In October of 2009, Aaron and I sat through one of the many Missions Conferences that we have taking part in since we were young. We did not know what kind of impact this particular conference would have on us.
Sam and Carita Masters were on the platform of High Street Baptist Church, presenting their field of Argentina. We heard their heart and their passion for the people of Argentina. The showed us a video of teen children, and the struggles they are facing: drugs (side note: it is legal to have drugs in your possession as long as it is not a lot, in which the police can accuse you for selling and you could be arrested), alcohol, no godly influence, or any parental influence at all, in the home, peer pressure, you name it, they deal with it. God really pricked our hearts for these teens. As many of you may or may not know, Aaron grew up in an alcoholic and abusive (both verbal and physical) home. His father died of alcohol poisoning, which deteriorated his liver. We believe that God is going to use that experience to bring Him glory, by allowing us to be able to share that experience with the people of Argentina.
When Aaron and I were members of Cherry Street Baptist Church, we had the opportunity to work with the children ages kindergarten through fifth grade every Friday night during the Reformers Unanimous (RU) program, which is a faith-based addictions program. We got to witness children who are living with problems of their own because they have to deal with the effects that these addictions have on their parents', and the grief that it causes them as well.
After hearing Sam and Carita's story, we thought that we could take the RU program to the field of Argentina, which neither one of us knew the other one was thinking. After we got home from this service, I noticed that Aaron was unusually quiet. As we walked into our bedroom, Aaron pulled me into the closet, which is rather large and seems to be the place we do a lot of talking (any of you with children know what I mean). He looked at me and said, "I'm scared." I said to him, "God is calling you to the mission field, isn't he." He said, "YES! How did you know," to which I replied, "God is calling me, too." As we stood there holding each other and with tears rolling down our cheeks, we knew this was not a coincidence, there are no coincidences with God, everything happens for a reason. With excitement, fear, and every emotion you can imagine, we decided it was time to talk to the kids. As we all sat together on our bed, we wanted to get a feel of what the kids were thinking about through all the events that we all had been a part of throughout the Missions Conference, so we didn't come out and say what we had decided. We asked them what they felt about the conference and if God had spoken to them in anything they had heard. They both said how they enjoyed the conference, but that there wasn't any certain feeling they had. Then we told them that we felt God was calling us to Argentina, and we wanted to know what they thought about it. They were both very excited about it, and then Trey said something that I will never forget. He said, "God told me to prepare for missions." God not only works in the lives of his adult children, but also in the lives of young children.
Before we publicly made our decision to our church, we had a chance to talk with Sam Masters. We told him that we felt that God was calling us to Argentina, but we weren't sure of the next steps to take. He asked us a little about ourselves and our family, and if we had anything that we felt could be useful in Argentina. We told him about the RU program, and that we felt God wanted to use it in some way. With excitement in his voice, he told us that The program would definitely be beneficial in Argentina. We felt that this was another way of God affirming our decision. We also made an appointment with our Pastor. After our talk with him, God reaffirmed once again that this was His will for our lives. Our Pastor told us that when we decided to go before the church, he was going to hand the microphone over to Aaron and have him speak. For those of you who know Aaron, public speaking is not his forte. In fact, any time he had to speak in front of the class at school, he chose to get a "zero" on his assignment, than to speak.
The time had come. It was Sunday morning and we had decided this was the day to make it public. As we sat in the service waiting for the end of Pastor Eddie's message, Aaron sat in his seat with chest pain and shaking uncontrollably, which is what he does when he is nervous. I looked over at him and said, "If this is going to kill you, (literally) you don't have to do it." His reply was, "Yes I do." So, at the invitation we went forward and prayed together as a family, and then Pastor Eddie said that we had come forward and had an announcement to make. With trembling and tears, Aaron said that we were surrendering for full-time service as missionaries to the country of Argentina. Cheers and applause rang throughout the auditorium. It was the most exciting, most scariest thing we have ever done, but the most rewarding thing we have ever done. We can see God's hand in every step that we have taken.
The next step in this journey is Aaron attending Baptist Bible College. He begins March 16th taking one evening class, and then he will be attending full-time in August. In order to get a full pell grant, we had to wait until August for him to start full-time instead of starting full-time in January.
We are very excited about what God is doing in our lives, and we would covet your prayers as we continue to seek God's continued direction.