(Photos courtesy of Megan Havelaar)
Megan Havelaar: Missionary in Ethiopia
By Selma Komisky
“God is so faithful because God doesn’t go back on His promises. It comes down to trusting God and His Word or not. I look back I see God’s grace and hand upon my life. My life growing up wasn’t perfect, nor was I or am I perfect now. God doesn’t ask for perfection. He loves us, no matter what. I would encourage all women, but especially young women that purity doesn’t begin at our seeking to be perfect, but about Jesus. Sit at the feet of Jesus, open His Word, and receive how much He values you.”
– Megan Havelaar
Megan Havelaar is a missionary and pastor’s wife who moved with her family to Ethiopia to begin serving in 2013. This is her story.
She was born and raised on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado. By a very young age she was living in a divorced home, so she spent a lot of her time with her grandparents. Havelaar recalls, “My grandparents played a big part in raising me, which I’m so thankful for.” During that time her mom started attending a Calvary Chapel church in Denver and at age nine her mom re-married. She not only gained a stepdad, but also a stepsister and a year later a little sister. Havelaar states, “My dad lived in other states so I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with him growing up. He is still a part of my life, but I’m very thankful for my step-dad who was a very good example of a loving father to me!”
She would say she was raised in the church and said the sinner’s prayer as a child. However, it wasn’t until she was 15 that she really committed her life to Jesus and realized that He not only wanted to be her Savior, but also the Lord of her life. A girl from her youth group asked her to attend a winter retreat, and one night her youth pastor gave an altar call and she knelt down right there and gave her life to Jesus. Afterwards she plugged into a youth group that became an important part of her spiritual growth.
Havelaar shared, “I went on my first mission trip at 16 with my youth group to Mexico. Ever since then I felt God’s call to missions. I loved getting to be in the small village serving alongside the missionaries who were simply serving the people in whatever ways they could. It really impacted me. I thought to myself, ‘I would love to be a part of what God is doing in and through people around the world.’”
Then, at 19, she left Colorado for Calvary Chapel Bible Europe located in Hungary. She thought she’d only be at the Bible College for one year and God would tell her where she was going to be a missionary. However, God’s plans are not ours, and His ways are not ours ways- they are much better! Havelaar ended up staying at Bible College for five years!
She met her husband Shaun while they were both serving as interns at Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe. In 2009, shortly after getting married, they felt God calling them back to the mission field and to a familiar place: CCBCE Hungary. They served on staff and in that time they had their son, Jude, and 19 months later their daughter, Sonya. They are now five and three years of age, respectively. Her husband, Shaun, also became a pastor and with that they moved to Ethiopia in 2013.
Ethiopia is located in Eastern Africa, and the religion is predominately Orthodox. Some trace the cultural roots of being Christians to the Ethiopian eunuch in the book of Acts, or even as far as Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
Havelaar noted, “We moved to Hawassa, Ethiopia and began serving the orphans and staff at Ebenezer Grace Children’s Home. Over these last three years the ministry has grown into multiple children’s homes reaching primarily orphans and vulnerable children with the love of Jesus. We are serving alongside friends, who began the ministry in 2010. When we arrived there were 28 children. They came from various backgrounds: some abandoned, some with parents in prison, some considered cursed according to tribal traditions. Through this season we have witnessed God working through His people. We have seen more than 20 children reintegrated into families or locally adopted by Ethiopian families. God has also brought more children into the Ebenezer family, with the ministry presently serving more than 60 children. Through this time of being a part of the children’s home ministry, God expanded our heart for adoption, specifically to two orphaned children. As residents, we have entered the local adoption process, and God willing, hope to have two new additions to our family by early 2017.”
Havelaar and her husband wear many different hats. She runs social media pages for the ministry, and also take photos for the website and updates that are sent to those who sponsor kids. She also simply spend time with kids at both homes- following Jesus together. She does a Bible study with older girls that are between the ages of 11 and 15, and the younger boys come over to their house for playtime. Shaun teaches the Bible and hopes to plant a church there in Hawassa. Together, they visit and help out at one of the homes serving special needs children and have the freedom to take the kids out and do fun things with them as a family. Havelaar expresses, “It’s such a blessing doing ministry together as a family!”
Visit Ebenezer Grace Home to support or sponsor a child.