Phil served on staff at Baptist Temple in Springfield, MO while completing his education at Baptist Bible College. During this time, he served in a variety ministries; from youth to young adult, and the bus ministry. Phil surrendered to the mission field in the fall of 2000. He felt the Lord burdening his heart for missions while attending the Missions Emphasis Week at BBC.
Vala was saved when she was nine years old at a small church in Texas. When she was nineteen she joined Bellview Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri by baptism. A few months after joining Bellview, Vala surrendered her life to the Lord.
Phil and Vala were married in February 1996. The Lord has allowed them to serve side-by-side in ministry throughout their marriage. As newlyweds they served in the youth ministry as lay leaders and have continued to work alongside each other in whatever the Lord calls them to do.
In 2003, after graduating from Bible College, the Longs began deputation to go to Scotland. They moved to Scotland in April 2006. Shortly afterward, the exchange rate for the British Pound rose sharply. The Longs continued to serve in Scotland until they finally had to return home in order to raise more support to counteract the ever-increasing exchange rate. In September 2007, Phil and Vala arrived in Lee’s Summit, MO to stay in a missions house while Phil traveled to raise additional support.
To their dismay, the Lord closed the door for them to return to Scotland. However, God had a plan; He opened the door for Phil to join the staff at Abundant Life Baptist Church as the Outreach Pastor. Phil began his new position in March 2008 and Vala joined the staff in 2009. The Lord used the time at Abundant Life to teach and prepare Phil and Vala to better serve Him in ministry.
The Lord has given the Longs a vision to reach the people of Madagascar with His message, and they are trusting Him to move in a mighty way as they work to accomplish the goal. During the first four years in Madagascar, the Longs desire to start 7 house churches in a major city and 7 village churches within a 100 km radius from the city.
- Reach and disciple individuals who will then reach out to other Malagasy people
Start 1 house church and pour into the people who attend the church in a way that they will become mature, discipled believers so that they can then start other house churches in different areas of the city.
- Equip Malagasy believers to start 7 village churches
Identify individuals within the city house churches who have roots in outlying villages and equip them to go into their own villages and reach other Malagasy people