February 27, 2011

Why missions?

Before we were married, I (Chris) served as a full-time missionary with OMS International, first in their headquarters in Greenwood, Indiana, then in their regional office in Azusa, California, while attending APU.  My plans were to get my bachelor's degree in business with cross cultural emphasis, get some Biblical training and then head overseas someplace with OMS.  Well, God directed my plans otherwise.  Steve and I met, fell in love, married and began working stateside in church ministry.

For the first 15 years of our marriage, we served in worship ministry positions in various local churches.  God blessed, stretched, humbled, and used us in wonderful ways.  Then, God chose to throw us a few challenges that over the long-term expanded our faith, but for the short-term caused us to doubt our usefulness to God’s service.  The MS diagnosis that Chris received during this time was re-diagnosed and classified to “in remission”, which once again allows the release to serve.  We have learned that God always has a better plan than our limited vision allows!  Praise God!  With this, He also reignited our desire to serve Him wherever He could and would use us.  We had no idea what that path would look like, but began to venture out in faith – praying, searching, praying again, seeking advice, and praying some more. 

The "wherever" took a bit of time for each of us to fully appreciate.  We first considered local ministry, then nationwide.  While we prayed and searched, God continued to burden us more for ministry but didn't open any doors.  With each step we took, we realized that God was calling us to be available to serve, even if it was some place far beyond our own ideas/agendas/plans.  We finally came to this realization and were totally open to considering overseas missions as an option. 

Now, a couple of years later and after a long and exhaustive application process to become missionaries through the EFCA ReachGlobal (RG), we are excited beyond belief to announce that we have been accepted as long-term missionaries with the plan to serve in Lyon, France!

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