Sixteen years ago in Hudsonville, Michigan, Ron and I said “I do” to one another as husband and wife. We made the commitment “till death do us part” because that is God’s mind for marriage, spelled out clearly in His Word. We have left our families of origin to begin our own, and God has blessed us with three very loveable children. We are thankful for God’s faithfulness and grace in our lives, enabling us to remain committed to one another as well as to His calling upon us to serve Him full-time in missions involvement. One of the things that drew us together was a commitment to be “goers” in response to Jesus’ Great Commission. God had solidified in both of our minds individually that He wanted us to serve Him with New Tribes Mission, and so we came together in holy matrimony with that united goal.
We began our married lives with some financial debt. God faithfully provided employment for us, enabling us to pay off our debt within just a few short years. God blessed Ron with employment in the aviation industry (first maintenance, followed by manufacturing) up until the time we left for our full-time missions training with NTM in Jersey Shore (2003-2004), Missouri (fall of 2004), and finally McNeal, AZ from January 2005-July 2005. After two years of partnership development while living, working, and serving alongside our sending church in LeMars, Iowa, God sent us over to Papua New Guinea for our first term on the foreign mission field.
Much has happened in those years since we declared our marriage vows. A local pastor said something to me recently that has made me ponder the truth of his statement (paraphrased): It’s hard to find people who are willing to make commitments these days. Quite honestly, that is a scary reality. Marriage takes obvious commitment, and we’ve seen our culture toss that commitment by the wayside flippantly. But overseas missions also requires commitment. Serving in the local church context requires commitment. You’d best be committed to your job if you hope to receive a paycheck. Even parenting involves a level of commitment. While we don’t have to feel obligated to be committed to every opportunity that comes our way, what will receive our dedication? To what cause are we willing to give our full, whole-hearted commitment? What does God have to say about everything tugging on our hearts these days to pull us away from what He clearly says we should be committed to (prayer, the ministry of the Word, our family, our work, our responsibilities)? It’s a matter of perspective…the temporal versus the eternal. God desires His people to be faithful stewards of what He has entrusted to us (I Corinthians 4:2). Will we be found faithful in these matters to which we should be committed? It’s important to not only start well, but to finish well. We started our lifelong commitment to one another and to the Lord as a couple on October 2, 1999. We appreciate your prayers for us to finish well, whatever that may look like.