I first gave my life to Jesus in high school, but I didn’t grow up in the church so most of what I’ve learned about Jesus has been experiential . . . hearing God speak and seeing what He is like through reading the Bible and hearing Him speak to my head and heart through brothers and sisters in the Lord and directly to me.
Since returning to fellowship with other Christians in 2001, I have wanted to know God. Sometimes, I get sidetracked in religion . . . the effort to build the church through more reading, praying, acts of service or evangelism without actually submitting to God and His ways. But in His mercy, He always calls me and all His sheep back to Himself’ often through others of His sheep.
The ministry God has made my focus is to go alongside those who don’t know they belong to God and His body. From 2010 to 2017, that meant being overseas encouraging weary workers who also wanted to share the Good News. And living alongside these people, giving them an answer for the hope, good humor and love they experienced in our companionship with Jesus.
When the Lord called me back to Southern California to be involved in Missionary care at my “home” church, I presumed I should be fully engaged with that part of God’s body, which has thousands of members and supports dozens of missionaries and local ministries. But God kept directing me to a tiny church that I would often visit when I was in town on sabbatical leave.
Letting go of the ease of this organized and productive part of the body and the significant role of missionary care was not easy and I dragged my feet in obeying until November, 2019. The Pastor describes this tiny church as “struggling in almost every way.” But I have found that obedience brings a lightness and energy to our step and God is encouraging me in His love and empowering presence for our journey of faith together. This must be what Jesus meant when He said His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
My ministry involves serving through this local congregation in Southern California as I encourage other Harvest workers and continue to tend to young believers overseas through the power of Christ in me and in His church.