After wrestling with God until about 2 am, at age 18, I finally made my commitment to completely surrender my life to Him and gave Him total control. My focus changed from preparing to make money to preparing for the mission field.
As I began my studies in aviation, I received a letter from my childhood friend Becky which reopened our relationship. Soon she joined me in studying aviation. We decided to switch our majors from Theology and Medical Technology to Nursing so we could study together. A year before our graduation we were married. On graduation we flew to Peru to join my parents in the mission field for a period of time. Realizing how a pilot was dependent on maintenance for the plane, we returned to the US where I completed aviation maintenance studies.
During this time, we were poor as church mice. We lived in a small teardrop trailer and paid $11 dollars a month for electricity. Our spare cash each month for optional items was only $5 dollars. But God provided and we survived, eventually getting some work as a Flight Instructor and a couple of days as a Registered Nurse each week. My reputation as a pilot grew and I developed friendships with businessmen.
After I graduated as a mechanic and prepared to return to the mission field, I was suddenly offered a very lucrative pilot job and asked to join a businessman as a partner in his business. At the same time I had already started my own business. After years of living with barely enough I was offered three concurrent sources of income. I was severely tempted UNTIL I SUDDENLY REALIZED that it only a distraction to keep me from going into mission work. I turned all offers down and placed my focus on God’s work on the front lines. I have never regretted that decision!
Now, having developed projects in 96 countries, I have seen this scenario repeated many times in the lives of other missionaries.
- God calls a person to the front lines and gives confirmation of the calling. There is joy and confidence in moving forward. Then comes the attack from the enemy.
- As the missionary prepares for launching, attractive alternatives are offered. These might be secular or even denominational employment opportunities. They are designed to derail the plans for overseas service. For some persons apparently insurmountable difficulties suddenly appear. In all cases, we are tempted to doubt and indecision.
- A decision must be made—move forward or pursue an alternative. Might I suggest that the right decision is always in following your Divine Leader? That is where success and joy are to be found. Surrender your own will in these matters, focus on your calling and ignore alternatives. Be willing to change direction only if there is clear confirmation that God is directing. Let not finances, comfort, difficulties or doubt lead you to an alternate choice. Follow the Lamb.
Our future safety, joy and fulfillment—and salvation—are only to be found on this path we are led. Keep your eyes on Jesus and continue following regardless of where He takes you. It is the best path.
From the Frontlines,