|Meet Carl & Laura Sonnichsen|
introducing our missionaries...
Both Carl's and Laura's childhood involved a lot of moving. Carl's family lived in Germany for awhile in missionary work, then the US, where they moved every few years with his dad's printing jobs. Laura's father was a teacher, mostly in rural or reservation schools in South Dakota and Alaska. Though not always easy, Carl and Laura both look back at all that relocating as adding "variety" and "excitement," and believe it's helped them know how to adjust to new situations.
As a youngster Carl learned about God's forgiveness, but it wasn't until age 17 that he realized he still needed to make a conscious choice to trust Christ fully. For Laura, also from a Christian family, at age seven at a Bible club she became aware of her need of salvation. She remembers walking home that day knowing that Christ had entered her life in a very real way.
Laura's aunt, a missionary to Spain, made a big impact, and missions became Laura's underlying goal in attending college. While at Oak Hills Bible College she met Carl, who was at university in Bemidji after graduating from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.
Missions had come to the forefront for Carl a few years previous while working at an unfulfilling job. Before attending Moody, a motorcycle trip through several northern Quebec Cree communities fueled his interest. His long-held fascination of northern geography turned to the spiritual needs of northern people. At Moody he came across a Northern Lights magazine and wrote to NCEM. Information received back mentioned the need in Labrador. Talking at length with an NCEM missionary at the Urbana missions conference in 1984 confirmed this direction.
Laura's introduction to NCEM came through Carl, who was already a missionary candidate when they met. While she was in Hong Kong on a short-term mission, he wrote to her about his desire to move to Labrador, and the trips he was taking there.
Along with her role of supporting Carl in ministry, through her own experience Laura says it's been a blessing to learn that it's not really their own efforts that cause people to turn to Christ. "Many times it's a matter of His work to be complete in an area of my own life, that others can be reached for Him."
Carl's unfulfillment in his earlier employment had to do with limited opportunities to share his faith. "A half-hour lunch break just wasn't enough outlet for me," he says. The Sonnichsens thank the Lord for their many opportunities to share the hope of the Gospel in Nain, Labrador, and now Happy Valley (Goose Bay), where they live with their two children.