Jadison and Scotty Hayes show their son, Silas, where their family will soon be going to work as missionaries on a map of Peru. The Hayes left yesterday for language school in Costa Rica before heading to the jungles of Peru.

Former EBC youth pastor takes family to mission field

And they’re off.

By now Scotty and Jadison Hayes and their four boys Judah, Silas, Titus and Abner, are thousands of miles away. The family left yesterday for Costa Rica where the Hayes couple will enroll in language school for a year before heading into remote jungles along the Brazil and Peru border as missionaries to tribal villages there.

Scotty, who recently resigned his longtime position as student pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church, has been on multiple trips over the last decade to a remote village in Peru where he and Jadison will now be helping to plant a church.  Emmanuel Baptist Church previously partnered with an International Mission Board missionary to adopt a tribe and the Hayes’ family will be working to spread the Gospel message from that point.

“Our goal is to finish that project and then go on to find other villages just like it,” Scotty says. “There’s hundreds and hundreds of tribes in the Amazon river basin.”

Scotty and Jadison both feel called to mission work specifically among people who’ve never heard about Jesus.

“They had no exposure to the Gospel. When you talk about Jesus they’ve never heard about Christ,” Scotty says. “It’s not that they’re lost because they rejected the Gospel. They’re lost because they’ve never heard the Gospel. That fact always burdened both of us.”

There are reportedly two billion people in the world with no access to the Gospel.

“That number is a big deal for us,” Scotty says.

Scotty estimates there may be six believers in the tribe where they’ll begin their mission work. The family doesn’t know how long they’ll live in Peru, but hopes to come home once a year to visit family.

In Costa Rica, Scotty and Jadison will become fluent in Spanish, the market language of village tribes in Peru, but when they arrive in the jungle they’ll also be immersed in a variety of tribal dialects.

The family will live in Pucallpa where their four boys  — all under the age of seven  — will attend a private school for missionary children. They’ll have access to power and internet at their home, but little to no access to the outside world when they trek into the jungle.

Villages are scattered along the Peru/Brazil border with no roads leading in and out.

“They don’t come out that much and people don’t go in because it’s such harsh living,” Scotty explains.  

Scotty and Jadison both felt the call to mission work as teens.

 “We felt like we would eventually move overseas,” Scotty says.

“Then we kind of got in a groove with ministry here,” Jadison adds.

Scotty worked as student pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church for eight years and Jadison taught high school. Then two years ago their focus shifted, and the Hayes’ journey into the Amazon jungle began to become a reality.

“God started stirring in our hearts that we might need to move,” Scotty says. “We wrestled with it for a while, but we believe that God has called us to go.”

Another looming question quickly followed their commitment to the call  — how would they get to the mission field?

Most mission organizations require their missionaries to have graduated from seminary and Scotty did not attend Bible college. Their supporters rallied around the couple though and quickly formed a nonprofit, Frontier Tribal Missions, to raise the needed funds for their mission work. Frontier Tribal is governed by a local board of trustees who pay Hayes’ salary and raise funds to cover their expenses while living in the jungle.

“They are sending us to Peru as missionaries,” Scotty says.

The Times met up with the family last week as they were finishing sorting, packing and storing their belongings. Only what would fit in their suitcases would make the journey to Costa Rica. They seemed a bit overwhelmed by all the tasks ahead of them, but also had peace about what lies ahead of them.

“We’re both confident that we’re doing what God has called us to do,” Scotty said. “Even the fact that our van was stolen! (See related story).When Satan is trying to attack that’s because you’re doing something God wants you to do … if it was easy I’d be a little worried.”

“I think we keep seeing affirmations of that,” Jadison agreed.

The family learned just two weeks before they were to leave that their passports had been delayed by 10-12 weeks. They asked friends to help them pray and a few days later all the passports arrived.

“We told people on Saturday (about it) and on Tuesday they came in the mail  — every one of them. You can see the Lord’s hand (working),” Jadison says.

In their last days at home, the family was attempting to have the most “normal” Christmas possible, knowing it might be their last typical holiday for quite some time.

“We’re trying to keep it normal because future Christmases won’t be normal,” Scotty said.

To find out more about the Hayes’ mission work, call or text 912-286-7801, email scotty@ftmissions.org, visit Frontier Tribal Missions on Facebook or their website, www.ftmissionsorg. Checks can be made out and mailed to Frontier Tribal Missions at P.O. Box 448 Blackshear, GA 31516.

Hayes' van stolen days before their departure

Just days before the Hayes family was to leave for Costa Rica, the first stop on their journey to the Amazon jungle as missionaries, their van was stolen from their home on Grady Street.

“It’s kind of wild,” said Scotty Hayes.

Police Chief Chris Wright agrees.

“We’ve checked all of our regular areas where we would (normally) find it. It’s weird. We didn’t have any other reports of vehicles broken into in that area, just his van stolen,” Wright says. “Generally you’ll have other vehicles broken into.”

The most valuable items in Hayes’ van were probably car seats for his four children, but sentimental items  — their Bibles and some of his sermon notes  — are what he and his wife, Jadison, miss most.

And, there won’t be an insurance payout to help replace any of those items.

Hayes had switched the coverage to liability only a few days before it was stolen since the family is leaving the country. (They left town yesterday).