Sitting in their living room in
Wilsonville, Ore., Scott and Beth Schoenborn are happy and relaxed as
they talk about their missionary work in Japan and their five healthy
children. Their faces display unusual calm for a couple that recently
(February 16) became parents of quadruplets two boys and two
As they talk, Ellen Schoenborn,
Scotts mother, washes baby bottles at the kitchen sink. The kitchen
counter resembles an assembly line with rows of clean bottles ready
for the next feedings.
who is 4, checks on her siblings.
The Schoenborns were thrilled when
they learned Beth was pregnant a second time. Shortly before their return
to Japan from a brief furlough in Oregon, a physician detected multiple
heartbeats and predicted twins. But at St. Lukes International
Hospital in Tokyo, a gynecologist gave the Schoenborns the news: Beth
was carrying quadruplets.
"I was in shock," Beth
says. "I thought I could deal with twins. When I heard the doctor
say, Four babies, I wondered what this would mean for our
Beverly Kelly, Beths mother,
was more excited than surprised. A triplet herself, she knew the likelihood
of multiple births was greater than normal for her daughter. "I
thought, Oh, wonderful! Beth is carrying on the tradition," she
For Ellen Schoenborn, the news had
a poignant effect. "Scott called me on September 10, the date of
my wedding anniversary," she recalls. "My husband, Roger,
died last May and I was thinking about him. Scott talked for a bit,
then said, Mom, were coming home to Oregon for a medical
furlough. When I heard the word quadruplets, my jaw dropped."
Scott and Beth grew up in the same
community in Oregon and were high school sweethearts. Today both grandmothers
live nearby and help with the babies: Kent, Kyle, Kristin and Katie.
"Our house is not chaotic,"
Beth says. "We maintain some order. If we didnt, wed
be in trouble. As a mother, the challenge is realizing I cant
do everything by myself right now."
She neednt worry. Scott is
a hands-on father who lovingly looks into each little face obviously
sensitive to their individuality. "Telling them apart is easy,"
Scott jokes. "We have a big boy and a little boy, a big girl and
a little girl. But they are also different in personality."
Their daughter Kelly, who is 4,
excitedly skips over to the cribs where the four babies lie sleeping.
They look healthy larger than what I expected.
"What did they weigh?"
Scott smiles and says, "Beth
gave birth to almost 18 pounds of babies in three minutes."
"I come from good stock,"
Beth responds with a laugh. Usually quadruplets average about 3 pounds.
The Schoenborns babies averaged 4.5 pounds, despite being born
seven and a half weeks early. Doctors were amazed at their healthy size
and continue to marvel at their development.
Scott, Beth, Ellen and Beverly feed
the babies in shifts. Scott takes the night feedings, and already has
a special sensitivity to each. One by one he describes each child. "Kristin,
the smallest one at birth, weighed 3 pounds, 8 ounces," he says.
"She is spunky and feisty. We call her Champ. Kent is our communicator
because he lets you know his needs. Katie is our cuddle queen. She likes
to coo and be held. Kyle, our slugger, was the largest of the quads
at birth, weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces. He is very relaxed and easygoing."
The Schoenborns are quick to express
their appreciation for the prayer support from believers throughout
Beths pregnancy. "When we learned of the quads, we e-mailed
our supporters and asked for prayer," Scott says. "Suddenly
our request was forwarded everywhere. Even in the hospital, at least
three people came to us and said, We heard about you and have
been praying for you. These babies were prayed over the entire
The expanded household has not diminished
the Schoenborns determination to continue their missionary work
in Japan, which has been their field of ministry since January 1995.
Trying to imagine the family on
the streets of Tokyo, I ask if theyve found a stroller for four.
Scott replies that, though such a stroller is manufactured, they are
getting two strollers for two "so theyll be less conspicuous."
Not much chance of that,
I think to myself.
Kristin and Katie, Kent and Kyle
are testimonies of Gods gift of life. But along with Scott and
Beths joy of these four blessings, their hearts are burdened for
multitudes of Japanese who need to hear the gospel and receive the free
gift of eternal life.
"Some people have told us that
our calling is finished," Scott says. "With five children
especially since four are infants they assume well
have to stay in the United States. But we know Gods calling is
still upon our lives. We have put our hands to the plow, and we arent
The Schoenborns see ways God can
use all five children to open doors of ministry. "Kelly was born
in Japan, and we noticed the increased opportunities we had to witness
because of her," Scott says. "The Japanese know how hard it
is to live there. They are curious why we are willing to stay there
and raise a family. When they see quadruplets, which are virtually unheard
of in Japan, we know they will be even more intrigued. Well have
many more opportunities to share our faith."
As the Schoenborns juggle four infants,
a preschooler and plans to return to Japan, they dont worry about
the what-ifs. They are certain of their calling and that their children
all five of them are gifts from God and part of His plan
for their lives. Their responsibility is to be obedient. They are leaving
the rest in His hands.
is commissioner of evangelism for the Assemblies of God.
The birth of the quadruplets has
brought added financial challenges for the Schoenborn family, including
additional airfares and other special expenses. (Assemblies of God Foreign
Missions doesnt build into a missionarys budget a provision
for quadruplets.) Contributions for the Schoenborns can be called in
at 1-877-840-5100 or mailed to Assemblies of God Foreign Missions, 1445
North Boonville Avenue, Springfield, MO 65802, designated for "Quadruplets,"
Account # 891167 (88).