BONNERS FERRY — Charlie Frederico, the Teaching Pastor at Grace Bible Fellowship, will be embarking on a mission, along with Phil Schlener, to Sierra Leone, Africa on Oct. 21. This will not be a vacation — they will not be visiting wildlife refuges or going out to enjoy the sights. Instead they will spend two and a half weeks teaching from morning until night.
For Frederico, this will be his second mission of this type, having already traveled with Schlener previously to the Amazon.
Through Schlener’s years in mission work and the Air Force, he made friends all around the world. He has devoted his life to ministry and missions ministry. He took Frederico to the Amazon, which is where he grew up. They learned there that they saw eye to eye on teaching and a partnership was formed.
“On that trip I think he knew that I am serious about what we do, I am serious about the word of God, and not playing around,” said Frederico. “My rules that I have for interpreting the scripture are exactly the way that they should be, and the way that he has them, so there is no concern about me saying one thing, and him teaching another. It is just a really good fit.”
“There are a number of locations that he flies to on his own, his own finance, his own everything. He assists churches, ministries, or any kind of school, Christian education, anything like that,” explained Frederico.
On their trip to Africa, Frederico will be facing challenges — he must try to not appear to look American. For the men that will travel from all around, arriving on foot, by animal, or motorcycle, to learn from him, he will be staying with them. They will sleep on concrete floors. Frederico will eat what the men eat, which may just consist of some rice.
“I will be teaching nonstop for two and a half weeks — going over there, sleeping on the floor with the guys, eating what they eat, drinking what they drink, doing what they do,” said Frederico.
Frederico feels that the Church is facing a crisis as to what pastors are supposed to be doing, with many falling because of moral or financial scandal.
“What has developed — from my vantage point — is that a lot of pastors are just too comfortable, and so they are not doing the job,” said Frederico. “I am very committed to doing my job.”
Even with the rough conditions and long hours, Frederico is excited about the opportunity.
“What I am looking forward to is teaching that amount of time,” said Frederico. “Although it is going to be a lot physically, and a lot mentally, it is really the only way to convince the men that I am the real deal.”
“If I go in and teach one Sunday, two Sundays, three Sundays, and them go home ... what am I? Anybody can do that,” he continued. “Africa is prone to have these types of guys come in and they have a big rally, are there for two days, and then they leave.”
The first week, Frederico will be teaching 70-90 men, followed by 150 the next week. Then another opportunity recently arose.
“I just found out this morning that I will be on the back of a motorcycle for seven miles just to get to one location,” said Frederico.
He plans on teaching every one of those days, doing questions and answers, as well as making a personal connection.
“For me — personally — that is why I am excited about,” said Frederico. “What I am going to bring back is a much broader perspective of exactly what the Lord is doing completely across the globe.”
He feels that people may not be aware of what is happening around the world.
“Not that they are disinterested, we are just busy with our lives,” Frederico explained.
He hopes to bring back his experiences and share them in a presentation, not only with the church members, but also for people in the community who may be interested. There will be a presentation, including photos, than anyone is welcome to attend.
To pay for this and future trips, the church has been holding fundraisers. The last multi-family fundraising yard sale and bake sale held in August, earned enough to fund Frederico’s ticket and some of his expenses, but they plan to continue to reach out to other locations, such as Mongolia and Portugal.
The next mission fundraiser happens this weekend at the Grace Bible Fellowship Missions, a Yard and Bake Sale on Sept. 13-14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p,m.