Our call to ReachGlobal Crisis Response
We started going to Maple Grove Evangelical Free Church in 2001 where we got involved in Bible study small groups. As we studied the Bible we knew there was something out there for us but we weren’t sure what that was. In 2005 we went on the first adult short term mission trip sent out by our church. We went to Brazil in 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2010. Jackie went to Poland with Brad in 2009 and I went to Peru in 2008. It wasn’t about the trips we took, it wasn’t about what we were doing on these trips it was about what God was doing in us through these trips. Life is not about us, it is not about how successful we can be, or how good we look to others. It is about God and His kingdom and His plan for everyone to be in that Kingdom with Him because He loves us so much He wants a relationship with each and every one of us. Without Him everything is meaningless. Everything we do in this life dies with us but everything we do for God will last for eternity.
God opened the eyes of our hearts and showed us His plan and how that will bring meaning to this life. We began to pray and ask, “God, how can we join You in Your plan.” Jackie joined the mission team at our church from 2006-2012. I got into outdoor ministries from 2007-2012. We both got involved with Timberbay working with kids at risk from 2008-2011. In 2005, as we were preparing for our second trip to Brazil, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the devastation was so great it rocked us. In 2006, our church began running week long trips down to help the people in need. Our son David was on the first trip. He came back and said Dad you need to go down there. Being in construction skilled labor was needed. David said no one is there helping but the churches. You see, they had no flood insurance, due to no fault of the home owners, they never needed it before. I wouldn’t pay for something I didn’t need either. So I went down on the next trip with David and that was my first encounter with ReachGlobal Crisis Response. We build relations with homeowners and were able to share the gospel with them. It was truly an impactful trip.
In 2010 the earthquake in Haiti hit and again we were rocked. We got a phone call from ReachGlobal Crisis Response director, Mark Lewis, asking me if I could go down and help set up a house for volunteers to stay in, as they were going to respond to this crisis. I went down three weeks after the earthquake to help. I spent 3 1/2 weeks in Haiti and in that time God was speaking to me and showing me the vision of ReachGlobal Crisis Response. God shared with me how I could be useful in His plan through this ministry with my skills in construction that would impact far more people than what I had been doing. I didn’t really want to hear that and as many of us do when God speaks to us, I hid from it. But we cannot hide from God.
In 2011 I returned to Haiti with Jackie on a short term trip with some people from our church. We built 11 Samaritan Purse homes that week. We built relationships with homeowners and shared the hope we have in Jesus with them. Crisis Response is about building their spiritual lives along with building their homes. One evening after a hard days work I was sitting out on the porch relaxing when Jackie came out and sat next to me. Jackie said “This is what we are supposed to be doing isn’t it”. I asked “What Haiti”? Jackie said “No Crisis Response” God just pulled it out again for me but this time it was confirmation for me that my wife was called too. I said ” Yes it is”. This is how our journey began and God continues to confirm our calling and isblessing us for being obedient to Him.
Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard a voice of the Lord saying,”Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said,”Here am I. Send me!”
Psalms 82:3-5 Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. The ‘gods’ know nothing, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.