When I was 5 years old, I sat my little sisters down in the basement and told them about the love of God for them and that they needed to believe that Jesus was the Son of God who died for them so that they could go to heaven. I told them that they needed to be friends with Jesus starting right then. So, they did. With a successful first missionary experience (that I honestly don’t really remember), I began a life long mission to help others know and grow in faith and friendship with Jesus Christ.
We often had missionaries in our home for dinner when I was very young. I enjoyed hearing stories of where they lived and what they did. I don’t recall any details, but this small thing was something that stuck with me. I would imagine myself traveling around the world and doing all kinds of missionary things… whatever that was. In my mind, missionaries simply flew on planes and then lived in really beautiful, but far away, parts of the world. They didn’t really do much aside from reading or maybe teaching and, of course, they went to church and sang. It seemed the ideal life for me.
One of the church activities that my sisters and I were involved in was Awana. I loved earning my badges by memorizing verses from the Bible. I was really good at it and got lots of candy and had my vest filled up. I still know many of those verses today.
There are some memories from my childhood that I believe have shaped who I am today. I remember people praying at church and so many times hearing amazing answers to those prayers, as people would report back and praise God for the way he worked. Most of all, I remember the ways that my mother trusted God. There were many times when she did not have enough money to cover expenses, but we were always cared for. I know how one day, someone at church stuck a large bill into her coat pocket just when it was most needed. I’ve heard about how for Christmas, my mother didn’t have extra money to but gifts, but miraculously a huge bag of gifts perfect for 3 little girls was left on our porch. There were several families who lovingly came alongside us and cared for us, cut our hair, encouraged and equipped my mother and her girls. And, of course, there’s the story of my favorite blue station wagon. It was beyond it’s last leg, but still barely running. My mom knew the end was near and took it to the car shop to trade it in for a new (to us) vehicle. That little blue car made it all the way into the car lot and broke down in the driveway. God answered prayers and showed himself in mighty ways in my childhood and my mom made sure that my sisters and I saw God’s hand in our lives, protecting and loving us.
This is a big part of who I am and how I started on the journey toward God and His way, no matter what or where.