Aaron’s Testimony & Calling
I stepped through the doors of Edmond Road Baptist Church for the first time on December 3, 1997 at the age of 13. I only came to church that night to get out of my house and only returned for games and snacks. However, I received far more. It was at Edmond Road Baptist Church that I encountered the gospel message. And for the first time, I saw people living, teaching, and preaching biblical living. I was saved on January 21, 1998 at 8:35 p.m. That night our youth pastor presented us with a pointed question. He asked, “If you had only one minute to pray before actually dying; what would you pray knowing you were about to meet God?” I had recently been learning Romans Road scriptures and I knew I would be bargaining and begging God to forgive me and not to hold my sins against me and not to send me to hell. So, I went forward and prayed and asked God to forgive me. I thanked Him for sending His Son to die for me and told God that I truly believed and wanted Him in my heart and life.
A few years later, I surrendered to preach at a youth retreat. Things did not unfold the way I expected upon my high school graduation. Instead of pursuing God’s plan, I joined the United States Marine Corps. God used this time to open my eyes and to teach me many things. The most important lesson was that life isn’t truly fulfilling unless you are pursuing God’s will in your life. It was also during my first deployment that God really began burdening my heart for foreign missions. I was willing to go anywhere but assumed God had plans for me to reach Hispanics because of my background. I finished my time with the Marine Corps and continued to serve in our church.
Once again, God again showed me how limited my sight was and how wrong my assumptions could be. One of my best friends and sister-in-law, Brandy Bell, died in a car wreck toward the end of their deputation to go to Brazil. We began to spend even more time with the Bell family as we prayed with them about the future. It was on the way home from their house one night that God put Romans 1:13 on my heart. I realized I have plans but what is more important is be “let hither to” and go wherever God chooses to send. My wife and I fervently prayed, and both had peace about the direction God was taking us. My family surrendered to follow the Lord’s leading to go to Brazil. I talked with our pastor and presented our burden before the church; we determined to wait for the Bells to make it to Brazil first. Chris Bell and family arrived in Brazil in April, 2018. We are beginning our deputation this fall with much excitement at seeing God’s hand move in unexpected and big ways.
We look forward to meeting God’s people as we endeavor to partner with like-minded churches for souls in Belem, Brazil.
My testimony is a simple, straightforward one and yet filled with all the love, forgiveness, and miracle-working power of God as the most hardened criminal turned saint. I came from a broken home, but my mom was faithful to take me to church where I heard the gospel preached Sunday after Sunday. One day God turned all that knowledge into soul-rescuing salvation from which I hope to never recover.
God has brought me up from a timid young girl with a loving hand of a Father. He has hushed every doubt and worked through the roughness. And it is my honor to give that life back to God to serve wherever He leads our family.