This month we offer you a glimpse into the inspirational life of one of Renewal Ministries’ missionaries, Nancy Greenhaw. Jointly called by the Lord with her husband, Lloyd, Nancy has had the great privilege of bringing the Gospel to an astounding twenty-six countries multiple times a year, beginning in 2000. Considering this impressive track record, it was inspiring to hear that being a missionary was not among Nancy’s childhood ambitions but is simply a result of her and Lloyd giving their hearts to the Lord.
Nancy, thank you for sharing a part of your story with our readers. Can you give us a little of your personal background?
Lloyd and I have been married for fifty-seven years. We were both born in Texas in the San Antonio area and currently live in Fredericksburg, Texas, on acreage I inherited from my dad and mother, Otto and Irene Klein. Right now, we belong to Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Harper, Texas. We have two married daughters, fourteen grandchildren, and twenty great-grandchildren! We are so incredibly blessed!
My parents were descendants of the Germans that came here to settle the land and did not speak English very well. When I was about eight or nine years old, a teacher told my parents, “Nancy is not smart. She will never make it to college, so don’t waste your money.” That lie or opinion became a part of me, and I was convinced that I had no future outside of marriage. At age fourteen, I met my future Evangelical husband. We fell in love, and the rest is history. With the blessings of our parents, we got married when I was sixteen and he was twenty years old. I never went back to high school nor received any other formal education after our children were born, although I have attended many schools and workshops relative to the ministry we serve.
You’ve shared that being a missionary was not something you dreamed about as a child nor set out to do on purpose as an adult, and yet, you and Lloyd have gone to an astonishing twenty-six countries to preach the Good News! Can you tell us how this happened?
After we were married, Lloyd and I lived and worked in the San Antonio, Texas, area for years. Due to a job opportunity, we moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the early 1980s. We lived in this very Catholic state for about eight years. Because of some family problems we were experiencing, I was desperate to find peace in my heart. The Holy Spirit led us to a Catholic small group where we had the incredible opportunity to make Jesus the Lord of our lives and choose to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I later heard Ralph Martin say these were the best decisions we ever made; they changed the direction and focus of both Lloyd’s and my life. Lloyd eventually became the prayer group leader at St. George Catholic Church in Baton Rouge.
After that, we moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, because of Lloyd’s business. While there, we joined the Presence of God Prayer Group and began to preach, do music in some prisons, sit and block abortion clinics, and really got involved in feeding the homeless on Sundays in Tampa. We were also invited to give Life in the Spirit Seminars in some other parishes. Lloyd was on the All-Florida Commission of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Because of this exposure, we were invited to do Evangelization Schools with Greg Trainor, founder of Preach Jesus, Inc., in southern Florida. From there, we were asked to go to Cuba in 1994. We raised our own money for this, our first foreign mission. It was incredible!
We saw many, many miracles on this first trip. Going to Cuba lit our fire for mission work! Since then, we have not been on a trip that had so many visible miracles. We were there for close to a month. Then, the Lord sent us to Estonia, and through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we got involved with Renewal Ministries. Our first trip with Renewal was to Ghana, Africa, in 2000.
Do you and Lloyd always travel together? What is it like to minister together as a couple?
Lloyd and I were called to do mission work together, and so, yes, we have always traveled together except in 2019, when he got quite ill in South Africa, and I went on without him to Botswana before we flew back to the US together.
We have discovered that we are a pretty good team. Both of our weakest areas have strengths in the other partner. We have found that there is a special connection, a strength, in a sacramental marriage. I feel we are stronger together than apart. He is the head of this team, and the Lord works through that. I have experienced it many times.
We prepare for our trips together in the fact that we talk and pray about our upcoming missions. We ask, “What is it they’re asking for? Speaking to priests or youth or leaders? Do they want the Five Keys of the Unbound ministry? Do they want apologetics?” We pray about it separately and then come back together to see what the Lord is telling us.
We rarely preach together. If they give us an hour to talk, that means we each get thirty minutes, which is not long enough most of the time. So, depending on what they want, I will give up my time to him or vice versa.
When we look at photographs of you and Lloyd on mission, there are so many beautiful ones of you teaching, but also of you dancing! How else do you minister on these trips?
When I first started going on mission trips, I was always dancing and praising the Lord and worshiping with everyone, because I grew up dancing. I used to bring flags, and the people loved the flags, too. The Lord knew dancing would be a perfect fit in the African countries we visited and that sharing our karaoke-style music would help break the ice.
I also would pray over long lines of people. I would do some of the teaching, but Lloyd did most of it. In 2004, and each year for several more years, we took Neal and Janet Lozano, founders of Heart of the Father Ministries, to Rwanda, Sudan, and Uganda. I got to sit at the “masters’ feet” and learn, experience, and pray using the Unbound prayer ministry model, which they pioneered. Thanks to seeing the freedom people experienced, I was convinced that this model of prayer was truly applying the Gospel to a person’s personal life. This is the model I now use for much of my teaching and praying over people.
Nancy, you are also an award-winning watercolor artist, teacher, and an acrylic and digital artist. One of the gifts you bring back from your mission trips and share with Renewal Ministries’ supporters are amazing photographs of the places you and Lloyd have been and the people you have encountered. Tell us about how you developed these artistic gifts from the Lord.
My mother and I came into the world of art through the back door. She had done so many creative things in her life that we were both convinced that she could also create paintings. We joined oil painting classes together, but my children were very small then, and I didn’t have the time that she had. She went on to become a recognized artist in a group called “Texas Hill Country Artists” and had her work published in a book called “Fredericksburg Texas, 150 years of Painting and Drawings.”
Once my daughters were in school, I could also pursue my craft. I have pursued drawing classes for many years, and I took many workshops with successful artists. I won many juried contests and sold my craft for years. I also taught art and attended workshops in several states. I have used my artistic talents in photography and video production for Renewal Ministries for the last twenty years.
You have been pretty much around the world and back again. Can you share any memorable moments from the mission field?
I have so many stories! I have seen blind eyes opened, the deaf hear, an eight-year-old girl who had polio from birth totally healed, and food multiplied. A woman who experienced unspeakable atrocities during the Rwandan genocide, like men murdering her family in front of her, was incredibly able to forgive them. God physically healed a bishop from three separate illnesses over three separate years. I have watched people make a decision that Jesus is their only Lord and Savior, choose to never go to the local witch doctor again, and go on to tell others about this. I have watched a priest change through a couple of years from a depressed, angry alcoholic to an “on-fire” man of God. I praise the Lord of Glory for helping me every step of the way, for sending his Holy Spirit to lead me.
What about any memorably humorous moments?
Once, when we were in Samoa, they commented that it was so great that we were ministering there during the Palolo season. Palolo are sea worms that appear only a few nights of the year. They float up from the coral to the water’s surface, where they are scooped up with nets. Eating them is a tradition going back for generations. Being iridescent, they have to be gathered at night as they rise to the surface of the ocean reefs. They are eaten raw. As they put this in front of me, I remembered the admonition of Jesus to his disciples from Luke 10:8, “Whenever you enter a town, and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you.“
Gulp! Well, I knew if I tried to slide it down my throat, it might come back up. So, I got up and sat in another place that didn’t have the worms wiggling. The worms weren’t sitting right before me, so I wasn’t exactly being disobedient. The Samoans either didn’t notice or were forever gracious to this outsider.
What might our readers learn from your experiences and take away for being missionaries right where they are?
I think Renewal Ministries’ supporters need to know what their donations have accomplished. I remembered what John Paul Ngotty, coordinator of Healing Ministry at Catholic Charismatic Renewal Tanzania, told me. He said that since 2015, when I taught him and about one-hundred leaders from many other countries in Africa the Unbound model of prayer ministry, he has gone on to teach it to over nine-thousand people in Africa! This was only possible through donations to Renewal Ministries.
Thousands of people have been healed and set free by the Lord because somebody was there to speak the Word of God to them. It is God who heals and sets free, but someone has to bring the Good News. That costs money, and many people would have been lost without supporters’ donations. It is not just we who have done this. It is all of us together working for the kingdom.
The Lord can even use fools, the uneducated, the reticent, the sinner like me. He can take the little bit that we can give to Him and make it so much more. He is waiting for our “yes.” Nobody has been more surprised than I have been at what the Lord has done in my life and how He has used me. After seeing Him work, now I know that his heart is aching for souls. He wants freedom and healing for his people. That’s why He died; He came to set people free! “The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (1 Jn 3:8).
I now believe and know that “God doesn’t call the equipped, but He equips the called.”
There is no doubt that all of us are called. We, the Church, exist to evangelize, whether it is in missions of Africa or missions of your friends and family, which is admittedly more of a challenge!