Cinda and I were married 39 years ago in Anaheim, California. We lived in Orange County and had great careers. We’d tried three times to go to the foreign mission field, but God stopped us each time. Life went on.
Time to Go
Then one day God convinced us it was time to go. I taught Sunday School and led Bible Studies my entire adult life, but I’d never really felt the call to full-time ministry. Then God began to build a desire in my heart to go beyond teaching—to minister to people in greater ways than just mid-week and Sundays.
God provided opportunities to care for people. Some were mentally ill, others struggled with substance abuse, endured troubled marriages, or faced spiritually confusion. Each time a new experience came into our lives, Cinda and I asked, “Why does the Lord want us to know how to deal with this?” As these experiences increased in frequency and intensity, we increasingly felt God’s call on our lives to step out on faith.
A former pastor and his wife confirmed this calling; he suggested I would be a good fit for rural ministry. I did some research (I Googled it) and found Village Missions. After the application process and initial interview, we attended Candidate School in Dallas, Oregon. There, God confirmed our call once again.
Then came the time to raise support. We asked our home church and they raised 100% of our base support. Within two months of getting home we received a call to go to Endicott, Washington. Endicott is the definitive Village Mission field in the middle of wheat fields, with a population of 290 people.
Finding Joy in Ministry
As we packed our home of 23 years and said goodbye to our family and friends, we received enough cash support to pay for all of our moving expenses. When we arrived in Endicott, the church rejoiced and we realized that our new family was actually an expansion of our old family. We found opportunity to bring the two families together. Our dear friends from Southern California are now dearly loved in Endicott, Washington.
So, why tell you all this? Maybe you are feeling this same tug in your heart. You’ve been faithfully serving the Lord all these years and wanted nothing more. But God has begun pulling on your heart and others are saying that maybe you should consider full-time ministry. My friend, pray—pray hard. This is not an easy life. It is filled with heartache and joy. This will be hard on your wife also as both become deeply connected to the people you serve. But there is also great joy in serving God.