Who We Are
When my wife and I left for Brazil in 2008 we had no idea the journey that God would place us on. We were assistant youth leaders for the youth group at our home church and making another of several short term mission trips in our lives. At this point we had been married for almost a year and were active members of our church, in both youth, as well as the choir. We were beginning to lay the foundations of our American life - saving for a home and car, making plans for children, investing in our jobs, etc. As youth and college students my wife and I had been on several missions trips, from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, MI, to the poverty and orphanages of Jamaica.
However, Brazil touched us in a different way. On this trip my wife and I were directly staying with, and working with missionaries. We began to see their day to day lives. We saw that they were not this strange breed of super-Christians living in tents and battling snakes and spiders. They were regular people, faithfully serving the Lord in a foreign location. When we returned to North Carolina the Lord began to speak in our hearts, in summary saying, "Are you willing to give all?" A message we had heard often, but when it was spoken by a visiting pastor to our Church, the words touched our hearts in a new way, and my wife broke down in tears.
Would we be willing? Would we give up all? My wife and I began to discuss the topic as missions week began for our Church. Myself an educator and she an accountant, how could the Lord use us? One of the missions families visiting, that our church supported, was the Clodgo family. Tammy Clodgo was my wife's third grade teacher, and upon meeting them we could not help but mention how the Lord had been opening us to foreign missions. Glenn and Tammy informed us that in the field of Spain there was a School for missionary kids, ECA, that was desperate for teachers. One answer from God. We took a survey trip and then learned that the school also needed a Business manager. Another answer from God.
We committed to serving in Spain for two years through ABWE's short term missions program. We left our unusually stable jobs, loving families, and unfulfilled plans for a house and children, and gave it all to God. Looking back we can see what an amazing job he has done with it. There have been struggles - paper work, cultural differences, etc., but they seem so minor to the spectacular role of seeing God's hand upon a nation and people. We are involved in three main facets of ministry. Our primary ministry was serving at the school for missionary kids. We discipled, encouraged, and educated those who will most likely be our future missionaries. We also strengthened relationships with students that come from unbelieving families, and may be unbelievers themselves.
The other two facets are closely linked - our ministry in our neighborhood and our ministry in our Church. Every week my wife and I assisted with English lessons to a group of 20 young children from our neighborhood. Sharing songs and stories of Christ that many of them had never heard before. We had one-on-one English/Spanish interchanges weekly with unbelieving friends talking about life and who Christ is to us. We also did one on one tutoring of science with young students from unbelieving families, to show them how much we love and care for them. In the church we assisted every week with a small group of jovenes (youth) playing games and learning from the Bible. My wife also did cooking lessons with a group of girls that was not comfortable enough to come to the youth group. We helped with multiple outreach events including easter egg hunts, english camps, VBS, banquets, dinner and movie, and a men's breakfast.
In June of 2013, our time was up and our finances exhausted, so we had to leave. Our hearts are for the people in Spain. Though we love our families and friends dearly, we know that we will have an eternity with many of them, but not with many of the people of Spain. We are now on the path to being career missionaries. We have financial, emotional, and physical challenges ahead, but He is worth it all. How can we be petty enough to want the comforting bubble of a white picket fence, a steady income, and surrounded by those who love us when Christ poured his life out for us utterly alone on a cross?
What can you do? If the Lord is calling you to serve, your neighborhood or the nations, then go. There are many individuals who are putting their money in a country where their bodies and talents should be. If you have a peace serving where you are then we ask first for your prayers for the people of Spain. The total population of people in towns across Spain without a single evangelical church is over 660,000 people. Only 3% of Spaniards list "religion" as one of their top three values, and even though 80% claim to be Catholic only 10% of those are practicing or express traditional Catholic Views. Pray that many of these will recognize the separation caused by their sin, their need of a perfect and righteous redeemer, and the futility of their works to obtain salvation. If you are passionate about missions, especially to reach the people of Spain, and would like to partner with our ministry you can donate or sign up for monthly support at our Support website. To receive our updates, or ask questions about our ministry or supporting us, please fill out the form below.
If you would like to support the vision God has given us to serve in Spain, you can also click here
Matthew 28:18-20 says, "Then Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 'All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."