Robbie Housen is a seasoned field worker who has dedicated an incredible 40 years of her life to missions. She’s served in India, Thailand, the USA and – for the past 25 years – in Mozambique. Robbie has made a profound contribution to church planting, pastoring and theological training – winning countless people for Jesus and teaching them to reach their communities for Christ. 

In our latest ‘One Life at a Time’ podcast – which you can listen to here – Robbie reflects on the highs and lows, the challenges and the learnings from her four decades of cross-cultural ministry. 


Hearing God’s call to missions 

Raised in a Pentecostal church, Robbie grew up passionate about the Word of God. But it wasn’t until the 1970s, when a group of visiting speakers came to her church and shared their passion for the nations, that Robbie – and her husband Jeff – felt the pull towards missions. It was immediately clear that this was what God wanted them to do with their lives. “God just completely gave us that vision… and we really felt this burden and this call to ‘the nations’,” Robbie recalls. Fast forward to eight years later and the couple, along with their four children, were making the move to India. 


The laughing missionaries 

Robbie describes India as a crazy place that is both “beautiful and terrible at the same time”. Her family fell in love with the people and the country, while often finding themselves amazed yet empowered by the chaotic and challenging, yet vibrant, nature of life in India. “We laughed the whole time in India – laughing more than anything else, because it was just so crazy… They used to call us the happiest missionaries they’d ever known,” Robbie says. The time in India instilled a deep passion in the couple for the nations and to devoting their lives to helping people know Jesus. 


Navigating closed doors – and listening for God’s voice  

Following a wonderful season in India, Robbie and Jeff found – as can often be the case in missions – that the door back to India was closed. As they waited for God to reveal their next step, they spent time ministering in the United States, Australia and Thailand. Robbie and Jeff had received a call to ‘the nations’ all those years ago and it was in Thailand that God revealed what that call really meant. “What God did for us in Thailand was show us that it’s not the place, or the country, you’re in that matters; but it’s the place where God wants you to be at any given time.” Within two months they were following God’s call to Mozambique. 


Cultivating transformational ministries 

One of the most fulfilling aspects of Robbie’s 40 years of ministry has been witnessing the transformation of people’s lives, and the flow-on effect to others around them. In Mozambique, she and Jeff established a leadership and church planting training centre (now called ‘Hope Ministry Centre’) to equip local people for the ministry and plant life-giving churches of their own. The ministry was built in the aftermath of 30 years of civil war, and many young men entered the program carrying heavy emotional burdens with them. Robbie says seeing these once downtrodden young men now running dynamic ministries of their own, raising their families, and being able to “stand tall because of what God has placed within them” gives her “the greatest joy of all.” That work has, of course, been replicated many, many times. 


Staying steadfast through challenges 

Over the course of their time as missionaries, Robbie and Jeff encountered significant challenges. Just weeks into their time in Mozambique, their youngest son, Caleb, was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in Australia. Amidst the grief was the recognition of the steadying hand of God on their lives, brought about by their unexpected, fast-tracked visa approval for Mozambique two days before this horrific event. When Jeff died five years later, Robbie knew God was telling her to continue her ministry in Mozambique. “It was difficult, but I knew where God had planted me. My call from God didn’t depend on Jeff’s call from God.”  


Trusting the Holy Spirit 

Another lesson Robbie learnt early on – from her first days on the chaotic streets of India – was “the value and power of the Holy Spirit within us”. Over the years, the Holy Spirit helped her fend off three attempted life-threatening physical attacks. It taught her a new dimension of the Holy Spirit, specifically “as a weapon in our hands”. “If I can impart anything today to any missionary out there – it’s that you are given incredible power through the Holy Spirit and the language He has placed within you,” Robbie says.   


A 40-year legacy of service 

After an amazing four decades on the field, Robbie has just moved back to Australia, having handed over leadership of the Hope Ministry Centre, in Mozambique, to her long-time colleagues and friends Pedro and Guida. She leaves behind an inspirational legacy in this nation – and all the others she and Jeff ministered in – that is likely to impact people for generations to come. 


Support the Hope Ministry Centre in Mozambique. 

Make a one-time cash donation to help with Robbie’s resettlement.


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