Down but not out
Fred Adams and his wife, Diana, taught practical skills to students at Linda Vista Academy in Mexico, but a collapsed roof turned their world upside down. As a quadriplegic, Fred wondered where God would lead him next. Now he is an integral part of the Mission Projects, Inc. team.
How did you get involved with mission work?
My parents began taking mission trips to Mexico in 1958. They kept going back every year for longer periods of time, until eventually they moved there. My mom taught English at Linda Vista Academy and my dad helped the school industries. My sisters and I went to elementary school and academy in Mexico.
After graduating from Pacific Union College and getting married, my wife and I took a call from the General Conference to Linda Vista. We had been there for two and a half years when I was injured in a construction accident that brought our work to a screeching halt.
I wasn’t ready to quit, though. Following the accident I had surgery and rehabilitation and returned to Linda Vista as a volunteer in 1988. I started up a computer-training program, which was something the staff and students all wanted to learn, and I also did translation.
How did you begin working with Mission Projects?
Mission Projects saw my translation work, and in 1990 they asked me to be a part of their team. We began putting pictures and stories in the MPI newsletter about lay workers who were planting churches in unreached areas. I also monitored a network of more than 45 lay workers throughout Mexico.
In 1997 Diana and I moved back to the States. Through the Internet I am able to continue communicating, translating, and monitoring the MPI projects in Mexico. When possible, I visit villages to verify the accounts. I also provide communication for an indigenous school, screen students for financial aid, and evaluate church construction needs.
What are the greatest needs at MPI?
Our student-aid program is a huge need—it is growing exponentially and doing a lot of good. We’ve been sponsoring students at Montemorelos University and Linda Vista University ever since MPI started. We do not sponsor a student all the way through school; the administration selects individuals who are close to finishing school and just need a final boost to finish.
I recently received an e-mail from someone in the student-aid program. She told me she was in the accountant’s office and had been praying for God to provide a way for her to finish school. It seemed impossible and she was discouraged. Just then, the MPI representative came in and wrote a check for the amount she needed to finish her school year and graduate.
We often receive reports like this from people who were struggling and wanting to be full-time workers for God. It is so rewarding for us to connect these people with the donors who want to help them. After your accident,
what kept you from giving up your mission work?
I grew up in the mission field, so I just feel at home there; it’s where my heart has always been. I’m thankful that even though I’m a quadriplegic, I can still move my arms and my wrists. I can peck the computer with an eraser strapped to my hand on a pencil, and I can communicate and help with missions in that respect.
I have been paralyzed for 24 years, but feel no resentment. I’m grateful that I serve a God who takes bad situations and turns them into rewarding opportunities. God gave me total peace when the accident happened. As long as He gives me life, I am willing to continue serving Him with what I have left
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