Thomas’ childhood consisted of a family life juggled between two separated parents, all over northern California. In his senior year in high school, he ended up in a foster home and thanks to the faithful witness of a classmate and the grace of God, he put his faith in the Lord Christ Jesus on March 27, 1976. In making this life commitment, Thomas gained eternally a heavenly Father, and a rather large extended forever family.
Laura, in contrast to Thomas’ unstable childhood, grew up in one home in Arizona. Her life was lived in a loving, godly family and early in her childhood she accepted Christ as her Savior. Through the influence of missionaries and God speaking through his Word, he impressed upon Laura, at age eleven, that she, too, would go and tell others of Christ and His great love. She was determined to do so. Toward this goal, after graduating from high school in 1975, she enrolled in Southwestern Bible College.
Thomas and Laura
After high school, Thomas spent a year at what is now Shasta Bible College in Redding, California. He then transferred the next year into Laura’s domain at Southwest Bible College. They met, fell in love, and were married by their missions professor, Reverend Steven Sonmor on May 19, 1979. Laura graduated that year and Thomas in 1981. Southwestern Bible College is now called Arizona Christian University, in Glendale, Arizona.
Both Thomas and Laura, believing God was leading them into overseas ministry, moved to Portland, Oregon in 1982. Thomas attended Western Seminary there completing his studies in December 1985.
In 1986, they were appointed by what is now WorldVenture, to do Bible translation and church planning. After discovering their support and language acquisition in France, in March 1991 they arrived in Cote d’ Ivoire to begin their ministry.
Thomas would translate the Bible in a local Senoufo language, while Laura conducted a daily Bible club in their courtyard. The plan was to remain in Cote d’ Ivoire until retirement, but these plans were derailed when the country fell into a civil war. In March 2003, while the Requadts were in the States on home assignment, their home was ransacked and seized by rebel forces thus necessitating their departure from their place of ministry.
Since then, they have relocated and continue the Bible translation and children’s ministry. Excepting Sundays, children come to the courtyard to memorize Scripture and hear Bible lessons about God, his goodness and greatness and His awesome love for us in Christ. As rewards for memorizing Scripture, they receive delicious homemade cookies from Laura as well as larger prizes when they complete a whole set of verses (usually well over 100 verses).
During their life and time of service overseas Tom and Laura have had the joy of watching their own three children grow up, come of age, and start their own families centered around the Bible and Christ. The Requadts also plan to retire in years ahead and to continue to enjoy their family and serve the Lord with gladness.
The people among whom they minister, are very much an oral based culture steeped in fear and superstition. Being very attached to fetishes, they seek to control the spiritual elements that surround them, and which continually inflict much pain and suffering on them. They are for the most part subsistence farmers who stand in need of a great work of God in their lives. For this, their only hope is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. In and through him they find forgiveness of sin and the power to be more than conquerors as they face the daily struggles of life and the onslaught of the spirits.
So, have you considered living a life of ministry for Christ?