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Despite the fact that his grandfather, two uncles, and four cousins on his mother’s side became Lutheran pastors, Tim Heiney wanted nothing more than to be a Pharmacist like his father and grandfather on the other side. But in his fourth year of the five year Pharmacy program at Ferris State College in Michigan, God grabbed Tim hard and gave him a vision of eternity that changed his life. He finished Pharmacy, but immediately after graduation, enrolled at the Seminary in Ft. Wayne. He also determined to be celibate in order to give his life more fully to God…but the Lord had different ideas.
During his vicarage year in Queens, New York, Tim met Beth Pflug, the daughter of his overseeing pastor. When Beth was attending Concordia University in River Forest she had helped to found a mission group to witness to foreign students on campus. She also applied to be sent to teach in Jos, Nigeria, but at that time the LCMS was not sending single, unmarried women. She was in her second year of teaching second grade in Alexandria, Virginia when Tim showed up at her home church in Queens. They were married right after Tim’s graduation in 1983, and after some training were sent to the Konkomba people in Ghana, West Africa by Spring of ’84.
Tim and Beth worked among the Konkombas for ten years and saw God plant 150 churches and preaching stations.They also had three children during that time, Joel, Jonathan, and Katie. In 1993, while Beth was off the field giving birth to a fourth child, Andrea, war broke out in the Konkomba area. The Heineys were never able to return as Tim had been falsely accused of running guns. After spending a year in Montreal learning French, the Heineys were sent back to Africa, to the French-speaking country of Guinea, West Africa, where they opened the country as the LCMS’s first missionaries there. Working with the English-speaking Lutheran Liberian refugees who were already in the country, they were again able to see about 150 more churches and preaching stations planted in the Forest Region of that country.
After three years in the US taking care of family issues, the Heiney’s returned to Guinea in 2005. This time they were settled in the capitol of Conakry where Tim helped establish 8 churches and bible study groups. He also traveled often to teach and facilitate the work in the Forest. Beth became the Business Manager for West Africa at that time. After four years, the Heiney’s moved again, this time to the north east of Guinea to help the team working with the Muslim Maninka people there. But at that time, Tim was asked to become Area Facilitator for French West Africa, and became responsible to work with the five national churches that the LCMS has established in the region. Beth also became the Project Manager for all of Africa.
In 2014 the Heiney’s resigned from the OIM of the LCMS. They now are returning to Northern Guinea under GLO and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Guinea, and returning also to their first love of working directly with lost people to bring them to Christ.
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