Welcome to Part Two of my series chronically My Journey toward answering God's calling to full-time ministry.
Last week I began by sharing about my first calling as a wife and mother. And a little about my family. And some rare photo's. LOL you can go here to read that post.
Today I wanted to share how our (mine Cowboy's) journey began.
Although the ministry of Auto Mission didn't begin until January 2004 God began preparing the way for us back in 2000 while we were living in Missouri. Little did we know then what he had in store for us.
When Cowboy began talking to me about an invitation he had received to go on a mission trip with our pastor neither of us had any idea how the trip would change his life.
I wish I had some photo's to share with you. Unfortunately they are all packed away. We don't have a video either but I did find one on youtube I wanted to share. It will give a little of an idea about what it is like in Ghana.
Cowboy and the group traveled 12 days before Thanksgiving that year. He describes Ghana as hot and dusty. As you can see from the video there are very few roads.
Back then believe it or not even though we did a lot of emailing here there wasn't an opportunity for email while in Ghana. So they didn't bother to take computers.
My Cowboy had gone on this trip with a group of volunteers from the Missionary Baptist Association. Most of the volunteers were doctors from Tennessee and Arkansas. My Cowboy and our pastors were the only team members that were not doctors. They were to assist the pharmacist distribute medications. And they were to share the gospel with the patients.
It was interesting the way they set everything up. Since there was a very long line they had lots of time to talk to the patients about God through a translator.
Cowboy has many stories he could share.
He actually helped deliver a baby. He happened to be walking out of the hospital one day when a taxi came speeding up. The driver jumped out grabbed Cowboys arm and drug him over to the taxi. Before Cowboy could do anything he was shoved toward the back door. He opened it to find a young woman. Who only moments later gave birth to a baby boy! A couple hours after delivery Cowboy went to the hospital to see the woman. It was humorous hearing the story because he said he almost didn't talk to her but he knew he only had a few minutes because she would be released within the hour. When he arrived at her room she was eating a fish head! Cowboy did his best to talk to her without getting sick himself! He began to talk to her about how important her job was now that she had a baby and how important it was for her to do her best for the child. He shared the plan of salvation with her and the young woman accepted Christ.
Another time they learned that two villages were expecting them to do a church service at the same time. Our pastor was the only pastor on the trip and he couldn't be in two places at the same time! So Cowboy volunteered. He preached his very first sermon in Ghana. He had no idea when he began walking to the village what he would say. He just prayed the whole way there. He asked God to go before him and prepare the people. He asked God to speak through him and he did! He spoke about heaven. He read some scripture. And he talked to the people about the streets of Gold in Heaven. This confused them. He could see that they were not understanding. And he got a little upset and worried he was afraid he was loosing them. He began to pray and he asked the translator what was wrong. The translator explained the people did not know what streets were!
We never expected how this trip would change Cowboy. We had both been on mission trips before. Both of us as teenagers had been on trips with our youth groups. And then later when we were married we went on a couple of trips to Mexico with our church. On all these trips we spent time doing VBS and singing at night.
But going to Ghana changed Cowboy. I saw a difference in him the night they returned. Which happened to be on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We were at the church having a traditional dinner. Cowboy and our pastor arrived while we were all eating. After many hours of travel and no showers you can imagine what they looked like. They were so hungry they didn't take time to go home because they didn't want to miss such a good meal!
In the weeks and months to follow Cowboy began to change. He was asked by our pastor to lead the Blackby study Experiencing God. During this time was when I first began to realize that God was being the potter he was shaping and developing Cowboy.
I remember when I realized that God was calling my Cowboy into full-time service. I remember that God spoke to me. I knew it before anyone else. And I remember the prayer that I prayed. Which was very short and simple.
Dear God I hear your voice. I accept your calling as Cowboys helper. I realize the calling you are placing on his heart. I know you have a mission field waiting for us.
And then I added . . .
Please don't let it be Alaska.