God knows what He’s doing! Sometimes we’re a little confused or surprised at what He may ask us to do or where He may lead us, but really, He always knows best!
When I was 17 years old, God loudly called me into pastoral ministry. I headed to Andrews University with great uncertainty about that calling, and yet I also knew God and trusted Him. But I do remember a few conversations with God from that time period as I asked, “Lord, please, can’t I do overseas mission work?” That’s what my heart really wanted to do.
When I was 21 and serving in my first pastorate (Worthington, OH), I realized what God knew all along: I would love pastoral ministry. I saw how God had been preparing me for it ever since I was a little girl following my pastor-dad around. Neither of us knew at the time that God was using my dad to mentor me for ministry. Helping to plant a church also shaped my love for God’s work. As in any church plant, there were plenty of opportunities for a teen to learn to better serve our Jesus.
The years since then have been full and good. Most importantly, my dear husband Richard and I have had the privilege during these years of raising and homeschooling our five wonderful children: Anthony (17), Katherine (15), Elizabeth (11), Victoria (8), and Benjamin (4). We believe that raising our children for God is our highest calling and true lifework. However, I’ve also been blessed to work in youth ministry for other children, direct youth camps in North and South Dakota, plant a church, and help support (as Wisconsin Conference Church Planting Coordinator) many, many more church plants.
Recently I had the opportunity to begin working with ASAP Ministries as Ambassador Director. It struck me that this ministry, too, was a result of God’s preparation. I believe with all my being that when our members in North America are excited about and supporting overseas missions, that joy will be mirrored in our North American churches by greater spirituality and evangelistic effectiveness. I’ve seen it happen. So, I look forward to help strengthen the work in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and elsewhere. But I also look forward to seeing the North American church grow among refugees, immigrants, and the American-born!
Our Lord is so gracious and He gives us such good gifts. He starts with salvation but continues throughout our lives with gifts of family and ministry and a deeper love for Him. And then He sometimes surprises us with our heart’s earliest desires. So today I’m thanking Him for the privilege of working both in the U.S. and in missions for our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world!
I want Jesus to come soon. Together let’s work to reach the whole world ASAP.