At age 9, my mother led me in the sinners prayer, yet we never went to church growing up. At the age of 16, I got connected to a youth group and began going on my own. It wasn’t long before I was called to preach and surrendered to ministry. I struggled with doubt quite a bit because of never growing in my faith from 9-16yrs old. After I came back from my last summer camp, I got assurance of my salvation and was baptized two weeks later.
I went to Heartland Baptist Bible College and graduated from the Master’s program. For the past 15 years, I have served the Lord in whatever way I could- eight of those years I have served as a youth pastor at South Knollwood Baptist Church.
I have always been open to missions, but never felt God leading and directing me that way until this year. In July of 2018, we took a missions trip to Itapua do Oeste, Brazil. It was on a Monday morning when I woke up and, as when I was called to preach, it was clear that I was to be there in Brazil. After three days, I talked with my pastor, and we decided to take a couple of months to pray. During those months, God made it clear to me that missions was still His will. There were providential meetings and conversations, the continued promptings from the Spirit, and the confirmation of my spiritual mentors– especially that of my pastor. It was in fact made so plain to me that, I am without question, convinced I will be sinning if I do not go.
I asked Jesus to save me from my sins at the age of nine at vacation bible school. After that event in my life, I didn’t attend church except for your occasional Christmas or Easter service. The lack of God’s Word in my life was evident in my teen years as I began heading down a scary path of living. By the grace of God, I got back on track and started attending Trinity Baptist in Jacksonville FL. Then two years later, transferred to Heartland Baptist Bible College. It was there that I met my husband and we married soon after graduation.
In July of 2018, our church took its first ever missions trip. One night, my husband told me that he had a burden to come back. I was not excited about this news—it wasn’t America, the driving is crazy, there is no Chick-fil-A, etc. Though at one time I had surrendered to the mission field, having children made the thought of being a missionary very scary. Having enjoyed the everyday comforts of living in America did not help either. He was very understanding of my not being ready and told me we would not go unless I was on board 100%.
As time went on it became more clear that this was something that God was doing in Mike. Everyday I would pray and beg God that if this was real, He would help my heart surrender. As time went on, God did what I asked. I surrendered to God’s will for our family and we then began to set out the plan for our transition.
We are beyond excited about God’s leading in our life right now and can’t wait to see the way He will continue to lead!