Missions has always been a part of the picture for PJ and me. Our like-mindedness in desiring to serve the Lord played a major role in our courtship. As God drew our lives together, He united our vision for ministry.
Four months after our wedding, we took a trip to Central Asia to meet a team we hoped to join, returning with a greater understanding of the difficulties and opportunities for serving the Lord in that challenging field.
In November 2010, with the blessing of our sending church in Massachussetts, and baby Evye in tow, we set off to build our support team.
We spent Christmas with my parents who serve in a tribal ministry in Colombia. Meeting many of the missionaries serving there, and visiting the village where my family lived nearly 20 years ago, made for a memorable experience.
As we prepared to return to the USA and continue partnership development, PJ told me, “You know, if God wasn’t leading us to Asia, I can totally see us serving here.”
Neither of us anticipated the significance of those words.
In April 2011, our leadership in Asia told us that due to changes and challenges on the field, criteria for new team members had changed. They encouraged us to consider serving in a different overseas ministry. We prayed and dialogued with them for 5 months, coming to the conclusion that the Lord had indeed closed that door.
After the initial discouragement, the Holy Spirit renewed our vigor for serving overseas, specifically in tribal church planting. We rejoined NTM and, with much prayer, and godly counsel, focused our attention on Colombia.
Ironically, the idea that God would lead me to serve where I grew up had not occured to me before. I was rather slow on the uptake. But the Lord affirmed that this was His plan all along.
Now, feet spurred on with a sense of urgency and eyes fixed on Christ as He walks ahead, we press on toward the goal marked out for us, fully committed to follow wherever the Lord leads.