Both saved as young children, Max and Debbie remember always having a strong interest in foreign missions. Debbie was willing to become a missionary, and Max heard the call from God to “help My people.”
Max served as an assistant pastor in Ohio, and Debbie worked as a registered nurse. In 1992, Max felt the Lord wanted him to pursue formal theological training and he attended Lee University and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. Participating in various missions trips, it wasn’t until later that God spoke to Max and said, “Stop being afraid of suffering, and stop being afraid of ministering to suffering people.” The couple applied to World Missions and were sent to Brazil for a missionary internship. While in Brazil, the Thompsons founded the City of Hope Children’s Home.
The Thompsons have five children—Jay who attended Lee University and three daughters—Sarah, Lydia, Ramah, and Marcelly, who were all actively involved in the missions ministry. Lydia became a missionary in her own right along with her husband, Everaldo Nascimento, and they are serving in Senegal. Marcelly joined the Thompson family in Brazil.
As Career Missionaries, Max and Debbie are serving as directors of the Phebe Grey Children’s Orphanage in Liberia, having seen it through the terrible outbreak of Ebola several years ago. The Thompsons say, “Our vison is to disciple children through orphanage work and help them use their skills for the Kingdom of God.”
The Thompsons are no strangers to oppression from the enemy. When Ramah was 5 years old, she was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. In the months that followed, they suffered pain, fear, and the disruption of their lives. Ramah was sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. During treatment, other children lost their hair. The doctors and nurses said it would be impossible for Ramah not to lose her hair. God granted a miracle. Ramah never lost her long, beautiful, blond hair. She is healed and healthy and is a powerful witness of God’s faithfulness. God used this season to prepare the Thompsons to be missionaries. They have learned firsthand about suffering and are better equipped to minister to suffering people.
Max relates: “We discovered true prosperity is finding God and living in His will no matter what the cost!”