Don and Ellen Harris

Family

Our testimony is a dynamic story of how God heals wounded hearts and transforms lives. Through crisis' experienced as children and in shared crisis' as a couple, our lives are trophies of God’s grace. My life story tells of a young man who found MVP (Meaning, Value and Purpose) in helping others come to know what it means to be forgiven and know God as their Father.

Deep down I'm a southern hillbilly. My early elementary years were spent in Turkey Dip, WV (in a holler just outside of Oceana). Then I lived in Winston-Salem, NC for four years. When I was a teenager, an anonymous donor sponsored and enabled me to attend Word of Life Island, a Christian camp in up-state New York. That week I placed my trust in Jesus Christ the Lord as my Savior.

My best friend and wife of thirty years is Ellen Elizabeth MacFarquhar-Harris. Ellen faced a personal crisis the summer following graduation from high school. After leaving her childhood home in south Florida to live with Christian relatives in Arkansas, she was introduced to Christ. A short time later, she met Don - me. Several months later, Ellen quietly slipped out of bed to her knees. Simply but certainly, she prayed to receive forgiveness and accept God’s gift of eternal life. I fell in love with her before we even met (I saw pictures of her on a friend's piano) and I was smitten the first time I laid my eyes on her. The truth is that I revealed my love for her in a very unromantic way; I told her, "I decided to love you." This was probably just a defense mechanism.

Our eldest son is Joshua Andrew. He is married to Misha Joy Thompson. They have borne our two grandsons, Jackson Ethan and Hudson James. They live in Port St. Lucie, FL. Our youngest son is Nathan Daniel. Nate and his wife, Cari, live about 130 miles east of Dallas, TX.

Interests

Reading: I especially enjoy theology, history and adventure. Recreational music: playing at playing my acoustic guitar, a Taylor 310, is great therapy. I aspire to learn to play the blues harmonica. My tastes in music are eclectic; I enjoy listening to everything from Bach to rock. Creative arts: though I haven't had a consistent creative outlet for MANY years, I am renewing my interest in the arts by venturing into digital media (photography and film). Sports: walking and hiking, biking and golf. Scooting around  on my Vespa GTSie 300 Super to meetings and appointments in and near  Brno is a cool way to travel.  Sometimes I just have to take a longer "short-cut" to get back home!  I also enjoy a good movie with my best friend. Oh, and coffee in European cafes.

Ministry Description

Ellen and I have been in the Czech Republic since 1992. Our ministry focus is facilitating, training, coaching and mentoring nationals to multiply healthy churches.

After reading a missions report from Europe, a statement kept recurring to Ellen: “Many people are willing to go (as missionaries), but are planning to stay; there needs to be more of us who are planning to go, but willing to stay.” This conviction was the beginning of Ellen’s call.

I had not been able to escape a startling fact discovered during a pastoral search. Though there were hundreds of prospects contending for a pastoral vacancy, few were willing to go and fill the gap created by a retiring force of aging or single missionaries. After almost a decade of pastoral ministry we stepped forward to fill the gap. We are convinced that missions is a worthy investment of our lives.

As an undergraduate I majored in Biblical Studies. I then completed the Master of Divinity degree and pursued an advanced research degree, Master of Theology, in New Testament at Capital Bible Seminary, near Washington, D.C.. I am now a doctoral student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Wenham, MA.

New & Noteworthy:
  • Brian and Don are on home ministry assignment for one year Pray for us as we travel, sharing what God has done in, through and around us these last four years in the Czech Republic.
  • Discipleship Essentials a workbook for discipleship triads and quartets as been translated and published. Last year it was field tested with groups from the Ichthys congregation in Litoměřice.
  • Transforming Discipleship a companion to Discipleship Essentials is translated, printed and ready for distribution.  This book explains the rationale and approach behind discipleship triads and quartets.

projekt Zet exists to facilitate the transformation of Christian disciples who serve and gather others into healthy  fellowships that reproduce and transform their oikos for the glory of God.

To read more on our purpose and strategy, click here

Discipleship Essentials is a discipleship workbook for use in triads, small groups or one-on-one. The balance of this relational and rational approach to discipleship is a welcome addition to the Czech mentors toolbox.

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