I picked up the pew Bible and began to read. I knew many of the stories, but I had never studied them as an adult. I realized that I needed to know what the Bible says.
At first, my involvement in church was limited to Sunday morning worship. I didn’t participate in any other way. But one day I was driving to church and started praying about my life. My business was struggling. I was single with no prospect of getting married. I poured out my dissatisfaction with God. My angry prayer continued when I reached the church. As I sat down in the pew surrounded by faithful Christians, I continued to pray. Then I heard a voice. God spoke to me and said, “It’s in the book.” I knew exactly what this meant. I picked up the pew Bible and began to read. I knew many of the stories, but I had never studied them as an adult. I realized that I needed to know what the Bible says. So, I started to go to Sunday School classes, Wednesday Bible studies, and church retreats.
After four years of teaching Bible studies, I sensed that I was ready for more. I made plans to start the ordination process of becoming a pastor.
I participated in a Bible study called the Bethel Bible Series. When it was finished I experienced a strong call to teach the Bible. I enrolled in a pastor-led teaching class. But before I could start this class my life was rocked again. I had dated a girlfriend for a couple of years and was hoping to marry her. But she broke up with me just days before the teaching class started. I didn’t think I could return to that church after the breakup. But that night a person I highly respected called and asked me to be a Deacon. I believe that call was God telling me not to leave the church. I remained there and became a Bethel Teacher and a Deacon.
After four years of teaching Bible studies, I sensed that I was ready for more. I made plans to start the ordination process of becoming a pastor. I enrolled in Fuller Theological Seminary to begin working on a Master of Divinity. I knew that I was finally doing what God wanted me to do when I met Grace and we were married.
Since my ordination as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. I have served churches in Eagle Rock, California, Pocomoke City and Ocean City, Maryland, Middletown, Delaware, and Daretown, New Jersey. My ministry has focused on three areas. I want people to engage in meaningful worship experiences every Sunday. I want people to be involved in Bible studies. And I want to encourage people to pray every day. Through these three things, I have experienced transformation in my own life. I want others to experience this as well.
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.