We Absolutely Love What We Get To Do

It’s somewhat hard to describe deputation to somebody who’s never done it, but I think I finally figured out what it’s most like. It’s like having thousands of brothers and sisters out there somewhere that you’ve never met. And every week, you go meet several new ones. You never know what they’re going to be like, but you know one thing: You have the same Savior, Jesus Christ, and because of that you’re going to love each other.

That’s deputation. It’s going every single week and getting the thrill of meeting hundreds and thousands of new brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s walking into a church not knowing anybody and leaving feeling like you’ve known these people all your life. It’s making friends that will certainly be a part of your life for years to come.

It’s being a blessing and being blessed.

Pastor and Mrs. Harvey from Christian Baptist Church. They were such a blessing!
What a fun time we had with our friends at Lawsonville Road Baptist Church for their Missions Month!
This was waiting for us in our hotel room this past Sunday. It’s incredible that our brothers and sisters give of their time and money to be a blessing to us!

After her first day of deputation, Leslie said, “I love this. This is awesome!” And it really is.

The members of New Life Independent Baptist Church praying for a tent revival they’re going to have.

Sometimes God gives us beautiful sunsets.

Other times we end up at a church out in a country area, bringing us both back to our roots before heading back to the city.

And then occasionally we end up speaking Spanish, which is always fun!

We can honestly say we love what we get to do, and we never knew how much fun it would be. God is so good to allow us to enjoy the journey so much. I pray we enjoy it every step of the way.

Accepted as a Missionary to Chile

“You’re not coming back to Chile, are you?” Lori Holt asked sometime last December or so, disappointment and even sadness in her voice. I don’t know why she said this. Possibly because I was very noncommittal and I’d talked to Jason as if I were going elsewhere. Whatever her reasons, she apparently thought I wasn’t.

“I don’t know,” I said, kind of laughing. And that was the truth. I had no idea.

Early on, I really wasn’t sure. I was trying to follow the Lord’s leading and see where He wanted me to go. But somewhere around December and January, something changed. I don’t know if that was the point that my family in Chile became real to me and I felt as if I were one of them, or what it was. But I just knew. I knew there was no way I wasn’t coming back to Chile full-time.


In seeking the Lord’s guidance, I had it narrowed down to Bolivia, Paraguay, and Chile. I eventually got it down to Paraguay and Chile, but by the time I went to Paraguay, even though I went through the motions and learned much about the country, I already knew. Deep down, I just knew.

It’s kind of a crazy thing. I surrendered to preach the gospel and knew God wanted me in full-time missions in 2011, but I went all this time without really knowing where I would end up, only knowing that it would be to a Spanish-speaking nation.

I was always curious how I was supposed to pick a country. How was I supposed to know?

Would I see some video of a country that would really touch my heart?

Would I go somewhere and come away with a burden for it?

I was never sure. But now, I know. I finally know that Chile is going to be home for me. And it was nothing mystic or haphazard. It was just the gradual leading of the Lord in my life to this point until I just knew and had His peace in my heart about it.

The Holts, the Sparks, the other missionaries, Mauricio and Lorena, John and Cote, Pancho and Connie, Jorge and Cristina, Mirko and Gisella, Yajairo and Pancha, and on and on and on-These are the people I want to grow old with, to work with until we die or the Lord moves us elsewhere. This is my new family, and I can’t believe God is letting me go through life with such incredible people.


I can’t wait to get back.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go now to do some things to try return to Chile.

Or, as I can now call it…


250Project-Our God Is An Awesome God

When we put up the final Facebook post announcing 250Project’s completion, I couldn’t believe it. That massive endeavor had finally come to a close. What had been a part of my life for nine months was now suddenly over. Had it not been just yesterday that Jason sat down with me in Bolivia and showed me how to update the website and what all I needed to do to help work on the project? Had we not just been discussing what kinds of pictures to take and what kinds of videos to post to promote the training center?

And yet, here we were, at the end.

Now I almost feel empty, like a major chunk of my Chile life is gone.

But it’s a good empty. It’s a, “That’s over. What’s next?” empty.

I’m in awe at how God has provided. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. That’s a lot of money to raise, and when we first started, I don’t think I quite grasped the gravity or the height of it. We separated it into three payments, and while I can’t speak for everybody else involved in the project, for me it was just a simple matter of taking it day-by-day, reaching the next step.

Broken down that way, it doesn’t seem as staggering. Yet when I look back at just how much money God brought in for us, and HOW He did it, I’m stunned. I’m talking gifts big and small. Fifty dollars here, a hundred dollars there. Some random person giving $10,000. We saw it all.

There was one point around the end of the second payment where we saw no way it was going to happen. I truly believed that if God had brought us this far, He would provide, though I honestly didn’t see how. Perhaps it was easier for me to believe, since if things didn’t work out, I wouldn’t be the one dealing with the fallout. Somehow, though, I felt that if God had led Jason into this and had gotten us this far, He wouldn’t let us down.

And He didn’t.

We got a call from a church that they were going to give $25,000 toward the project. Add to that another matched giving opportunity, and we not only met the second goal, but were propelled far into the third! We went in a matter of days from wondering where in the world we were going to get the money for a second payment to having a drastically reduced third payment!

And that’s how God worked. Little by little, we inched toward that final payment until we could say, “Mission Accomplished!”

I must say this was good for me as I prepare to be a missionary, to realize that where God leads He will provide…

That outside circumstances mean nothing to Him…

That He can do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think…

That He places big dreams in our hearts so that He can fulfill them…

And that our God an awesome God.

Continuing On

When I hugged my Chilean friends goodbye, I knew it would probably be about three years before I saw many of them again, assuming I even go back to Chile as a missionary and not somewhere else. Three years sounds like such a long time when you’re saying goodbye to those you love. It somehow seems like less when you look back on it in hindsight (For some perspective, 2015 was three years ago and it feels like yesterday).

And so it is now. How is it that I’ve been gone from Chile a month? The time has flown by and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing my family and friends in Tennessee and spending time with them.

It was a month full of games and good times. I was able to ride with Dad twice on patrol, one day shift and one night shift. We all played games constantly. And I finally…FINALLY… beat Dad in Putt-Putt for the first time in my life. They think I might have been practicing some in Chile, but the truth is, the only thing I practiced there was Dutch Blitz, and I’m still not very good at that!

It was great to reunite with many other friends as well. I’m thrilled with how well the Spanish ministry at my church is going and the little bit of time I got to spend with them was very special indeed. It was also neat to get to go back to the churches that supported me and preach and present what I had been a part of in Chile.

As wonderful as all of this has been, I’ve been somewhat anxious to continue on and feel like I’m moving toward my ultimate goal again. A vacation is nice and I always want to enjoy the brief moments I have with the people I don’t get to see often, but my future is in Georgia and, beyond that, South America.

Last week I packed my bags and headed to Alpharetta, Georgia, which is in the Atlanta area. That’s where my mission board, Vision Baptist Missions, is located. I’m completing some training with them before I head out on deputation, and my first night here I got to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones!

I think the thing I love most about this city is the diversity of its people. It’s almost impossible to sit in a restaurant or public area without seeing at least three or four ethnicities walk in, which is an exciting change from Johnson City.

I also like how nice and clean Alpharetta is. It feels very classical in a sense.

So, it’s been a good first week here and I’m looking forward to what the future holds.

Until next time!

Heading “Home”

If home is where the heart is, then I can’t really say I’m heading home. I’m not sure where I’m heading, exactly, but it’s not home. Yes, the United States is where I was born and raised, but it’s not home.

If home is where the heart is, then, if anything, I’m leaving home.


I knew when I came to Chile that I would make some friends and would grow to love them as brothers and sisters in Christ. I knew we’d make some good memories and have some good times.

I didn’t, however, expect them to become quite as special as they have to me. I didn’t expect to love them quite this much.

And what I didn’t expect, most of all, was for them to show me so much love and affection. Maybe I always expected to feel somewhat like an outsider, just here for six months and then gone. Maybe I didn’t really expect to feel as if I were a part of the group, that they would all be nice to me but deep down they’d know I was leaving and so they wouldn’t get too attached.

I definitely didn’t expect to get what I got. I didn’t expect to get multiple sendoffs, gifts, and tributes. I didn’t expect the heart-to-heart messages and emotional words I received both on my phone and in person. I didn’t expect endless hugs and tearful goodbyes.


If I thought I could come here for six months and then leave without feeling too much attachment as I made a decision about where to serve the Lord full-time, I was wrong.

My family in Chile has made sure of that.






Jesus promised me this precious new family I have in Mark 10:29-30 when He said, “Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mothers, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.”. I’m sure there must be persecutions and troubles to come, but they will surely pale in comparison to the incredible family He’s given me here in Chile. He’s fulfilled every word as far as that goes.

But now the time has come for me to leave.

I know so much will change by the time I come back someday.

The twins will probably be past the “being held” stage by the time I see them again.

Some of the young recently married Chilean couples will probably have kids by the time I get back (I’m not posting a picture here, so there’s no pressure!)

The Sparks, who have done so much for me, will have long been out of language school and started a new church plant, Lord willing.


I’m not sure what the other missionaries will be doing, but I’m sure there will be new churches started and exciting stories to tell.


The training center will be completely remodeled and good to go (At least, I certainly hope it will).

Many of the students that are now in the training center will be either starting churches or heavily involved in one somewhere.

And I don’t doubt there’s a good possibility that Omega Baptist Church will have been added on to and grown. They’re already planning to knock out a wall for more space in the auditorium as soon as I leave and they have the use of my apartment for the children!



Everything will be different, and yet there will be so many things that will be the same, waiting here for me when I get back, I’m sure.

And I can’t come back if I don’t leave, can I? And I know that every step I take leads me closer to that moment.

So, because of that, even with the pain of leaving Chile and my wonderful new family here…

Even with all the tears…

Even with the feeling that I’m ending a moment and a memory I can never quite get back…

I’m excited to be going back “home”.

The Land of My Affliction

“And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”-Genesis 41:52

There’s a pretty decent chance none of us will lose a mother to the childbirth of our younger brother, be sold into slavery by our other brothers, and be thrown into prison based on false accusations (only to have our one hope to get out completely forget we exist).

But we all will, I believe, at times find ourselves in a “land of affliction” just as Joseph did. A place we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves, yet one that we can’t seem to escape.

Perhaps tonight you, too, are going through a dark period in your life. Let this verse encourage you and show you that God can make you fruitful regardless of where you are and what you are going through. Joseph maintained his testimony and his faith in God throughout, and in the end he was able to name his second child in such a way as to reflect the goodness of God in his life.

If you are passing through a time such as this, remember Joseph’s story, and remember that God may just use your “land of affliction” to do mighty things through you as well.

Goodbye 2017. Welcome, 2018!

I just read a great quote on a friend’s Facebook wall. It said:

“As we go forth into the coming year, let it be. . . with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return but God can transform destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.” Oswald Chambers (There’s slightly more to the quote, but this suffices)

We’ll never get it back.

In a few hours, 2017 will be in the books forever. And let’s face it: Every one of us look back at certain moments this year and wish we’d have used them better for the Lord.

Does any of the following sound familiar?

I didn’t stop to talk to that person when the Holy Spirit prompted me to. 

I spoke too hastily and regretted the words I used.

I wasted time on social media or in front of the television when I could’ve been doing better things. 

If none of this described you at some point in 2017, then I really admire your spirituality. But for most of us, these statements hit way too close to home.

If we look back at 2017 as a list of our failures, it’d look like a pretty bleak year. But certainly, Christian, there are good moments spiritually we can look back on. Surely there are times where we resisted temptation, listened to the Holy Spirit, guarded our tongues, etc. Surely those of us whose hope is in the God of second chances realize just how many of those second chances He gave us this year and how we did indeed take advantage of them.

Judging 2017 should be done in this light: What did God do in your life this year? Are you closer to Him now than you were when this year started? Or is there really no discernable difference? Are you heading into 2018 with any new souls won for Christ? Have you watched God noticeably work in your life? This should be the measure of your year. And I hope that, even with its failures and struggles, you can look back on 2017 as a success.

If you honestly can’t see it that way, read that quote again and realize where our hope truly lies and Who is stepping with us into the future. And resolve that, this time next year, you’ll be able to answer yes to those questions.

We can’t change anything about this past year, but we have a clean slate next year (Which, by the way, I plan to publish a post about tomorrow!). Change won’t come just because a date on the calendar switches, but there is something fresh and exciting about a new year, isn’t there? New beginnings and fresh starts. A chance to have the best year of your life to-date.

Let’s make the most of it for the Lord.

Goodbye, 2017. Welcome, 2018!


Happenings in Chile

While I’ve written fairly extensively about my trips to Peru and Bolivia, I haven’t written as much about Chile. To be truthful, the trips to Peru and Bolivia were easy to write about inasmuch as they were a timeline of events that naturally followed one another.

Chile is different because there are some days filled with the mundane, or the day-to-day life. While I’m loving it here, not everything I do is exciting to write about. However, I do want to keep everybody up-to-date on what I’m doing.

Every week I’m given the opportunity to teach Sunday School, which is a great thrill for me. I’m currently working through I John exegetically and my study has proven greatly beneficial and enlightening, although I still have much to work on in this area. It was to my dismay that I found out a few weeks ago that I was speaking too quickly and the congregation was not understanding me. Since then, I have tried to slow my pace, which is a hard thing for me because I naturally speak quickly, even in English. However, the reward came a couple of weeks ago when somebody told me, “Today I understood the whole message!” And they were excited about it. Once a month or so I’m preaching in the evenings as well.



We’ve been working on construction in the church and I love the way Iglesia Bautista Omega looks now. It’s like it’s brand new! We laid ceramic in both the auditorium and in the nursery, and now we have to paint soon.




One of my greatest thrills was going out visiting with a church member who recently finished a discipleship course with the pastor. It was his first time going visiting and I was so impressed with how well he handled everything and connected with the people. Door-to-door evangelism is a little different here because every house has a gate in front of it for protection from thieves. So instead of knocking, a person calls out, “Hallo!” (Almost like “hello” but with an “a” and without the puff at the beginning of the word) and then the resident comes to the gate. We conducted a survey that led to the presentation of the gospel if the person would allow, and I was surprised by how well it was received and how friendly most of the people were about it.


One week we went down to the middle of the plaza in Maipú, the section of Santiago where I live. While there, we handed out a bunch of different John and Romans with an invitation to church. I was able to connect with a couple of men, one Peruvian and one Venezuelan, and have great conversations with them. I’m hoping for even more gospel conversations in the future.


A Quick Photo Before Heading to Plaza Maipú

On Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings I try to go to seminary classes with those training for the ministry. While this isn’t a requirement for me, it is a good thing to be involved in and I try to do it unless I have something else going on. Along those lines, our midweek service is on Wednesday nights but another church’s is on Thursday nights, so I’m trying to go to both.


Another major project I work on is the media for 250Project. You can find more information about it here, but a great door has opened in Chile to train men and women for the advancement of the gospel and I’ve been given the privilege of working to promote it.

Along with all of this, I get together with Jason Holt and another missionary, Daniel Sparks, once in a while to discuss different questions I have about the ministry, among other things. I’ve actually learned a lot just in these talks as well as in talks with other missionaries both here and while I was in Peru.

Jason gives me books to read, which I work on reading and then derive questions from them to ask him. These books have actually been a great help to me and opened my understanding about how Jesus conducted His ministry.

This is just a basic overview of what’s going on here and what I’m involved in. I love Chile so much and am already dreading my departure in a few months. However, I must make the best of the opportunity God has given me here and then follow His leading from there.

Thank you all for your prayers and support! If you’d like to give toward this internship, you can do so here. God bless you!