My Testimony and Call


by Bro. Eric Conaway


I was saved at five years of age in Ft. Worth, Texas, under my parents’ teaching and influence. Again under their influence and by their example I became a soul winner; winning first my brother, Ronald, and then others. At nine years of age the Lord called me into full time service.

In 1986 my father started Highlands Independent Baptist Church in Wapenamanda, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea. As there was a need for a song leader I volunteered. I was twelve years old at the time. The year before my younger brother, Ronald, had lead a man named John Manda to the Lord. John desired that a church should be planted in his village. So my father made many trips to the remote village of Kepakanda. On one trip he was not able to make it back to our church for Sunday morning services. On this occasion I preached my first sermon.

Four years later at 16 I took on more responsibilities in our church. I took over the Religious Instruction classes that my mother had been teaching at the local government school. I also began preaching in our weekly outreach services. Preaching in our Christian school’s chapel and evening service on Wednesday also became part of my responsibilities.

Two years later I was ordained as a preacher of the Gospel by Highlands Independent Baptist Church. I continued to serve in that church until we left Papua New Guinea in November, 1993.

I am now serving in Allende, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. My father and I started the work here in November 1995. We have seen many people come to know the Lord over the years that we have been here. My father went to be with the Lord on January 4, 2005. I am continuing the work that we started. My mother continues to work in the mission as a teacher of women and children as well as playing music for services.


My Salvation Experience and Call to Missions

by: Sarah Jane Conaway

I was saved at Rolling Hills Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, TX.  I was 13 yrs. old.  It was in Sunday School that my heart awakened to the fact that I was lost.  I had been raised in church and I made a profession of faith at the age of 6, but it was not real.  My teacher was sick that day and the other teacher, Miss Sharon McKnight, took all of us.  (Later, she became Mrs. Sharon Anderson.)  She finished the lesson early that day, so she gave her testimony.  It was during that testimony that she said, Girls, if you don't have Jesus you will go straight to hell. I realized that I was lost and on my way to hell. I did not say anything to her.  That same Sunday in the night service my pastor, Dr. J. H. Ramsey, Jr., preached the same thing.  If you die without the Lord you will go to hell. During the invitation I headed to the altar. I had been there before in that church so it was not unusual except that I was crying.  I got on my knees and cried out to the Lord to send someone to me because I needed to get saved.  My sister, (now: Sylvia Louise Edmonson), came to pray with me.  I told her that I needed to get saved. She called out to Bro. Ramsey and he showed me Romans 10:9-10, 13.  I called on the Lord at that moment and I have been saved ever since! The date was February 17. 1963. By the way it was 15 yrs later that I had the opportunity to tell Sharon what her testimony meant to me.
I was called to missions at summer camp in 1963.  I wanted to go somewhere to tell people who had never heard about Jesus.  I had no idea where that would be.  As time passed I was considering what I would do after high school.  I decided to become a nurse.  I wanted to help people. I felt that becoming a nurse was the worldly side of me. Since I had already surrendered to missions (the spiritual side of me), when I was at church I told people that I wanted to be a missionary.  Both desires were very strong.  I kept trying to decide which one I would be.  Then one day when I was high school age, someone said, "Why not be both?"  That fit!  I had never thought of it that way before.  They signed my RN license on November 20, 1973, which I might add is the birth date of my oldest son!
After this we went to Bible College and it was there that I began searching for a verse that would be mine for my call to missions. My husband's verse was Acts 1:8  "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."  Ron wanted to go to "the uttermost part of the earth." Through prayer and circumstances the Lord laid it on his heart to go to Papua New Guinea.  As I was praying for a verse the Lord laid Ps. 96:3 on my heart.  "Declare his glory among the heathen and his wonders among all people.  The word "heathen" impressed me.  When you see a Papua New Guinea warrior in a picture he looks like a heathen.  Of course the only thing that makes him a heathen is not having Jesus in his heart.  I was happy.  Ron had his verse and I had mine.  Then while we were on deputation and were in a conference in south Texas, there was a national pastor from the Philippines preaching one evening.  In his message he came to Ps. 2:8 and I gazed at it for a few moments.  It said, "Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost part of the earth for thy possession." 

The Lord gave me a verse that put mine and Ron's together!  What a blessing!  Now the story continues.  When we changed fields of service I began asking the Lord this question.  "Are you going to give me a verse that takes me to Mexico or will Psalms 96:3 take me there?"  As you all know the Lord does answer prayer and when I was in my devotions one day before we arrived in Mexico I was reading Ps. 96 and as I read and re-read verse 3  Declare his glory among the heathen and his wonders among all people.  This time the word "all" stood out to me.  Telling me that wherever I go I am to "Declare his glory among the heathen and his wonders among all people."  Isn't it great to be a Christian?!


Now let's go back a little and let me talk to the teens for a moment.  I made for myself guidelines for the guys I might date. He had to first be a Christian, and not just any Christian would do.  He had to have the same basic goals of becoming a missionary.  The Lord brought an 18 yr. old boy to our church and as we got to know each other we fell helplessly in love!  His name was Ronald Arnett Conaway.  We had 35 1/2 yrs. together as husband and wife.  He lives in Heaven now.  We worked together very well and yes I do miss him so much.  He went to live with Jesus on January 4, 2005.  We started our missionary journey in January, 1978, when we began deputation to go to Papua New Guinea.  We had 2 furloughs and came out of Papua New Guinea the last time on Thanksgiving November 1993.  My husband began looking for another place to serve and the Lord led us to serve here in Mexico. We arrived on January 19, 1995. We have been missionaries here ever since.  My son, Eric, and I are continuing the ministry that we began with my hubby/his Dad.