- Susanna -
When my siblings and I were young my dad would read stories of the missionaries from long ago. Hudson Taylor, John Paton, Amy Carmichael and Adoniram Judson. We would also read missionary stories in the little Christian school I went to. Interesting stories. Scary stories! I was NOT going to be a missionary. Who wanted to leave it all, taking a coffin with them? Who wanted to face cannibals, insanity, death of family members and death itself? Who wanted to raise a family surrounded by dangers of all kinds? It honestly was my greatest fear at the time.
I believe it was my fourteenth Christmas that I decided I should give God a birthday present. We were always getting the gifts. Why shouldn’t I give Him something? I asked Him what He wanted. It was clear. He wanted my heart for missions. I knew what this meant. I knew if I gave Him that He would call me to missions. I was afraid, but I did it.
Now, here I am (was) living in the Philippines with my husband and three children. There are no cannibals that I know of. I’ve come close to insanity, but that probably would have happened anyway (I’m a mom, afterall). No one has died yet, but we’re all going to someday. In fact, I live a good life here. It can be very stressful and in the human sense, there is sacrifice (though I hate that word as I look at my relationship to God. Sacrifice in light of what He’s done? No, not really). But really, I am abundantly blessed and I have a supportive loving husband, amazing (truly!) children, and friends all over the world. Not only do we get to be part of God’s great plan, but we get a front seat to see God at work around the world.
Am I glad that I gave my heart to God for missions? One hundred percent YES. Am I glad my kids get to grow up as MKs? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, but God has them in the palm of His hand. They’re going to be ok. I can trust God with them and I can trust Him with every detail of my life. Through pain and through joy, He is good.
- Mike -
When I (Mike) was 13 and in prayer one night, I saw a map of the Philippines in his mind and saw himself walk down a street with what I presumed was a Filipino-looking man, and then sensed God say to me, "I want you to go there someday." I spent three weeks in the Philippines when I was 17 and learned about church planting movements, unreached peoples, and the missions movement arising out of the Philippines. God used that experience to call me to long term work in the Philippines and to shape the vision that he was forming in my heart. I met Pioneers recruiters while studying at Moody and Wheaton and found that the values of organization resonated deeply with my person values. When, at the end of my graduate studies at Wheaton, Pioneers received calls from Filipino mission leaders asking Pioneers to send someone to set up a Pioneers sending office in their country, my wife and I saw that as confirmation that God wanted us to join Pioneers to go to the Philippines to send out Filipino missionaries.