Rockingham missionaries share South American experiences at Roberdel UMC

First Posted: 1/15/2013

Graham and Sharon Schultz Nichols, formerly of Rockingham, will share their mission experiences at Roberdell United Methodist Church on Jan. 27 during the 11 a.m. service. Both grew up in Rockingham with Graham’s home church being Zion U.M.C. and Sharon’s, Roberdell U.M.C. After marriage they relocated to Georgia and both were very active in their church, Lewis Memorial U.M.C. in Evans, Georgia.

Roberdell United Methodist Church is located at 1302 Roberdell Road in Rockingham. A covered dish dinner will be held following the service, and everyone is welcome to attend.

The Nichols will highlight their time spent deep in the jungle with the Waodani, one of whom was responsible for spearing two of the five Ecuador missionaries with Nate Saint and Jim Elliot in 1956 while attempting to evangelize the tribe.

The Nichols said they have responded to God’s call to serve as career missionaries serving with The Mission Society in Norcross, Ga. These grandparents completed formal language school this past November at NILI, the Nazarene International Language Institute on the campus of the Nazarene Theological Seminary of South America, located in the capital city of Quito, Ecuador. They have been immersed in the language and culture through studies, ministry, and community outreach.

The Nichols will be working with the Evangelical United Methodist church of Ecuador, serving and living among the people in the town of Calceta, located in the Coastal Region of the country. They feel they are called to minister through children and adult discipleship: kids’ clubs, small group Bible Studies for men, women, and youth, evangelism, church planting, music ministry, serving with Compassion International, hosting short-term mission teams, and by loving Ecuador’s people; making disciples to make disciples.

According to Gay Garris Rhyne of Roberdell, for the past year they have had the privilege to study in-country while building relationships and ministering to the many diverse groups of Ecuador; from the large city of Quito, to up high in the Andes Mountains 18,000 feet above sea level, to the Amazon Jungle. The Nichols are back in the U.S. for four months on mini-furlough to raise more support to return and remain in field ministry.

“The Nichols’ story is one of a beautiful redemption, and an affirmation that they are right where God wants and needs them to be as they follow His call on their lives,” said Rhyne.

For more information, visit their website

— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at [email protected]