Phil Long is President and International Director of Global Action. Here he answers a few questions about himself, his vision for Global Action, and some of the scariest experiences he's had on the mission field.
Tell us a bit about where you're from and a little about your family.
I've been married for 25 years to Shary. I have 2 children, Wesley (21) and Abby (18). We were all born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. That's where we originate although Shary and I have lived in 8 cities in several countries.
How and when did you become a Christian?
I've been a Christian from a young age. I had a few "bumps" in the road as a teenager but have had a heart for God all of my life and have served Him faithfully.
What attracted you first to Global Action?
I have always felt a calling to equip leaders from a young age, especially in the church. I have been involved in doing that most of my adult life. When I first met someone from GA, I loved GLOMOS [our training programme] and the system GA uses to train leaders.
What do you see as the major needs and challenges in training developing world church leaders?
Most of the untrained or under trained leaders are the ones that have little access to solid Biblical training, especially any extended training. There are cultural, language, political, religious, geographical, economic, and educational barriers that make it difficult to train leaders.
What is your vision for Global Action in the future?
The vision for Global Action in the next 5 years is to train at least 20,000 new leaders. With the new curriculum that is easier to teach and learn, we hope to train indigenous leaders who have already taken GLOMOS to train [other] leaders. In January, we trained 35 GLOMOS graduates that will train 350 new students in 14 new locations this year.
What do you do when you're not at work?
I love to watch and play sports. I watch everything but mainly play tennis. I also love woodworking and build furniture in my spare time. I've been doing this since I was a teenager. I also love to be home with my family when I'm not travelling. We have a great time.
What is the funniest or scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
I have had an interesting life. Too many funny and scary stories along the way. Some of the most scary times I've had was when I worked in Africa. One trip to Northern Uganda on the Sudanese border during the height of the civil war in the 90's, I encountered a few soldier "children" who we thought we going to shoot us. Theyhad a SAM missile pointed at my van and I prayed their trigger finger didn't slip. It didn't and I lived to tell the tale!