Roy & Denise Thagard - Who We Are
Denise was introduced to Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM) as a veterinary student at Iowa State, amazed that God could use her vet skills to serve Christ in missions. Denise served with CVM in Ethiopia for 7 years and in the USA for 6 years. Roy was impacted during his undergrad time at NC State, recognizing God could use any gifting for His Kingdom in missions. He pursued serving as an agricultural missionary, and after finishing his MDiv, served 2 years as a missionary in West Africa. Missions brought them together, and after marriage they prayed that if God could use them, they would be willing to serve Him. Denise and Roy have answered God’s call to serve as a family overseas in West Africa.
The People we will Serve
Denise and Roy have a passion to use their skills in vet medicine and agriculture to better equip herders and farmers to care for their families. They desire that these relationships will open doors to share the gospel. Their primary ministry focus will be a specific unreached people group that spreads across the Sahel, or southern border of the desert, of West Africa. They are the largest unreached people group in Africa. To be unreached means fewer than 2% within the group's population are known to be Christian. This group of people are Muslim, and desperately need to see God’s love demonstrated to them in practical ways. The group have a special reliance and love for their cattle and the current missionaries have asked for years for a vet to serve them. The group is also dependent on crops for a living. Denise and Roy will learn to speak the group's language in order to communicate the gospel most effectively to them.
Denise and Roy are currently learning language as a large portion of their time in ministry. When language classes are complete, they hope to begin teaching in a discipleship training center, helping to train native believers to share their faith to their own families and neighbors. The training center has a goal to send out self-sufficient evangelists, much like the tent making model of Paul in the book of Acts. In addition to teaching evangelism principles, Denise will teach animal care through the training center and Roy will teach best practices in agriculture. Denise and Roy also hope to share the gospel to their neighbors and also through adopting villages near their home.
Denise and Roy are sent out by CVM and partner with SIM, a mission organization that has the vision to reach the lost for Christ.