I grew up on a farm in Southeastern Indiana. I grew up in a loving family and my parents, sister and I attended church regularly. I had a friend in school, Lisa, who took me to the Baptist Church she attended. Her family invested time in me and I saw how God was the center of their home. When I was 9 years old, I went to VBS with Lisa. I understood that I was a sinner, and that Jesus died for me. He was the perfect, sinless substitute who took the punishment I deserved. Through His death, Christ paid my debt in full and I was made righteous before God. I believed Christ, put my trust in Him and my life changed.
Phil and I met in Jr. High and we started dating in High School. When I was 16 I attended a youth rally at Taylor University with our Youth Group. At the rally, the movie, The Hiding Place was shown. The life and ministry of Corrie Ten Boom made a huge impact in my life as did Joni Earickson Tada. At about at that time, I surrendered my life to missions. If God wanted me to serve in in that capacity I would go.
A few years later, Phil and I were married. Our two children, Andrew and Lauren were born. At that time, we were looking for a Christian school for our children. We knew a Christian education would be important for them. We found Bethesda Christian School which taught Biblical truth. Andrew was enrolled in K5 and Lauren in K4 a little later. We started attending Bethesda Baptist Church and later became members. Andrew was saved at VBS at Bethesda when he was 6. Lauren accepted Christ as her Savior when she was 4 as Andrew helped lead her to Christ. Phil and I became a part of a Discipleship 2:7 group from Navigators. Our love for the Lord grew as we learned more and more about Him.
We became involved with missions and Awana. At Bethesda, Missions Conferences would come and go over the years. God had burdened my heart so heavily about serving in missions. By then, I had been on missions’ trips to Northern Ireland, and Brasil. Lauren and I were going on a mission’s trip to Jamaica when she was a senior. Phil and Andrew had gone on the same trip when Andrew was a senior in high school. Just before leaving for the missions’ trip to Jamaica, I had finished reading Jungle Pilot, a biography about Nate Saint’s call to be a missionary. I asked Phil if he wanted to read the book while Lauren and I were gone. And he said he would. While on the trip, on 11/4/11 in my journal I wrote,” I wonder if we will ever end up on a foreign mission field, if not that’s ok. I just want to be in God’s will.” I surrendered to God’s will and everything changed. When I put God’s will ahead of my own desire, that’s when He gave me the desires of my heart.
Read PHIL’S testimony to see how God changed everything……..