As a young boy, my interest in missions was sparked when I heard about my dad’s first missions trip to the Philippines. Not long after, I was fascinated by any missionary stories in Sunday school and intrigued to meet new missionaries whenever they stopped by our church for a service or mission’s conference. When I was eleven years old, during a weekday service of our missions conference, I remember walking down the aisle and surrendering my life for missions. I was not sure where God would use me as a young, shy boy, but I knew God placed that burden in my heart. It is something I hold dear to my heart to this day.
My first trip to the Philippines was during the summer of 2012. I loved every second of that trip. When the time came to leave, it was very hard to leave. The way I saw people gladly and lovingly serving the Lord in a different culture and country was inspiring. This missions trip grew the burden in my heart for the mission field, though my call to missions did not come until later in my life.
During my teen years, I realized I had not been living like I should even though I was in a Christian home. God began to work on my heart. I thought I accepted Christ when I was young, but I never really remembered my salvation experience. I knew I had to get it settled. I struggled with my salvation all summer long. Finally, on July 30, 2013, I settled it and on that last night of teen summer camp, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior.
My call for missions came during the summer of 2015. I was on a second missions trip to the Philippines with a large group of our church teens. I was asked to preach in a village church on Sunday, July 12, 2015. God was working on my heart the whole day. I was still undecided about what to do with my life. God put a burden in my heart for missions, and though I had surrendered, I wasn’t sure that was what He wanted me to do. On that Sunday night, I surrendered to preach and answered God’s call to missions.
That fall after my call, I attended Bible college. During my freshman year, I met my wife, Marissa. We dated during college and got married in the summer of 2019. We are excited that we are expecting our first child due in May of 2021. We’ve worked on staff and interning at Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk, MD for the past two year.
God is calling us back to the Philippines to work with Missionary Douglas Marco Jr. and the ministry there in Talisay, PI. [Click Here to See Ministry]. It is a thriving work and needs more workers in its ministries.
Growing up, my first memories were of living and working on the mission field. God had called my parents to South Africa. Looking back, I realize just how much God was teaching me and allowing me to be a part of such an amazing foreign mission field from the age of five. I enjoyed the sights and excitement of living on the mission field. During one of our furlow trips to the states, my family was invited to a teen camp as the guest missionary family. That week, my uncle was preaching, and God began to work in my heart about salvation. I got my parents during the invitation and bowed my head and asked the Lord to save me at the age of six. My parents did a wonderful job teaching me and my siblings at a young age how to minister to others by passing out tracts and being a testimony to others. They also set an example for me with their relationship with God.
A few months before my tenth birthday, God called my dad to Taylors, SC to pastor. During that time, I was able to attend Pleasant View Christian Academy. I was very involved in the very first bus ministry out of that church and loved working with the children each Sunday. I believe God was slowly molding me and shaping my life for His future will for my life.
The summer before my senior year, God moved my family. My dad took Calvary Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD. During my senior year, I really struggled with bitterness towards God. I had my future "planned out." And God had "messed" those plans up. After I graduated, Dad and I began to talk about me attending a Bible college. The next fall, I enrolled in Bible college. During that time, God really worked in my heart to heal the bitterness that had built up in my heart. I spent three years there training, studying, and working in various ministries. I also met my husband, Nathan. He told me early on in our relationship that he was called to be a missionary to the Philippines. I was thrilled with the prospect of being a missionary's wife. (Not because I am anything on my own, but I had watched the example of my mom in South Africa. I have always admired her love for that country and for the people at the church.) Nate and I were able to work in Bible clubs together for two of those college years. Later, I took a trip to the Philippines in April 2018 and loved it so much! I cannot wait to go back. God put a vision in my heart during that time that had not been there before. That next summer of 2019, Nathan and I got married.
After we were married, I worked as a high school teacher in Calvary Baptist School during the 2019/2020 school year. Currently, Nathan and I have the opportunity to be in ministry here at Calvary Baptist Church. I have the privilege of working alongside my husband as he teaches the single's Sunday school class. Now, my life is about to change for the better with a little baby on the way! God has blessed me greatly! I look forward to serving Him in PI for years to come if that is His will for me and my family.