MY CALL TO MISSIONS
After receiving Christ as a teenager I had a burning desire to share my faith with my family and friends and basically everyone I met. I used to go out in public and share the good news in places where I had hung out before my life changed and even had a man pull a knife on me. Undeterred, I kept passionately pursuing any opportunity that presented itself to preach Jesus to lost souls.
It was during Spring break in high school that a door opened to evangelize a city in northern California by going door to door and inviting people to an evangelistic event that weekend. I loved the whole experience! After graduation I plunged myself into Bible college to prepare for full-time Christian service and was planning on joining YWAM (Youth With A Mission) after completing my degree but met and married Cheryl instead! I served as a Youth pastor for a few years and then Cheryl and I joined YWAM together for a summer of service in Holland (Musicians For Musicians). That put missions in our blood! We were asked to stay on full time staff, but God clearly said, “Go home and be a pastor in the States with a mission’s emphasis.”
Upon returning home I became a Youth pastor again at another church and taught the young people there the importance of outreach/missions. We reached out to the local community and got involved in Mexico orphanage ministry.
After a time, I was called to pioneer a church where I pastored and served long term. We refused the community church model and laid the foundation instead for a mission church with a worldwide concern. We began going door to door sharing the gospel and looked for any opportunities to reach out. A few years later GO! Ministries was born out of our church, a mission sending agency. GO! kept growing and I began traveling to visit missionaries with my family all over the world. I was a pastor in the States with a mission’s emphasis indeed!
But then a tumor was discovered in Cheryl’s brain. She had surgery but it didn’t go well. She was weakened and was struggling with sidelining disabilities. After a time, I knew I needed to step down from the church to give her more attention. The new pastor and I agreed that I would take GO! Ministries back to our home/sending church where we would serve in mission’s full time, as well as be official missionaries ourselves with raising support and living by faith. And this is where I am today…a full time missionary and director of a missionary sending organization!
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
Contact me if you are feeling a call to be a missionary or how you can support a missionary or a mission project.
ARE YOU CALLED TO BE A MISSIONARY?
(1 Cor 1:1) Paul, called to be an apostle . . .
Have you ever had the impression that you might be a missionary someday? Is your heart burdened for the lost that are from a different culture? Do you maintain a keen interest in reaching a group of people that stand in need of Christ? Then you might be entertaining a call to be a missionary. So how do you know, and what might be some things to think about?
IMPRESSION – Many times it works like this: God will give you compassion for a certain group of people, and that feeling just won’t go away. You hear about them and you just can’t stop thinking about them. You begin to pray for them. You study their culture. You talk to your friends about them. It could be that God is putting desires in your heart. The best thing to do is wait on the Lord and to just seek Him in prayer and ask Him to direct your path if this is His will. (Psa 25: 4-5, 27:14; 37:4; Jer 29:13).
CONFIRMATION – As you are in this mode of seeking the Lord and praying, keep your eyes open. If this calling is from God, you will begin to see confirmations along the way. You will keep hearing about that country or culture or people group when you weren’t even thinking about it. Interesting things will happen that will point you onto this mission trajectory. Doors will begin to creak open, maybe just a crack at first but then more and more. Some things will be just plain undeniable that God is doing something and beginning to open and close doors. (Rev 3:8) “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
PROVISION – When those open doors keep opening and your confirmations are clearer, then you will see God beginning to uniquely provide for you. Maybe someone will give you some money in the context that the Lord just told them to do it and perhaps didn’t even know why. It could be the car you were thinking of selling now has an interested buyer out of nowhere. It could be an unexpected rebate or an abundant tax refund. Whatever it is, God is providing, and it will probably be just what you need for those plane tickets or whatever you need to make that transition and follow the call. “. . . the windows of heaven were opened.” (Gen 7:11)
A good Bible example for all of this is Nehemiah. Read the first few chapters of the book, at least, and see how Nehemiah received the IMPRESSION from the Lord to go back and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then there was the CONFIRMATION through the king who permitted him to go and be involved in this project. Then came the PROVISION as Nehemiah received favor from the king for what he needed for his assignment.
(Mat 20:16) For many are called but few are chosen. What will be the next step for you?