In January of 1998, 31-year-old Debbie Tietsort began the New Year with a three-week Daniel fast, seeking the Lord’s guidance on the next phase of her life. By the third week of the fast, it had become apparent that God was willing to lead Debbie into the next season of her life, but she had to be willing to follow.
Later that year, Debbie received a job offer at a mission’s organization seemingly out of nowhere. She would be coordinating youth worship conferences…the only problem was the position was 1,100 miles away in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and because it did not pay, she would need to fundraise for her own income. After much prayer and counsel, Debbie demonstrated her willingness to follow God’s lead when she accepted the job and made the journey to Tulsa in May 1998.
As time went by, it was clear that Debbie had a gift for organizing the ministry, as well as a huge heart for missions. She soon began a new position in a different area of the organization where she was able to get involved in facilitating mission trips which focused predominately on youth and drama outreach. But God’s plan soon revealed that missions was not the only reason Debbie had been led to Tulsa.
In late 1999, Debbie met Mark Tietsort, a pastor, who became her husband the next year. Just two months after their vows, the couple began project directing mission trips together, side by side. The newly married couple was enthralled with God’s outpouring on the mission trips. They began witnessing fundamental changes in people’s lives and it was clear that the Lord was definitely doing something through these trips. The blessings that came forth both for the short-term missionaries, as well as for the people in the ministry country, were of significant worth.
Mark and Debbie both recognized how God used the different gift sets of each individual on each trip to minister to others through their own uniqueness. They began praying about the possibilities. What if people of all ages and different Christ-focused backgrounds were included? What if individuals from all over the United States, and even beyond, could go? What if the team members could utilize their individual, God-given gifts and talents to minister to others? In August 2003, after much prayer, the Lord formed these undefined “What If’s” into something concrete; it was called Believers World Outreach.
Since its founding in 2003, Believers World Outreach has had a few changes, such as relocating to Santa Clarita, California, and growing in size - but most significantly, it has grown in its reach to further God’s kingdom. People in more than ten countries, have seen teams come in Jesus’ name to share the Gospel in many different and unique ways. As a result, countless lives have been transformed. In addition, thousands of short-term missionaries have participated in BWO mission trips. Some have been called to full-time mission work and currently reside in countries around the world. Many others have been forever changed as a result of obeying God’s call to go and are missionaries each day in their own communities.
Mark and Debbie, along with BWO’s staff and ministry partners, feel extremely privileged and blessed to be a part of such an amazing journey: People coming together just the way the Father made them, so different, so unique, and yet so much like a family.