart that they should be praying for missionaries and other countries. He asked the missonary how to start. The missionary said that Austria was “the graveyard of missionaries” because there was so little response to the gospel in that country. Dave led devotions every evening with Jean and the boys. They began to pray as a family for missionaries to go to Austria and for the people there to be open to the gospel. After a few months of praying, Dave realized that God was calling his own family to go to Austria. He was only 6 months from finishing his doctorate, but Dave and Jean agreed that God wanted them to go to Austria right away and they obeyed God’s call.
They spent 26 years in Austria as church planters and evangelists. Many times they faced discouragement, but now there is a thriving church there. The church has even sent out its own missionaries and is trying to start a sister church. Dave and Jean are praying that the work there will continue.
Missionary to the missionaries…
During the last 5 years the Stenzels were in Austria, their mission agency asked them to pastor other missionaries in surrounding countries of Europe. The last few years, they have continued to pastor missionaries from O’Neill, NE. They work with furloughing missionaries and new appointees in this country providing counsel and encouragement. They also travel back to Europe to encourage missionaries there. They have not slacked one iota in their zeal to reach the people of this world.
I hope that as we continue to add to stories of women that we will be able to share more of Jean’s amazing stories of faith at work!

By | 2017-02-20T04:50:55+00:00 September 12th, 2015|Community Connection|0 Comments

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