Before I get to the next phase of our lives, I want to rewind and go back to previous phases of our lives, and work my way up. I will start with my conversion. I grew up in a wonderful Christian home, but didn’t become a Christian until after I graduated college at the age of 23. A modern day worship song describes my conversion so well, when it says:
“But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost”
To my shame this was the first 23 years of my life. I loved my sin more than I loved God and I was indifferent to the cost of my sin. I was truly running a hell-bound race. The song continues by singing of God’s grace:
“(God) looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross And I beheld (at age 23 for the first time) God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace”.
Jesus tells three parables in Luke 15. The most famous being the parable of the prodigal son. However, the first parable that he tells in that chapter best describes my conversion. Jesus tells the parable in Luke 15:4-7: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
After my conversion I had an immediate hunger for God’s Word. So, I bought a study Bible, commentaries, and theological books. Shortly after my conversion I began to feel a call towards missions work. I remember listening to a John Piper sermon in 2006 a few years after my conversion, and I remember thinking: ‘why doesn’t everyone want to be a missionary?’ I began to read about famous missionaries in church history. One missionary in particular stood out, missionary martyr Jim Elliot. I spent countless hours pouring over his journals that his wife Elisabeth published shortly after his death. What I saw in Jim Elliot was a man with a passion for God, and a passion to take the gospel to the unreached peoples of the world. He famously said: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” God was using Jim Elliot to stir up my heart for missions.
Over the next several years God continued to work on me, and during that time I met my beautiful wife, and we were married in April of 2010. I often talked with my wife about my love for missions and how I believed God had ultimately called me to do missions work of some kind. My wife and I have been married a little over 6 years and it has been really cool to see how God has worked on my wife. Especially in the last couple of years God has really worked on my wife’s heart in regards to missions. Probably about a year and half ago my wife showed me a short video about a retired missionary couple who had served in Cuba and Guatemala for many years. My wife and her family loved this missionary couple. What I saw in that couple was what I want my legacy to be. I saw a couple who loved the Lord deeply, and I saw how they poured out their lives advancing the gospel, and encouraging brothers and sisters in Christ. I saw a couple who didn’t waste their lives, but rather gave their lives in service of our great God.
So, several months ago after much prayer, my wife and I decided that we wanted to go and serve the Lord in Guatemala. Guatemala is a beautiful country. My wife knows the country well, as she grew up there. There is lots of need in Guatemala, and we are humbled and excited that God has called us to help meet some of those needs. Specifically, I am going to be doing some discipleship at The Christian Academy of Guatemala. The Christian Academy is a K-12 school that teaches in English. I will also be doing lots of language training during the first year of our 2 year term. We are looking forward to hosting Bible studies in our home in Guatemala. We are both looking forward to encouraging brothers and sisters in Christ in any way that we can.
We are going with Camino Global which is a wonderful mission organization that my wife has been familiar with for many years!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!