Missionaries to Puerto Rico
Like my wife, I grew up in church. Unfortunately, my parents were members of the nearby Roman Catholic church, and so I was raised to follow tradition rather than the truth of God‘s word. I knew of the Trinity, that Jesus was God’s son, and that he died on the cross. However, I didn’t know that Jesus Christ died to pay for my sins, and that I needed to receive him as my personal Saviour in order to go to heaven. Thankfully, 2 men knocked on our door in 1991 with a King James Bible in hand, and helped my father understand God’s plan of salvation. In the years that followed, my brother and mom also became born-again Christians. Unfortunately, I didn’t see my need. In 2000 I said the sinner’s prayer, but was not repentant toward my sin. I enjoyed my life, and more importantly, I enjoyed the sin in my life. For the next 6 years as I was growing in wealth and status, I continued to sink deeper and deeper in sin, all the while telling my family that I wasn’t ready to be saved. I attended many church services with my family, and even sat down with several pastors to talk about salvation. I wanted to be saved, but was unwilling to repent.
At the end of 2005 I finally saw the world for what it was. New Year’s Eve I went to celebrate at a nightclub with friends, and realized that the good time being offered was the last thing I wanted. God had removed the blinders from my eyes. I admitted for the first time that night that I was miserable with my life. I wanted the peace my brother had that my money couldn’t buy. The next day (Jan 1, 2006) I attended church with my family, and told my brother afterward that I was going to make some changes in my life = going to church, read the Bible he had given me, etc. I was encouraged to read the Gospel of John. But as so many do, I went back to work and forgot all about it. A week later I was suppose to go back to church; but instead chose to stay home. The next day God convicted me of the sin in my life, and how I was not in control as I said I was. I admitted to God that I had ruined my life and was willing to do whatever He wanted me to do. Having already said a prayer of salvation years before, I questioned if I was serious this time, if I was saved. For 2 days I had no peace, and so on January 12, 2006 I called my brother to ask how do you know if you are saved. I never did ask him that question. As I went to speak, the Holy Spirit convicted me, and I knew at that moment I was NOT saved, and on my way to hell. I wept for several minutes, finally understanding the severity of my sin. In my heart I was pleading with Jesus to forgive me, and to save me!!
The Sunday following my salvation I attended Walker Bible Baptist Church, and was able to participate in discipleship classes with the Pastor. Six months later I enrolled in our Bible Institute simply to know the Bible better. It was during my 2nd semester that I believed the LORD was calling me to preach. I was active in our bus ministry almost immediately after I was saved, and was content to serve and preach to the bus kids. I never thought the LORD would lead me to missions work. But at a missions conference in February 2008 my heart was softened towards foreign missions. At the end of 2008 I went to Mexico with a group from Walker, and while there I saw firsthand the need for more missionaries. After returning home from Mexico the LORD gave me peace about surrendering to the mission field. For the next 2 years I took several missions trips seeking the LORD’s will, which included Italy and Jamaica. I was considering a trip to Puerto Rico when I first met my wife in January 2011. To my surprise, she had already spent a year teaching at a Christian school in Puerto Rico, and had a burden for the people. We were married in June 2011, and we took our first trip to Puerto Rico in February 2012. After returning from the trip we prayed that the LORD would show us where He wanted us to serve Him. On March 25, 2012 the LORD gave us peace about serving in Puerto Rico!
I was raised in a Baptist church, so I had heard the plan of salvation from a very young age, and at the age of 7, I was attending my church's Vacation Bible School when they were teaching a lesson about salvation. After the lesson was over they asked if anyone wanted to get saved. I saw that my friend raised her hand, so I decided to raise mine as well. A lady that was helping in the class took all of us who raised our hands into a different room and began to show us the plan of salvation. All I remember is reading some verses and saying a prayer. It didn't mean anything to me, at that point I don't believe I really understood what salvation truly meant, I just did it because my friend was doing it. I then went on with my life believing I was saved because I repeated a prayer. As I grew older, my pastor would preach often about the Rapture and Hell. I remember being so scared listening to those messages. As a young teen, learning more about God's Word, I began to question my salvation, but people would remind me that I got saved during VBS, so I would just try to forget about my doubts. I was very involved at my church, working in many ministries, but I still didn't have that peace in my heart concerning my salvation.
At the age of 15, my youth group went to a winter camp. On Friday evening the camp pastor was preaching on Ephesians 2:8,9. While he was preaching I finally realized that I truly wasn't saved, but that I needed to be right away!. I realized that salvation needed to be personal to me, that I needed to believe with my whole heart the words that I was saying (not just repeating some prayer). I realized that I was putting my faith into those people who were telling me that I was already saved, instead of putting my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. After the message was over I went to my pastor's wife and told her that I needed to get saved. We went through the plan of salvation together and that night, February 5, 1999, I repented from my sins and asked the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart! It was such a great feeling to have that peace of God in my heart, knowing that when I die I will spend eternity with Him!
I was baptized on February 7, and that night I went to the alter and surrendered my life to the Lord, telling Him whatever He wants me to do or wherever He wants me to go, I will. Shortly after I felt peace from God about being a missionary and I knew with my whole heart that He was directing me to the mission field. I attended Midwestern Baptist College, in Pontiac, Michigan, where I received my Bachelor Degree in Education. After college I began to do missions work through BIMI, where I went on 3 mission trips to the Dominican Republic and spent 2006-2007 in Puerto Rico helping a missionary family by teaching Sunday School, teaching Jr. Church, working in the nursery, teaching Master's Club on Wednesday nights, and teaching 3rd-4th grades in their Christian School. While there the Lord gave me a burden for the mission field of Puerto Rico and in 2011, He blessed me with a husband who has that same burden!