We have seen God’s hand moving in our lives since we first got married. When we walked down that isle and said our vows to each other we both dedicated our lives to the Lord’s service. Our prayer then and now has been for God to use us wherever and for whatever He needs us for. The hardest thing has been the wait. God had a plan in mind, but first He had to prepare us.
God has allowed us to be involved in several different ministries affiliated with our church, Anchor Baptist Church, but we have never gotten peace about pursuing anything full time. Finally, in September of 2009 we had the privilege of visiting the Fanning family, friends of ours and missionaries to Bolivia, South America.
It was on this trip that God began to work in our hearts. After visiting for one week we came home with changed lives. The people of Bolivia had touched our hearts.
In the next year we found opportunities to return to Bolivia twice more. Each time we felt more and more connected with the people there. We felt that God was calling us to work in some way with Spanish speaking people, so we began taking Spanish classes and praying about which direction the Lord would have us go.
The Fanning’s were due to come back to the States on a furlough in late 2010 so they asked us to pray about coming and taking their place in Bolivia while they came out to visit their churches and family. After much prayer we felt God prompting us to do this, so in early January of 2011 we left for La Paz, Bolivia to stay for five months in the Fanning’s place.
While we were there we continued to pray about what God would have us to do when we returned to the States. There were several possibilities that we were praying about but after returning home we could never get peace about anything. We had considered that God may be calling us to Bolivia but because it was such a huge step we wanted to make absolutely sure that it was God’s will.
The more we prayed the more God began to press Bolivia on our hearts. And after much prayer and Bible study we finally received assurance along with an overwhelming peace, and in August of 2011 we surrendered to become missionaries to Bolivia on a permanent basis.
After deputation, we moved to La Paz, Bolivia in August of 2013. There the Lord allowed us to learn the language and help in 3 different works. The first was to work to help support a pastor that was struggling due to a split in the church. While in language school we were able to work with him to stabilize the church and to encourage him to keep going. The second was to take a church from a missionary that had to leave due to medical issues. The third was to re-found a work that had been previously started by a former missionary in Bolivia. These churches were not “new” church plants but we believe God has allowed us to keep 3 works running in situations that could have caused them to shut.
In Summer of 2016, we moved to the city of Santa Cruz. The fastest growing city in all of South America. Here we have settled and are working to start a new church plant.