In the west Texas desert, among mesquite-laden mountains and miles of brush and cacti, a small camp exists called Paisano Baptist Encampment. In 1971, a little blond-headed girl attended a Girls-in-Action camp, and her life was changed. A missionary from Tanzania, dressed in colorful African adornments, came to speak to the little girls. Mysterious artifacts covered a table set in front of him.
I was enthralled. At the camp service that night, I remember deciding that I was going to be a missionary. God was pursuing me and His voice rang in my heart of His approval and joy for my child-like faith decision.
On a sandy acre of Hermosa Beach in Southern California, a young boy of 12 years old walked on the beach, engaging in 12-year-old shenanigans in 1971. It was the time of the Jesus Movement, in which young men and woman were zealous to tell everyone about Christ. My husband John had no interest whatsoever. But these Jesus People were consistently approaching him. He felt hounded and annoyed. Once he told a young man, “Throw your keys in the ocean. If they come back to you, I’ll give you five minutes.
Two scenes miles apart. But the Spirit of God knows no mileage or time limits. He had a plan.
45 years later, John and I are answering that call. For the first time in my life, I am an official missionary. My husband is now serving wholeheartedly the God who relentlessly chased him on the beach. We have joined INFAITH ministries.Our newly created ministry,”Caught in His Arms,” will serve under the banner of their ministry organization.
I made plans to be a missionary studied education in college because I thought a teacher would be the perfect occupation for being a missionary. I sought my missionary-husband and thought I found him. In a perfect storm of unfortunate events, I got sick and he rejected me. I fell into depression and abandoned my plan. In 1986, I moved to California.
God plants seeds that sprout into dreams and adventures. But too many times, life, temptations and obstacles cause us to turn away from those dreams. We settle. We make new choices. We grow up. It happens every day. God can still work within our lives for His glory and He did just that, in mine and John’s.
Through our history of addiction and a near divorce, John and I have come to have a deep relationship with our God who redeems anyone and everyone, no matter what life has led them to – divorce, abuse, addiction, painful hurt from the church or to the church, a life as an “outsider” to the norm or even an ordinary life of sin or secret sin. God redeems.
Our goal: In a world polluted by the power of pornography, we offer the hope of Christ to marriages caught in turmoil or addiction. We help suffering marriages heal and we help great marriages spread healing to others.
What an adventure we are on! I’ll be telling more as we go. But right now, why don’t you think of your childhood, whether you knew God or didn’t. How was the Creator of the Universe chasing you? Have you allowed Him to lead you on that dream? It’s never too late to do what God intended you to do.
Let us know and we will pray for your adventure, too!
“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)
If you would like more JOY in your life, sign up here