I was adopted at birth into a loving family and grew up as an only child in a small town with a small school. My father was a hunter and a fisherman; so I spent a lot of time outdoors fishing and hiking. I was a Boy Scout and played war with my friends. My parents were not regular church goers, but they taught me honesty, respect, and responsibility, while allowing me a sense of independence.
I attended Sunday school and later, Methodist Youth Fellowship, mostly for the socialization. I went through confirmation classes and earned my Boy Scout God and Country award, but did not really see a role for God in my life.
I maintained my apathy towards God through college and for the first 12 years of my marriage. I went to church with my wife, Carolyn, and enjoyed Rev. Peterson’s sermons, but still did not see a role for Jesus in my life.
In May of 1982 Carolyn and I went on a Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend. Here was where God opened my eyes and heart to his role in my marriage and life. The presenters’ shared stories about how their relationships with their spouses were similar to Jesus’s relationship to the church. I realized that my relationship with my wife, Carolyn, was one of unconditional, all accepting love.
That weekend changed my relationship with Christ. The first of many doors was opened for me.
I first saw this when my school principal asked me to work extra days in the summer in return for days off during the school year. God used the principal to give me the time off I needed, so that Carolyn and I could prepare to become Presbyterian Marriage Encounter (PME) presenters. After that experience my world changed.
As a presenter on PME weekends, God gave me the courage to share my personal thoughts and feelings with other people. Then He stepped in and set things up for my wife and me to present the first PME Weekend in Kenya. Over the course of several other visits, we were able to help the PME presenters in Kenya become self-sufficient.
God blessed me with the ability to listen and understand when others shared their experiences about how God’s words through our voices can change lives, both in the United States and in Kenya.
I was apathetic to God until I experienced how He was playing a role in my life – even when I didn’t realize it. Since then I have experienced the joy of living the way God wants me to. He has blessed my marriage, my family, and led me to find my birth family. He showed me the power of prayer when my newly found brother overcame two life threatening illnesses in less than 18 months.
More Faith Stories
We built the first church with great difficulty. We went back to the States and the board asked us to become mission staff with the Outreach Foundation. That was 25 years ago, just about, and we’ve gotten more involved with Kenya as days and years went on.
I am a chef by profession. I’m happy because I do what I love. Now I work at Villadise Tours and Safaris, where I meet so many different people coming from far. Being helpful is just a blessing to other people.
Then God started tugging on my heart. There was a church sermon series that was about taking your God-given dream off the shelf. I was like, “I don’t know what my dream is. God, if you have a dream for me you’re going to have to tell me what it is.”
We attended church but maintained a passive religious life. Our family had been going to church and proclaiming, “Jesus is our Savior and Lord,” with our mouths only. It seemed that my heart was gradually drifting away from God.
So, I just put my faith in Jesus. I trust him and it is my prayer that my children and the entire community will know Jesus because of my faith. Our salvation should not be only our own. We should encourage other people.
I’m no longer worried because I have come to learn that God’s timing is the best. You cannot hurry God. These days, all I do is wait, no matter what, I just wait. I know my time will come and that time is God’s time. So, I keep on waiting for God to do for me wonders.