I was born and raised in a Godly, Christian, home. During my younger years, my father was a very active layman in our church. I saw him serving the Lord with gladness, and our family always enjoyed the ministries and activities of our church.
When I was five years old, an evangelist came to our church and preached a message on sin, death, and hell. I realized that my sin separated me from God, and I knew that if I did not get saved, I would be separated from God for all of eternity. Later that night, I called my father, and he came into my room and showed me how I could be saved. I bowed my head and accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation.
Nine years later, my father was led of the Lord to enter full-time ministry as a missionary at Bearing Precious Seed in El Paso, Texas, a ministry of First Baptist Church of Milford, Ohio. A young teenager at this time, I was now surrounded by missionaries and living in the ministry. I carefully watched how the other missionaries lived, talked, and behaved, and it didn’t take me long to realize that there is nothing better I could do with my life than serve the Lord. One night, as I sat listening to one of many messages by Bro. Carlos Demarest, I heard him quote 1 Corinthians 15:34 “Awake to righteousness, and sin not, for some have not the knowledge of God, I speak this to your shame.” At the end of that service, I went forward to the altar and told the Lord I would go anywhere, and do anything He wanted me to do.
Since then, I have worked on the BPS missions trips throughout my teen years, gone to Bible college, married, and worked three more years full time at BPS before moving my family to Milford, Ohio for five years of further training and ministry opportunity. The Lord has directed my steps all along and HE is worthy of all the praise and glory!
I also was raised in a Christian home. As a little girl, whenever I would do wrong and need discipline, my dad would tell me the story of Adam & Eve, their sin, and how their sin separated them from God. He explained that it was my sin nature keeping me from obeying God and doing right. I knew that I was a sinner, and I knew that sin would keep me from meeting Jesus when I died. I still vividly remember a dream I had as a child of being in Heaven and sitting on Jesus’ lap. When I woke up I wished that it had been true, but I knew that sinners could never do that.
One night, when my dad came to tuck me in and pray with me, I asked him how to be a Christian. At the age of 6, I asked Jesus to save me and I remember crying as I prayed and not even really knowing why, just knowing that I was so happy to be saved.
Soon after that, a well-meaning Sunday School teacher told me that “if I really meant it” I was really saved. For many years afterword, I struggled with the thought of “what if I hadn’t really meant it enough” and “what if I did it wrong”. When I was 16, at youth camp, I decided I needed to “get saved” again “just in case!” However, I still struggled. “What if I still had done it wrong?” “Did I get saved at age 6, or 16?”
It wasn’t until I developed a close relationship with the Lord, reading my Bible on a regular basis, and desiring to please Him instead of myself, that I finally had peace about my salvation. Romans 10:13 says “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I know that I did that at the age of 6, with the faith of a child, and that is all that is required of salvation. The more time I spent with God, the more peace He gave me. I am so thankful!
My freshman year of Bible college, I surrendered my life to go wherever God wanted me, even the mission field IF that was what He wanted. Not long after that, a veteran missionary said from the pulpit words I will never forget. He said, “The laborers are few, not because God isn’t calling enough people, but because the called aren’t going.” He also said “God never turns down volunteers.” Those words were so convicting to me, because I realized it wasn’t enough to say “IF it’s your will, I’ll go, otherwise I’m fine right here”. It is God’s will that every Christian go, whether it be to “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, or the uttermost.” That night I volunteered to GO, and I can honestly say I have never looked back!