Sanchez June 2016 #1Tom and Michelle previously served with Grace Ministries International in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1987 to 2000. With the graduation of their youngest daughter Rebecca from Rift Valley Academy in 2000, they returned to West Michigan to create a home base for their three children. After some good years in the US, they recognized God’s call for them to return to the mission field and took steps to serve Him once again in Africa.

While in the US, from 2000 to 2017, the Lord prepared them through education and job opportunities. Tom became a Family Nurse Practitioner and finished a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and Michelle earned a Master’s degree in Language and Literature. They both taught at Grand Valley State University—Tom in the College of Nursing while treating patients in urban clinics in the Grand Rapids area and Michelle teaching rhetoric and composition in the Department of Writing. Those years were well spent with their children while advancing their education and gaining experience in their new professions. Tom and Michelle felt the Lord guiding and directing them to pursue those things and soon their burden for the mission field returned. Their educational credentials turned out to provide a way to gain entrance to Burundi, which requires missionaries to contribute to its development through such things as education or healthcare.

In 2016 Tom and Michelle surveyed several countries for ministry opportunities visiting Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Zambia to discover where the Lord would have them serve. After a season of prayer and waiting, the Sanchezes felt called to Burundi; however, the GMI Board requested that they first go to Zambia to build up and edify the leadership affiliated with GMI. They ministered in Zambia for the last two years affirming solid leaders and helping establish a prison ministry and a theology training program that is not dependent on the full-time presence of missionaries. In mid-2020, they will relocate to Burundi to establish Grace churches in the capital city of Bujumbura. Their ministry in Burundi is to include teaching at Hope Africa University, discipling students and other new believers, and nurturing leaders to plant and grow Burundian-led churches thereby helping to fulfill GMI’s vision for 2023.

To see Tom and Michelle’s latest newsletter, click HERE.

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Tom– August 28
Michelle – July 20

Dec 28
c/o GMI
PO Box 9405
Grand Rapids, MI 49509