How we were called to Moldova.
For a while now, my wife and I have felt a strong connection to the heart of missions, that is, to take the gospel to people who have not heard. Several years ago, I began leading mission trips to Mexico through the church I've pastored at, and felt God speak to me that one day we'd play a bigger role than short-term trips.
On May 21st, 2017, God spoke clearly to me. I was leading worship that Sunday morning and felt God speak two things directly to me. First, was that "now" was the time to pursue missions work. The second and unexpected was a sense of "release" from our church home. After church, I went home and shared this with my wife. We both cried and prayed, asking God what our next step would be. I was about to leave for a few days of meetings along with my lead pastor, so my wife and I agreed to pray and listen for God's voice without looking on a map or searching for opportunities.
After the first day of meetings at district council, I shared with my pastor what God had spoke to me. That night, as I went to bed, I kept seeing three distinct colors; blue, yellow, and red. (It's worth noting that things like this don't happen to me usually, even after 14 years of full-time ministry.) I woke up and tried to search online to find anything about these colors. (Turns out you can't really google colors...) Finding nothing, I went back to bed. Then, at 4am, I woke up. My own voice woke me up. I said one word - a word I had never heard before: Moldova. Honestly, I thought I made up a word. I grabbed my phone and did a quick search for "Moldova." The first thing that showed up was the country's flag.
In that moment, I knew that God was speaking to me. Later that day, I found out there were missionaries currently at our district council that were serving in Moldova. I spoke with them and shared my (very fresh) story. They put me in contact with the right people, and we began the application process.
During this whole process, we had prayed that God would speak to our oldest child, Lilian (age 10). Her being older and more connected to friends than our other two children, we began praying that God would also call her into a life of missions. The following month at Kids Camp, God did exactly that. I was counseling my son at the younger camp, so I didn't get to see Lilian much. On the last day of camp, Lilian came up to me and said, "Daddy, God called me to be a missionary!" And not only that, but she had told the District Youth Director and he called her up on stage to tell the rest of the kids! God was moving even in my 10 year old daughter!
God continued to open doors for us and confirm our calling, and just 2 months later, we found ourselves in Moldova! We had been given the opportunity to go on a "vision trip" to meet the other area missionaries and the ministries that were happening in Moldova. It was clearer than anything I had experienced. God was calling us here. To be honest, this call feels stronger than our original call into ministry. I know it in my bones that the next chapter of our life is to be spent as missionaries - and to be quite honest, I don't sense an expiration date on this call.
My family is so thankful and at peace about being in God's hands. Our future rests in Him. We will continue to abide in Him, wait on Him, and go where He says to go.