On Friday, Oct. 16, Chris and Alicia Dunlap appeared virtually before the World Missions Council and officially received their approval and commission as IPHC Missionaries.
The call to missions, though now realized as a joint ministry for the Dunlaps, first began for them individually. For Chris, it was after high school following a trip to Nicaragua. “On that trip to Nicaragua, I began to experience what it means to love people who are so drastically different on the surface but so similar on the inside,” he said. “I knew from those moments in Nicaragua that missions could be something I could do long term. Through some confirmations in my own life, I began to see God’s blessing cover my steps as I explored my call to missions.”
For Alicia, she first felt the Lord’s call when she was in the 6th grade. “A missionary had come to our church and at the end of service he called all of the children up to pray over them. During his prayer he said, ‘There are missionaries in this group.’ I held onto that desire and calling, and in 2014, as a senior in high school, God opened the door for me to travel to Haiti for the first time,” she said. “From that moment on, I knew that God was calling me into missions full-time. The joy, passion, and freedom in Christ that I felt serving in Haiti and in other nations I’ve traveled to continued to drive me toward stepping into this call from God.”
As Chris and Alicia began and have continued in missions leading up to their first full-time assignment, they’ve experienced a journey where learning and growth has become a welcomed continuation of the process. Short-term trips, ministry opportunities, and their everyday lives were turned into training grounds with lessons of deepened love for God and others, pushing through challenges beyond comfortability, relying on God’s promises, and so much more.
“My first mission trip to Haiti in 2014 was where I experienced a love that crosses all borders, cultures, races, and traditions. I continued to travel to Haiti eight other times where I saw how God can use relationships to share the Gospel. Throughout my time in Haiti, I have watched children grow into teenagers who are following after Jesus,” Alicia said. “I traveled to Indonesia in 2016 where I saw the Lord literally multiply craft supplies so that we could have enough materials to minister in a school for Islamic children. On that trip, I learned to prepare and then to expect God to provide in miraculous ways. In 2018 I traveled with The Awakening to Costa Rica where God showed me how He uses short-term mission teams to help the long-term missionaries establish, grow, and facilitate life-time kingdom relationships. In 2019, when I traveled to Kenya, I saw national leaders empowered and sent out into their own communities to make an impact. This taught me the importance of equipping leaders to expand God’s kingdom.”
Upon raising all necessary funds, the Dunlaps plan to serve in Kenya for a year, learning from experienced, long-term IPHC missionaries how they run their ministry training programs, girl’s and women’s ministries, and their agricultural programs. Then, it is their hope to transition to Uganda to help build ministries there.
As they transition to Kenya, the Dunlaps are expectant to see the Lord use them in mighty ways. Chris carries a passion and desire to teach and train national leaders to be the most effective witnesses of the Gospel they can be to their people groups, as well as a desire to empower and equip leaders through Biblical training and practical skills such as finance and agriculture. In tandem, Alicia is passionate about meeting individuals right where they are: in their successes and brokenness, victories and their pain. She desires to empower people to pursue their talents and passions while helping them connect that to a calling from God. Collectively, the two hope to see the Lord use them in the discipleship and mentorship of a generation, to mend relationships, and to effectively lead leaders.
“Missions has shown me that I can never out-give God and that God is still working beyond what I can comprehend and envision,” Chris said.
You can support the Dunlaps financially by visiting their missionary giving page here.
- by Whitney Browning, Coordinator of PR and Communication