Since 1984, Dwight and Carolyn Rich have served as Nazarene missionaries. They live in Quito, Ecuador, where Carolyn is a nurse, food service coordinator for Seminario Teologico Nazareno Sudamericano, and office administrator for the North Andean Field. Dwight is field strategy coordinator for the North Andean Field on the South America Region. The Riches have two adult children, Bryan and Stefanie.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, but moved to Haiti when I was three years old. My parents were missionaries for the Church of the Nazarene.
Interesting element to your family during your growing years?
God healed me of polio, instantly, when I was three years old. The doctors couldn't understand it but of course the church folk did.
What's the goofiest thing you did as a kid?
A Haitian professor visited us, and I called him a "coconut head." He was very insulted. But after going home and looking in the mirror, he decided that maybe I hadn't been so far off base.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I love to follow sports, especially basketball and football.
Favorite pro soccer team?
Real Madrid from Spain is my favorite pro soccer team. Brazilian Roberto Carlos was my favorite player until he retired. Now Brazilian Robinho is my favorite player.
Greatest thing about being a Nazarene missionary?
The opportunity to fulfill the call that God has placed on my life and the support received from the church. It is wonderful to feel like there is nothing you would rather do, nor any place you would rather live, than what you are doing and where you are living.
Frustrating thing about being a missionary?
? Life is getting shorter and I have less time to be involved!
If HT readers could see the world through your eyes, what would you want them to notice?
I have the privilege of living in the most biologically diverse country in the world. Daily, I am reminded of God's power and majesty through the incredible beauty and intricacy of God's creation that He made for us to enjoy.
What Scripture passage do you turn to most often?
Psalm 46. My first message was preached from this passage to my mother, who was ill, and to my younger sister, Sharon, when I was just eight years old. My favorite verse is 10, "Be still, and know that I am God." When everything is hectic or when I'm facing difficulties, this verse has allowed me to depend on God to see me through the situation.
Most annoying habit in others?
Someone who already knows everything that you would try to tell them.
Most annoying habit in yourself?
I have a tendency toward perfectionism.
Everything goes better with butter.
A Caribbean cruise with a stop in Haiti, where I grew up.
What's special about the culture in which you live?
The culture in Ecuador is very relationship oriented. It is very important to spend time with people, to talk, and to eat together.
Most dangerous moment of your life?
Two friends and I climbed the 17,263-foot-tall eternal snow peak, Iliniza Sur, in Ecuador. On the descent, I was taught to rappel down a several hundred-foot tall rock face.
Favorite types of music?
My absolute favorite is Christian Latin Jazz, for example, the group "Salvador." I enjoy other Christian contemporary music groups and especially like the guitar. Steven Curtis Chapman is a favorite.
Current reading material?
In 1989 I felt the Lord lead me to prepare myself more thoroughly in three areas: prayer, holiness, and leadership. The majority of my reading falls in these areas. Presently, I am reading the John Maxwell Leadership Bible; Tozer on the Holy Spirit, compiled by Marilynne E. Foster; Upside Down by Stacy T. Rinehart; and Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham.
Holiness Today, Sept/Oct 2008
Please note: This article was originally published in 2008. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.