Many of you know me and others may not. Welcome to my blog! I will be sharing several different things. One is God’s calling and how I became a missionary. The second is what God is teaching me through His Word and daily life events circumstances while serving in El Salvador. I am in my eleventh year in El Salvador and God continues to teach me through His word and daily life experiences. I hope that you will take this journey with me!
First, I want to share a little about myself. My parents did not know about God’s love for them or about salvation until after they were married. Upon receiving Christ as her Savior, my mother started reading the Bible to us from the time we were toddlers. My parents invited traveling missionaries into our home. At the age of five I knew that I had broken God’s law and was a sinner. I had been in fights, lied, sassed my parents, and fought with my siblings. Yes, I was a sinner. Every summer my mother would take us to a Vacation Bible School (VBS) in a small country church where Mr. & Mrs. Knobblocks, elderly missionaries came to teach the VBS. I was among the youngest of the children that attended. It was so much fun. We heard Bible lessons, missionary stories, made crafts, sang songs and learned the books of the Bible and verses. During the summer I was five and the last day of VBS, I made the decision to ask God to forgive my sins and accepted Christ as my Savior. It was a decision I understood clearly.
Throughout my life I shared the Gospel during school via book reports, class presentations and one on one student and teacher conversations, (this was when we were allowed freedom of speech). During college years and in the workplace when the opportunity was available for me, I would pray with my patients. However, I never saw myself as a missionary or as being called as a missionary to serve God full-time on a foreign mission field. In fact, it was my older sister and younger brother that both graduated from Bible colleges, while I focused on my nursing career.
Fast forward many years…I was laid off three times being at the top of the pay scale. Each time there was a nursing “surplus” (might I add, always followed by a critical shortage of nurses) I was always among those who received the pink slip.
It was during this time that God spoke to my heart about missions. I had prayed regularly for a family in Africa which pulled at my heart strings – to go to Africa and serve in a medical capacity. When I was nearly 47 years old, I went on my first mission trip with my church in 2003. We went to El Salvador and held medical clinics and VBS. It was like nothing else I had experienced in my life. The church we worked with was in a very poor community. Many did not have jobs. Many washed their clothes in the evening so they could wear the same clothes the next day. Many ate rice or beans, but could not afford to have both at the same meal. And yet they had a joy that I did not have. While I was truly grateful to God for my salvation, at the same time, I was always shopping…a true shop-aholic. Why was it that many were happy with so little and I always felt I needed more?
One day I was searching my heart and praying to God…then it came to me…Christ was my Savior, but He was not the LORD of my life. I was not totally surrendered. What would this mean? How would it change me and my desires?
Approximately four months after my first trip to El Salvador, I returned solo to teach a layman’s first-aid and health care provider course to start parish “health care” in the church. God confirmed to me on that trip that He was calling me to El Salvador full – time. But it would take preparation. I took basic Spanish, completed an internship and formal Bible education and PAID OFF all my debt!
During the time that I was preparing to be a missionary, finding a mission board that was sending missionaries to the country of El Salvador for medical missions was impossible. In February 2006, after praying with my brother, we sat at his kitchen table and drew up plans for the mission. The next day I met with an attorney and we applied for a 501 3 C for God was and is so good!
Five years later in November of 2008, I sold most of my things, and set out for El Salvador having raised only 26% of my monthly support. I had moved to a beautiful country with a completely different culture that was not without dangers. One of the first things I learned during my first year was that when I obeyed God’s calling, He would always be with me, sustain me, guide me and provide for me. He would comfort me during lonely days. Though I would fail at things, He would never fail me! My next entry will be how He is an ever sustaining God! I look forward to sharing this journey with you.