|The night God called me into missions|
|In Arequipa with Mt. Misty (an active volcano) behind me|
When Tim was sixteen, he went to Europe on a missions trip where God claimed his heart and piqued his interest in missions. When he was a senior in high school, God called him into vocational ministry and led him to be a Bible Major at CCC.
We met in college in 1999 where God led us to be active in a Student Missionary Fellowship and continued to solidify His call in our lives. We attended a Global Missions Interface Conference in Detroit, MI where God solidified the call into missions for Tim. In 2001, we served together on a missions team to Togo and Ghana, West Africa for a month.
|Tim & me in Togo, West Africa|
On June 8, 2002, God united us in marriage, and we continued the training needed to prepare us for missionary service. I decided that since I was married, being a doctor would be too demanding on my roles as a wife and a mother if God chose to bless us with children, so I became a Certified Nursing Assistant for the time being with the plan to become a Physician Assistant (PA) once Tim finished his last year of college. Working in the maternity ward of a hospital gave me the baby bug, and I felt that God was closing the door for me to become a PA. I figured I could eventually become a nurse to be able to still serve medically on the mission field.
Tim finished his last year of college after we were married, and we moved up to Pennsylvania in order for Tim to get a seminary degree with the intention of leaving for the mission field once his training was done. However, God had other plans for us.
We have learned through the years that God's timing is not our timing, and that God works in mysterious ways to fulfill His will. Our paths have taken many twists and turns totally thwarting our plans but fulfilling God's plans for our lives. God blessed us with Joshua Caleb in 2004 and unexpectedly with David Isaiah in 2006. Because our pregnancy with David was not planned, Tim had to drop out of seminary and change jobs, and we had to move in order to afford another child. David has had many health challenges throughout his life and continues to struggle with an immune deficiency that affects his ability to fight off certain bacterial infections and requires him to have weekly antibody transfusions. In 2009, Joshua was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (High functioning Autism), and in 2012, his diagnosis was changed to Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) (Moderately-functioning Autism) as a result of his concurrent diagnosis of Bi-polar, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and ADHD. Needless to say, with these challenges in front of us, serving God in foreign missions was looking less possible, and we began growing uncertain of God's call and direction for our lives.
Amidst the struggles with our boys, expiring credits from my pre-med degree forced me back into school in order to lock in my credits to be able to get my nursing degree. It was a long, difficult road with major sacrifices on my family's part, but God brought me through, and I graduated in December of 2010 and passed the boards obtaining my RN license January 5, 2011.
In November 2010, we attended Mission To the World's (MTW) missions conference where we met with key people to discuss God's call for our lives and what obstacles were present. God used this time in amazing ways in our hearts. God used the conference to challenge us about the desperate need for people to hear the Gospel around the world and strengthened our faith in His sovereign control. We may have been surprised by life's events, but God was not. God called us into missions knowing the challenges He would bring into our lives and that He would equip us with the tools needed to serve Him despite the hardships. God gave us the hardships to allow us to minister in ways that would have been impossible without those difficulties. It seemed like God was opening the door for us to pursue full-time missions once again and we pursued serving in Bulgaria as a result of God's leading. We started the application process to become missionaries through MTW and went to Bulgaria to visit the field and see if it would work for our family. We had a wonderful trip and really wanted to pursue serving there, but almost as soon as we returned home, David's health took a turn for the worse, and Joshua started having considerable struggles with his Autism and mental health issues. The door that had seemed wide open seemed to slam in our faces leaving us stunned and unsure.
We continue to watch for open doors, but so far, foreign missions has remained closed except for a few short term trips Tim and I have been able to take. However, God has showed us that He can use us as missionaries right here in Pottstown where circumstances are keeping us. Through the battles with David's health and interactions with those in the Autism world, we have had plenty of chances to share the Gospel. Until God opens the door for us to serve Him full-time overseas, we are seeking to be shining lights where God has placed us right now.