The first and most important reason for making this decision is, that I am more sure than I have ever been before, in any past decision, that this is the will of God for my life.
Over the past 2 or 3 years, God has been bringing people, books, resources and experiences into my life that, as I see it now, were leading me to this point. Even before I had any idea that I would ever leave my Church and go back into mission work, God was bringing me to a place of total surrender to Himself...Again. Some time ago, I laid myself out before Him and as best I could, I gave everything to Him. I know. All I have is His anyway. However, at that point, I took my hands off! What ever time is left to me on earth, I want to maximize it for His glory.
Not long after that, my son, Steve, went to teach a class on the History of Missions at The Center for Pioneer Church Planting in Los Fresnos , Tx. He told me about the school, the students and To Every Tribe Ministries focus on unreached people groups. He also brought me a book entitled "Reckless Abandon" written by David Sitton, the founder of To Every Tribe Ministries. That book was the 'final straw', as they say.
After reading of David's willingness to suffer anything...even death, to bring the gospel to un-reached people, I began to wonder how I could have lived for so long in such a half-hearted Christianity while millions are going off into eternity without ever having heard the Gospel. As I took a closer look at the vision and passion of To Every Tribe,I felt as if I HAD to be involved in this great ministry. I didn't know how, but I had to do something.
I told Steve how I felt and I said something like: "I would be willing to go to Los Fresnos, get a job and clean their rest rooms in my spare time, just to be a part of that work." (I probably should have kept that part to myself. They're liable to actually make me do it.)
To shorten the story a bit, Steve emailed (without my knowlege)David Sitton (President) and Ron Sanford (Executive Director)telling them of my desire. They said they were interested and to have me contact them. I did and a time was set for Jan and me to go to Los Fresnos and visit the mission. What I saw and experienced there far exceeded my expectations!
Surprisingly, even after meeting us, they still had mercy and invited me to join the staff of the Center for Pioneer Church Planting. I can't tell you how humbled and at the same time, over-joyed I am. Looking back, I believe my whole Christian experience has been preparing me...Leading me to this point.
I'll take a break for now, but in Part2, I'll tell you more about To Every Tribe and why I am so excited about what they (we) are doing.