Clint and Crysti Handfield and family will soon be leaving the United States of America and will become residents of Ethiopia. The family will be moving the first part of January to their new home overseas for the opportunity of teaching english to immigrants.
“It’s been a passion of mine that has really grown since I was in middle school,” said Crysti. “Through college, that same passion and excitement continued.”
Crysti is a lifelong resident of Madison County and has been a member of Fellowship Baptist Church since she was in the second grade. While attending the youth group, her pastor encouraged them to share their faith locally, and then abroad. As she got older, the passion of sharing her faith never wavered.
In 2007, Crysti met the love of her life, Clint, formerly of Moultrie, Ga., while attending Valdosta State University.
“We were both involved in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry there,” she recalled. “We started dating and we were married Oct. 17, 2009.”
While a freshman in college, Clint came to know Christ following the death of a family member. He was invited to attend church, which changed his life forever.
“I had been attending for about two months and I felt God drawing me to Himself, so I surrendered my life to Christ,” Clint said.
Crysti accepted Jesus Christ as her savior at a very early age.
“In 1996 while I was attending Vacation Bible School, someone explained why we needed Jesus Christ by using color cards, which represented different things,” Crysti said. “It was then I realized how much He loved me and I wanted to love Jesus back.”
Both Clint and Crysti have visited Africa before. So, when the couple decided to move across the border, Ethiopia felt right to the couple.
“We spent a long time looking and checking out all the different places,” Crysti said. “We both have visited Africa and we both loved it. I believe God has taught our hearts to love that place.”
The couple will reside in Addia Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and will join a family of friends they met about a year ago.
“The city itself is pretty large. There’s about three million people in the city, which is about the size of Jacksonville,” Clint said. “In this city, there’s only four traffic lights. They’re still learning how to use them.”
“You have to watch out for the random livestock walking in the streets,” Crysti laughed.
As volunteers, the Handfields will teach english to immigrants, which will equip them with tools that will help them be successful in the world.