John Olson was born in Orlando, Florida. In 1978, at the age of thirteen, two deaf friends, Bruce Kelly and Tom Adams, witnessed to John about the gospel of Jesus, and John trusted Jesus as his Savior. A year later, in 1979, John went to Bill Rice Ranch. During that camp week, John was in the 14 and 15 years old boys’ class, and Reggie Remple taught the class. In that class, Reggie spoke on Romans 10:14, and John surrendered to the Lord’s call on his life. John went to Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida. It was where he met his wife, Tricia, and they married in 1989. They have four children.
In my years of service to the Lord, I have had many wonderful opportunities. My wife Tricia and I served for eight years as missionaries in Nuremberg, Germany under Baptist Missions to Forgotten Peoples; I served as a pastor for seventeen years over the deaf ministry of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida; and for many years I have taught classes to the deaf and the hearing at Trinity Baptist College. While I have thoroughly enjoyed all of these experiences, through the years I have had a persistent desire to encourage missionaries so they can stay on the field and continue the work of the ministry.
As a missionary, I found missions work could be very lonely, especially for me as a deaf man. It was difficult trying to manage taking care of my family, setting up a home, learning the language, setting up a church, studying for sermons in a foreign language and caring for the needs of the church people. We worked long hard hours, often with small rewards for large efforts.
In August of 2016, Trinity began a financial restructuring of the ministry and determined they would no longer employ a full time pastor to the deaf. When I first received the news, I suspected right away that God was ready to open the door for us to return to missions. Tricia and I began praying immediately and doors began to open. A missionary in Liberia contacted us through a friend asking us to come and help him reach the deaf. Invitations began coming from missionaries all over the globe. God has answered the prayer of our hearts. He wants to use us to reach the deaf with the gospel worldwide.