Beth (Langlois ’01) Roberts felt a call to the mission field in her youth and was willing to go wherever God called. After she attended North Central University, Beth taught in a school in Colorado for seven years. By that time, her husband, David, was moved toward missions too. The couple had developed a heart for the people of Argentina, and in 2010 they began work there with Converge Worldwide.
David serves as director of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that serves 20 men at a time, ages 18–50. He does counseling and therapy, as well.
Sweet spots in every chapter
When they arrived in Argentina, they had a two-year-old son, Zane. He is now 9 years old and has been joined by sisters Isabel, age 4, and Sofia, who turns 2 this month. Beth’s role in missions is first as wife, mother, and recently teacher, home-schooling Zane. Through church Beth is involved in women’s ministries and other ministry activities. Over the years, she has seen her ministry opportunities coincide with the stage of life she is in.
“When Zane was in preschool I started an English preschool,” Beth explained. “This allowed me the opportunity to minister and love on moms who were not believers.”
Now that she has a bigger family and the kids’ stages have evolved, she finds herself serving the women of the church. “There are sweet spots to every chapter you’re in,” Beth reflected. “Wherever my husband is called, I will go. I can minister to whoever is around and be confident in that.”
North Central’s impact
Attending North Central University prepared Beth academically for her field of teaching, and life lessons she learned outside the classroom continue to be a big part of her experiences and work in Argentina. North Central’s urban setting was especially pivotal in shaping her perspectives.
“I remember living in the Elliot neighborhood and being exposed to a variety of cultures,” Beth recalled. “I was from am very small town in Wisconsin with no diversity; being exposed and seeing others as just people—they still loved their families, they still have this spiritual emptiness and need for Christ. It was my first time seeing and working with and having day-to-day interactions with people from different cultures.”
Sixteen years after graduation, Beth still finds her chapel experiences to be foundational to her relationship with God. “There is nothing that compares to North Central and the intimacy I found during chapel services,” she mentioned with emotion in her voice. “In ministry [in Argentina], I could be so alone, things that can be so hard—it can be isolating here. But I have learned how to be in the presence of the Lord; I learned that at North Central.”
Real challenges, real rewards
Leaving home and family to serve abroad has been done by missionaries through the ages. The call to this service is something truly understood only by the Lord and those who go. The challenges are real, but so are the rewards.
Beth recalls that the scariest moment for her was when she stepped off the plane with then 2-year-old Zane and thought, “What am I doing?” She dreaded the thought of leaving him with a babysitter, and had asked every person she knew to be praying for that first sitter they had to find. “We found a girl who was completely bilingual and between jobs,” Beth said. “Everything I needed to communicate, I could communicate in English. To this day she is “Tia,” an auntie to my kids.
The life you change may be your own
It is the lives changed that most inspire Beth in their service in Argentina. “But it’s not only seeing the people we minister to within the church, outside of the church, or in the rehab center,” she explained, “but even in my family.”
She is particularly moved by how God has transformed her husband through their work. “Just to see God from my husband into a man who has answered His call…in these poor neighborhoods that have every type of sad story,” Beth said. “David loves them and shares God’s truth and the Gospel with them. I find joy in my husband being that man.”
Beth offered some advice for current and future North Central students: “Soak up chapel time. Soak up any type of quality time living on the floors and the relationships. Find a mentor—a professor or staff member—who can pour into you and encourage you and walk you through that transformation time of life. I’m so glad I chose North Central for those transformational years.”