Developing Latin American Missionaries to Serve Abroad
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Many people have asked us why we are leaving the “good life” of the United States and heading for Chile. Our answer has simply been, “God called.”
With a pause, natural curiosity and skepticism they ask, “What do you mean ‘God called’? Did He actually talk to you? Did you hear His voice? What did He sound like?”
We did not hear God’s voice in the audible sense. But we certainly did hear it loud and clear. Recently I saw the United States Navy’s new recruitment video and it immediately resonated with me on how God Calls. Below, I have embellished the Navy’s recruitment video in an effort to provide a partial explanation for how God called us:
God’s call to serve, it has no sound, yet I have heard God’s voice clearly; in the truth of His Word and honorable sacrifices by those who have served Him before me.
God’s call to serve, it has no form, yet I have clearly seen it; in the eyes of men and women willing to help others before themselves.
God’s call to serve, it has no weight, yet I have held it in my hands. I will commit to carry it close to my heart until God’s truth prevails and the anguish of those blinded by this world is alleviated.
God’s call to serve is at once invisible and always present, and for those who choose to answer His call: for this world, for their fellow man, for themselves it is the most powerful force in the universe.
GOD! The Universal truth for all of His creation!
In January 2006, I (Jason) struggled for four months with God’s call to follow His will. I had many sleepless nights “wrestling” with God over His call to follow His will for a new direction in my life, or what seemed like a new direction for my life at the time. I had my plan for my life with a certain work direction that included growing in rank, authority, and financial security. I had an honorable profession with great importance to our country. I had a terrific marriage and beautiful, well behaved children. My family had a large social network of probably 75 friends and family members within an hour drive of my home. The weather is wonderful and the scenery of Northern California is some of the best in the world. I had a nice comfortable home with a swimming pool and money in the bank. I was happy. I was living the American Dream. The “Good Life.”
Why would I want to give that up for the unknown? That’s for other people to do. Missionary work is for young adults fresh out of college who are not as far down the road as I am. I support missionaries and believe in the necessity of their work, but it wasn’t something that I should do. I fervently believed in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, attempted to obey God’s commandments, performed good deeds and charity in the community, tithed my money, went to church on Sundays, attended a bible study on Friday nights and helped out at church whenever they needed it. Also, my job was to defend this nation with my life against all enemies foreign and domestic and that too, in my mind, provided a service back to people of this great nation. How could He ask more of me? How could He provide for me better than I have provided for myself? I had too much to lose.
I was brought face to face with our living God and I had to answer the haunting question posed by the Christian apologist Dr. Del Tackett, “Do I really believe, what I believe, is really true?” If the answer was, “Yes,” than I had to trust in God, His promises, and His will for my life. If the answer was anything but yes, I shuddered to think of the consequences of my decision. Someday, we will all have to face God and give an accounting for our lives and I would hate to have to admit to the Creator and Sustainer of my life that I didn’t really trust fully in Him and His promises.
During this four month struggle from January through April 2006, I did not share with my wife Dana my spiritual dilemma. I thought if my decision was to take our family “off-track” then I needed her to come to this decision through God influencing her and not me. I also immaturely thought, “If this radical departure from the norm goes to “hell in a hand basket,” then I wanted Dana to blame God, and not me.”
One evening in April of 2006, we were in the car in front of our house when Dana unexpectedly said to me, “I think God is calling us to do missionary work.” My jaw dropped open. I stopped the car, turned and looked at her with my head shaking side to side and said, “He (God) got to you, didn’t he?”
A few days later I submitted to God’s calling and asked Him to do three things for me. One, give me a purpose and direction. Two, show me how I’ll take care of my family, and three, have me leave my current career honorably. God has more than abundantly fulfilled my requests and we are excited to get on with His purpose for our lives knowing He will take care of us and provide for us as we venture out in this new direction.
Please review our website, which is the start of sharing in more detail the vision God has set for our lives and the churches, family and friends who God has called to partner with us as we ALL strive to complete His will. Jesus said, “For I come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:38-40.